Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, July 28, 2006 10:43 pm

She amazes me. Still.

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 10:43 pm

I started reading Antonia Fraser’s The Wives of Henry VIII tonight.

To Victoria.

At her request.

And she. Is. Fascinated.

She doesn’t understand it all. We have frequent, digressive conversations about some of the issues raised, and I sometimes have to substitute simpler synonyms for some of Fraser’s mots justes.

But she gets a lot of it: The part about Queen Isabella winning her own war without King Ferdinand’s help, and miscarrying at least one child while doing so, she got just fine, thanksverymuch. And she asks good questions about the parts she doesn’t get. (Example, early in the first chapter, which recounts first wife Catherine of Aragon’s family history: “Why is [Fraser] telling us this?” Answer: To set up the contrasts, and they were many and sharp, between that family and the Tudor family, into which Catherine would marry.)

And then she asks questions like, “I know Isabella was a good mom, but was Ferdinand a good dad, do you think?”

It’s been eight years and there are still days I can’t believe I’m her dad.


  1. Plot summary: Divorced( after 24 yrs ) , beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, and survived.

    Final exam: Match each fate with the name of a wife.

    Think she’s ready for ” The Wealth of Nations ” yet ?

    Comment by Phred — Saturday, July 29, 2006 2:18 pm @ 2:18 pm

  2. Lemme see: In chronological order (as are your fates above), Cat of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, can’t remember the third one’s name, Anna of Cleves, can’t remember the fifth one’s name, Cat Parr. What little I know I owe to the 1970s BBC miniseries on the subject.

    “Wealth of Nations” is, indeed, on the syllabus, but I can’t remember if it’s next up.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, July 29, 2006 3:59 pm @ 3:59 pm

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