Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Question from Tudorrose - Opinions on "Mind of a Tyrant"


what does everyone think of the new documentary series narrated by david starkey think of it so far?

[Ed. note - I haven't had a chance to search around yet, but if anyone knows of plans to air it in the States, please post a comment! If I remember correctly his other series have shown up on PBS?]



15 Comments:

Anonymous Marilyn R said...

Although visually attractive, I thought the first episode recounting Henry's early years was not up to Starkey's usual standard - it seemed a struggle to fill the hour. Had it not been for the fact that episode two was back-to-back with the excellent 90 minute 'Time Team' programme on Henry's palaces, I would not have bothered to watch it. That said, I was much more taken with the second episode which began with the death of Henry's father and followed his relationship with Catherine of Aragon, so I shall make an effort to watch the remainder - but so far there has been nothing new.

April 15, 2009 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Tudorrose said...

I have watched the first part but still have to watch the second part as I have been recording the documentary.There is still another two parts to show which i will also be recording and watching.When I new they would be showing two things to celebrate the 500th anniversary of king Henry VIII on monday night I was hoping that neither one conflicted with eachother so I could get to see them both.I missed The Time Team programme unfortunately but I hope they repeat it as I didn't record it.I will be looking forward to next mondays third part on the series mind of a tyrant.

April 15, 2009 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just watched the time team and the 2nd part on channel 4's iplayer and i feel i got more out of the time team programe. both programes came up with new information but i am unsure how we are going to be shown how Henry VIII was the tyrant the programe title implys. will watch it all but i do think his other programes were much better.

April 16, 2009 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I just watched 5 minutes of this show and I was already grinding my teeth so much I had to stop watcdhing. First of all Starkey says that Margaret Beaufort's Book of Hours (in which the births of at least two of Henry VII's are recorded) was the property of the British Library. Every citation I've ever seen of this says it is in the Bodlean at Oxford. Did it get moved when I wasn't looking?

Also he seems to think that the fact that Henry's birth year was miswritten in the book and corrected is somehow an indication that Henry's birth wasn't considered of any significance. Sorry, but I think that is garbage. I'm fairly interested in this book as it is the only document that records the birth of Henry VII's daughter Mary. From what I have been able to see, the births of the royal children were not entered by Margaret Beaufort personally but by scribes in her employ, scribes of varying degrees of ability. Also dates at this time that were not on official documents (as this was not) were in a bit of a shambles depending on whether the writer used the old style or the new style. The future Henry VIII was born in June, so theoretically this shouldn't have been a problem, but it seems to have been. All I see in this is that an indifferent scribe got a date wrong and it was later corrected. I don't see anything here though that indicates Henry's birth was considered insignificant. That leaves me very predisposed to distruct Starkey. I'll eventually watch the rest of this program,I'm sure. I live in hope it is better than what I did see.

As for Marilyn's note about the Time Team program on Henry VIII's Palaces, I just watched that and was enormously impressed with it, far more than I was with Starkey's effort.

April 16, 2009 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Caroline said...

Re Kathy's comment, I cannot find The Book of Hours listed in the Bodleian catalogue, but you can check online for yourself at www.solo.ouls.ox.ac.uk
And was Starkey not shown looking at it in the British Library?

April 17, 2009 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Caroline, thanks for bringing that up. I went back and rechecked my references to it -- which I hadn't done in ages. I'm not sure why I had it as the Bodlean, probably because of the Oxford connection. Anyway, Walter Richardson lists it as being in the Exeter College Library at Oxford.

I would love for it to be in the British Library because that would mean I'd get to see it in when I'm in England in June.

I still stand by my comment that an error by a scribe is no indication that Henry's birth wasn't considered important.

April 17, 2009 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn R said...

I would think this particular Book of Hours will be in the BL exhibitio; after all, Starkey is the guest curator and will have been able to bring together items from many collections. I am about to order the catalogue, which should be here in a few days, so will let you know.

I too thought that the 'evidence' of Henry's birth being regarded as insignificant was rather making a mountain out of a molehill...

