Tudor Bitching: The Spanish Princess’ Final Episode

Sigh. I don’t know what Emma Frost has against Margaret Beaufort (or what, for that matter, Philippa Gregory does), but they always have to end these series’ with her as the Grand Villain. Here, we find out she masterminded the illegal activities of Lord Dudley, then had him arrested and executed without trial to cover her tracks, then tried to use blackmail to sabotage her grandson’s wedding. They dragged up her murders of the Princes in the Tower and of Jasper to haunt her at her deathbed.

I have harped on this before, but it bears saying again. Their Margaret Beaufort bears zero resemblance to the historical one, who was a great patron of learning (and established the first priory school in England, where poor boys AND girls could come and learn), who was well liked, who was devout, and who suffered beneath Dudley and her son’s financial tactics just as much as everyone else. She supported Harry’s marriage to Katharine of Aragon as a tactical political move, never had anything against her, and did not murder the Princes in the Tower. She had no access to them and no reason to want them dead.

On to the historical inaccuracies.

Henry VII did not die in the bath, but surrounded by his counselors. His son was at his bedside. There’s some confusion over exactly what they said to each other, but the general consensus seems to be that he gave two instructions – for his son to execute the traitorous Duke of Suffolk, and for him to marry Katharine of Aragon.

Lord Dudley was indeed arrested and later executed, but he was not yelling eff you when it happened because the ax dug into his back (they stole that botched execution idea from Thomas Cromwell). This did not all happen on one day, and it was not a scheme by Margaret Beaufort to cover up her illegal activities. Dudley was both a scapegoat for the king’s unpopular financial schemes (his execution showed the public that the new Henry intended to take a different path) and possibly had designs upon the throne, since officially they arrested him for scheming to kidnap / detain Prince Harry. He was tried along with another man, Emerson, and both were later executed.

Margaret Pole was never arrested for conspiring with Suffolk. She stayed in the abbey, impoverished and unable to pay her debts, until Katharine of Aragon paid them and returned her to court. She was never accused of treason at this time in her life.

Did I just witness a “mixed faith” marriage ceremony? In 1509??? Okay then, historical inaccuracy be damned, because Catholic and Muslim priests were totally okay with each other in that period, right? 😛 It’s not like non-Catholics were persecuted and thought of as heathens or anything. 😛

Well, that’s it for another year. I can’t wait to see what fresh hell these writers bring to us with season two (sarcasm), although since Margaret Beaufort is dead, they will have to invent a new villain, and new women to fight with each other. I do like their depiction of Henry VIII, though. A little bit cold on top of his generosity. Ominous foreshadowing.

3 thoughts on “Tudor Bitching: The Spanish Princess’ Final Episode

Add yours

  1. Very well said. I am always ticked at the way Margaret Beaufort is treated in, not just these series, but in current pop culture. She is everyone’s favorite go to female villain. I find the series entertaining but I have to roll my eyes and lol every time I see Meg turn into a she-demon.

  2. Bleh. I’m not sure it’s even worth getting angry. Emma Frost and Philippa Gregory just want to rewrite history with the modern sensibilities, which means they’re incapable of doing anything accurately.

    I’ve loved reading your blog posts about the series and I’m glad at least someone has taken the time to point out the absurdities of the series.

    1. It may not be worth getting angry, but that does not mean I don’t GET angry. I see these historical figures as friends of mine and feel they are being slandered, so I must defend them! 😉

      Glad I didn’t bore you. Ha, ha.

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