Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trying to Figure People Out

I can't remember the first time my mother told me the saga about Henry VIII and his six wives. I  know the impression it left on me - and continues to leave upon me!  Fascination.  Utter abhorrence for sure, and yet utter fascination.

Certainlty Henry VIII was the king of England at that time, and because of this thought he could do anything he wanted.  His first wife (Catherine of Aragon) refused to give him a divorce and name their only child (Mary) a bastard, so he sent her away; cut off her pension; and separated her from Mary. The pope also refused to grant Henry a divorce and even excommunicated him, but Henry was like Fuck you, Pope!  I want a divorce, and if I have to start my own church to do it I will! Henry founded the Church of England, divorced Catherine, and married Anne Boleyn.

Attempting to bully his first wife into freeing him from their marriage and allowing her die from pneumonia, penniless and alone, was pretty terrible.  It certainly wasn't the worst thing Henry ever did, though.  Like a spoilt child, Henry got anything he wanted.  If one of his wives was unable to give him a son or simply started to annoy him, he would get rid of them and marry another woman who took his fancy.  Anne Boleyn refused to give him a divorce and sign a document stating that their daughter (Elizabeth) was illegitimate.  Henry's advisors, fearing his displeasure, made wild  accussations about Anne's so-called "adulturous" pursuits.  I put the word adulturous in quotes because there was never any proof that she'd had sex with anyone except Henry.  Several men, including Anne's own brother, were tortured until they "confessed" to being her lovers.

Being a kind, faithful, empathetic person, it is almost impossible for me to wrap my mind around those who not only malign people's reputation but also torture these same people in order to get a better truth for the king's warped mind.

And Henry, he started out being utterly devoted to these women, especially Catherine and Anne whom he spent years with and had children by.  How did he U-turn his thoughts and feelings into hatred and death?

(To be continued ... )

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