The Six Wives of Henry VIII
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The Six Wives of Henry VIII

2001, History  -   34 Comments
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Ratings: 7.93/10 from 46 users.

The Six Wives of Henry VIIIQueen, lover, mother, outcast, victim and survivor - this is how historian and series narrator David Starkey assigns the roles of the six wives of Britain's most famous monarch Henry VIII in the sexual intrigue and cut-throat power politics of his long reign from 1509 to 1547. The series The Six Wives of Henry VIII takes a fresh approach and presents each wife's story from her perspective.

Through the women's own words and powerful dramatizations, we learn that the wives were not pitiful victims or pawns but rather knowing players in a high-stakes game and remarkable individuals who managed to show great dignity even when facing exile and death.

Catherine of Aragon. The daughter of Spain's King Ferdinand and Isabella, Catherine was just 16 when she married Henry's older brother Arthur in 1501. When Arthur died shortly thereafter, Catherine was left stranded. It wasn't until seven years later that she was able to marry Henry, who had become king.

Anne Boleyn. Raised by aristocratic parents and schooled in the Netherlands in the court of Archduchess Margaret, Anne long aspired to play a significant role in the English court. Chic and flirtatious, Anne became a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine, where she quickly caught the attention of the king.

Jane Seymour. Waiting in the wings when Anne died was Jane Seymour, a submissive woman of noble birth who seemed the perfect Tudor wife. Moreover, she was a devout Catholic, and the king's advisors hoped her religious beliefs would bring Henry back to his original religion.

Anne of Cleves. Henry's advisor Thomas Cromwell thought the West German princess Anne of Cleves was an excellent candidate because of her religious connections and prestigious family.

Catherine Howard. A promiscuous niece of the Duke of Norfolk, and a cousin of Anne Boleyn, Catherine caught the king's attention while serving as lady-in-waiting for Queen Anne.

Catherine Parr. The widow Catherine Parr was in love with Sir Thomas Seymour, brother of the late Queen Jane, when Henry became smitten with her. To eradicate the competition, the king assigned Seymour to a diplomatic post in Brussels, and proposed to Catherine.

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Kora
Kora
9 years ago

Where did these videos go? I used to watch them all of the time and now they've disappeared! Is there somewhere I can at least buy them?

Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

Anne used trickery and it backfired on her, but she was a women ahead of her time with her ideas and her ability to say what she wanted and go for it. Trickery always backfires and she did lose all she got. Her spirit though shines through in her daughter Elizabeth who became one of the best Monarch's England ever had.

pazazzmoi616
pazazzmoi616
11 years ago

Boy I tell you these Tudors are interesting to learn about.

Amy Costello
Amy Costello
11 years ago

Where is the link to watch the documentary?

Steven Schroeder
Steven Schroeder
12 years ago

As I've read Alison Weir's book on King Henry's wives, I knew this story well already. The documentary however was compelling and gripping. It isn't hard to feel for most of these women, all but Boleyn and Howard I suppose. The number of miscarriages and young deaths was so very tragic. I'm also inclined not to place ALL of the blame on Henry insofar as his wives go. People and events certainly conspired around him.

Godsclaws
Godsclaws
12 years ago

Great doc but the dude looks sooo angry when he's narrating, almost as if hes daring me to disbelieve what he's saying.
Wow though, this guy had really cr@ppy marriages. Interestingly he married 3 Catherines and two Annes and the odd one out was the only one to give him a son. You'd think he would have picked up that pattern before he carked it.

Angela Velazquez
Angela Velazquez
12 years ago

I love David Starkey, he presents the history in a very absorbing way. This is a fascinating time in history,but it can be presented in a way to be boring, Mr. Starkey makes it come back to life

athar rasool
athar rasool
12 years ago

very absorbing film indeed....
thanks a lot

athar rasool
athar rasool
12 years ago

I FEEL FOR ANNE OF CLEVES

Sistar & Friend
Sistar & Friend
12 years ago

Wonderful!!!! LOL

tomregit
tomregit
12 years ago

To anyone looking at the comments section to see if this is worth viewing, a resounding YES from me. Thanks for bringing it here Vlatko. I first saw it on The Knowledge Network in BC, and I have watched the complete series again enjoying it every bit as much as the first time.

Echo Gecko
Echo Gecko
12 years ago

This is a wonderfully fascinating documentary, thanks for putting it up.

And I agree with Christine, Catherine did suffer far more. I find that to be such a tragic, nightmarish story for anybody to live through, and from what was described here Catherine seemed like such a...classy lady, for lack of a better term.

And it makes Anne's death pretty satisfying too.

Steve Howard
Steve Howard
12 years ago

According to family legend, my father's side of the family are descendents of Catherine Howard, though I've been able to figure out how those Howards went from English royalty to Texas bootleggers in less then 400 years:).

Anne N. Muthaura
Anne N. Muthaura
12 years ago

Anne Boleyn was the most loved and yet suffered the most

Radhaya
Radhaya
12 years ago

Time, place and circumstance, but much still rings true today. As in the days of yore, most will still sacrifice relative safety for advancement in terms of wealth, prestige and power. Why not? It is a game to be played. Most will play the game for the hope of bettering themselves and their family's fortune. But beware, "The closer to Caesar, the greater the fear!" The Showtime docu-drama, "The Tudors", will really flesh out all of the intrigue for those who are interested, although it is termed as "loosely historical". I did not find it so, after viewing this doc. Showtime adheres to actual events and brings this period of English history to life. It is quite entertaining and believable in its portrayal of Henry VIII's reign. Henry was only guilty of what most men are, sovereign or not; an overbidding obsession of having a male heir and his queens paid the price for not fulfilling his desire. Too bad that Henry did not know how successful his daughter, Elizabeth, would be. It may have tempered his actions against those he had loved, to some degree.

Anthony Pirtle
Anthony Pirtle
12 years ago

This is a great doc by one of my fav presenters.

Epicurus
Epicurus
12 years ago

lol Vlatko, two greats in a row! my girlfriend is going to LOVE you for this one!

Ken Adams
Ken Adams
12 years ago

love it!

Teddy Mcd
Teddy Mcd
12 years ago

Well, I am inclined to think that by the time they got to Jane - the girls would've caught on that something wasn't quite right with the fat dude.