April 17, 2009 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Marilyn, I forgot to mention the fact that it might be on loan in my last post. It would make sense that it would be. And if Starkey is designer of the exhibit, it would certainly make sense that he would use it for his television program. I certainly hope it is in the British Library for the exhibit so I can see it!

April 17, 2009 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Tudorrose said...

Margerate beauforts book of hours is in the british library.Did not you see Master starkey looking at it in episode 1 of mind of a tyrant?!I saw were margerate wrote her grandson Henry's date of birth as being 1489 with a crossed line through it.she hastenly put the correct date of birth directly above which was 1491.My first thought was that margerate got Henry's birth date wrong perhaps because she had a bad memory.This is my theory.I hope this book is shown at the british library too.I dont see why it shouldn't be.I think it will be there.
when are you going to the exhibition Kathy?

April 17, 2009 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

Tudorrose, with all due respect, I think you are a little bit too gullible in believing a production technique for a television production. What he is holding may be the actual book, but could very well be a copy prepared especially for that scene in this show. Marilyn R and I discussed this in earlier posts that you may have missed, it's possible that Starkey managed to borrow it specifically for this exhibit, but that in no way implies that it normally resides at the British Library. Everything I have seen says it normally resides in Oxford. If you have sources to the contrary (other than a television production) I would love hearing what they are.

Also every source I have seen that discusses the matter of Margaret Beaufort's Book of Hours says that she did not write all the entries, that various scribes at various times wrote entries in it, that there are in fact several "hands" discernable. If you have a source that says Margaret herself wrote the entry on Henry's birth date, I would love to read it. Please share.

As for Margaret suffering memory loss, she was considered to be compos mentis enough in 1509 to serve as the regent for her grandson Henry when Henry VII died before his son attained his majority. So I very much doubt she was having memory problems in 1591. But, as always, I would love to see a source for this...

As for when I will see the exhibit, I am arriving in London on June 23. I don't have a fixed schedule except for certain fixed events and generally do outdoor activities on sunny days and do museum activities on rainy days. So I will likely be at the British Library on a rainy day in late June.

April 17, 2009 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Tudorrose said...

I have a few books on the Tudor period and have also read a few books on the Tudor period which includes books by David starkey and various other authors that have written books on the period.I have taken the information from each one into account and memorized some of which and I have come up with some of my own theories.Whether true of false they are my own personal opinions.What I said in my earlier message is from what I have read and seen from books and the new series mind of a tyrant and some of my message is my own opinion on the situation of and at the time.It was my opinion that Margeruite may have had memory problems.I think that Henry too had problems like for example being obsessed with cleaning and being very security concious.I also think that something followed through the Tudor line that may and probably was hereditory.which would have affected anybody born to that familly.Just in a different way and in varying degrees.

April 18, 2009 2:14 PM  
Blogger Katlyn R. said...

Can anyone give information as to where / how someone in the states could attain DVD copies of this (and other) great miniseries? I feel like I miss out on so much BBC / general UK stuff here in the states.

April 18, 2009 4:59 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Amazon has DVDs of Starkey's series. I haven't checked, but you might be able to rent them through Netflix if you aren't interested in buying. You might luck out at a library too!

April 18, 2009 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to see extended clips of 'MIND OF A TYRANT', follows instructions;
1. got to youtube.com
2. under search type in David Starkey
3. you can then select uploaded this week
4. select littlemisssunnydale channel who has been posting them for past week or so
5. I really like the "young henry viii clip", if anyone knows the name of the beautiful tudor estate in the opening part, pls pray tell!
- Jaye

April 19, 2009 10:59 AM  
Anonymous Rachael said...

While I am a massive fan of all of David Starkey's work, I must say that this newest series doesn't compare well to his 'Elizabeth' or his 'Six Wives'. I've read the book, which is quite good, but the four-program format seems a bit protracted, and would have been better as a two-parter.
The Time Team shown before the first episode was indeed excellent and I was glad to see more Tudor-related documentaries. I love Time Team, but it seems to be more focused on Anglo-Saxon and Roman history.
I'll be going to the BL exhibition in June too, and I didn't know the catalogue was already on sale. I shall buy it directly!

April 21, 2009 11:22 AM  

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