25 January 2010

This Day in History: King Henry VIII marries Anne Boleyn

I have decided, with my love for history, I will do an edition of "This Day in History" as often as possible. It would be ideal to do it every day, but I know life happens, so I will not promise an every day edition of "This Day in History."

On this day, January 25, 1533, King Henry VIII secretly married Anne Boleyn, after the annulment of Queen Catherine of Aragon. This day marks an important day in English history, for the Great Schism created the Church of England and broke British ties to the Roman Catholic Church (the Catholic Church did not approve of divorce, and only by creating a new church was Henry able to marry Anne). Also, it is supposed that Anne Boleyn was pregnant at the time of the wedding, for eight months after their marriage, Elizabeth I was born—to Henry's great disappointment—he was in want of a male heir (one reason he set Queen Catherine aside). From this union, England would see one of their greatest monarchs: Queen Elizabeth. The death of Anne Boleyn began the trend of beheading and the perpetual bad luck of every wife of King Henry VIII.

There are many pieces of entertainment and literature based on this day in history. For those interested, please pick these up:

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

This novel was made into a film in 2008, staring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, and Eric Bana. A good curl up on the couch rental, but disappointing compared to the novel—which is quite usual for a movie adaptation of a book.

The Tudors on Showtime
An addicting series about King Henry VIII and his many female relationships, both matrimonial and clandestine. The series is full of political intrigue and manipulation. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, although not red-headed and fat like the historic King Henry, is dark and dashing and plays royalty well. All three seasons are now available on DVD and the last installment will air on Showtime this spring.

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