How Could I Have Missed This Wetsday Guest?

Do you ever have those face-palm, how-could-I-have-forgotten-this type moments? Nah, I’m sure all of you are on top of things and totally organized. But around my house, “OMG, I overlooked something basic” is a way of life.
And kids, I have to say, I have overlooked something so obvious, so basic to all we as Sizzlers hold dear, that I must hang my head in shame. I do not deserve the title of romance enthusiast. I humbly beg y’all’s pardon.
Somehow, over the past year-plus, I have forgotten to ever issue a Wetsday invitation to one of the true, all-time greats of the period costume drama, who not only fills out his Tudor-era codpiece exceptionally well, but looks darn good stripped down and lolling about in the water.

We first met today’s guest in one of the truly yummy historical movies, the fabulous Count of Monte Cristo. Though a mere lad, our hero more than held his own whilst sharing the screen with the exceptionally delicious Jim Cavieziel and Guy Pearce. After that, you may have seen him playing Brandon in that well-known eye-candy series, The Tudors. And yes, our boy can work a pair of tights just as well as Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.

I was surprised to learn that today’s gentleman was considered the front-runner for the Cedric Diggory role in Harry Potter, ironically losing out in the final stretch to one Rob Pattinson. Why ironic? Because the legend is that Stephenie Meyer had a picture of our guest on her wall while she wrote the Twilight Saga, and she has called him her “Perfect Edward.” Unfortunately, the cinema powers-that-be decided he was too old for the movie. Had he, rather than RPattz, been cast as the glittery vampire, they wouldn’t have needed to airbrush his abs! He’d have been a lot more successful fighting off the comparisons to Jacob Black, too!

Anyway, this week I was hanging out on twitter with some of my Regency peeps, and Vicki Dreiling mentioned that today’s guest was the inspiration for the hero in her recent book, How to Marry a Duke (which is absolutely fabulicious, and all of you should read it, btw.) Sudden revelation! I had never brought you the scrumptious Henry Cavill for Wetsday! How could I have been so remiss?

So with apologies, I will just point out that good things come to those who wait — and your wait is over. Here’s Henry!

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Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Henry & Jane

     This Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History is again Henry VIII Tudor, this time with his third wife, Jane Seymour. But first, an editorial comment. Why so much time spent on the Tudors? Besides being interesting as individuals (kings and queens and power and sex and intrigue usually are), the Tudors altered the direction of English history by violently breaking away from its Catholic heritage and ushering England into its own renaissance as an international power. Ultimately, the exploration and colonization of the New World was an outgrowth of the movement. Despite assertions to the contrary (yes, that is a political comment), the United States’ heritage and its institutions are profoundly English. Our laws (except for Louisiana) are based on the English model and the early colonists and Revolutionary War patriots and Founding Fathers were steeped in English law and culture. Appreciating our past puts our own present into a better perspective. Back to Henry and Jane.

Henry VIII

 Jane Seymour was born about 1509 and lived in obscurity (despite conjectures by numerous historians) until her arrival at court two years into the King’s marriage to Anne. A pleasant and submissive girl, daughter of an ancient Norman family, she willingly played the pawn to advance the influence and power of her father and brothers and their associate, the Duke of Norfolk. Like Anne, she began her journey to the royal bed as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. Soon after her arrival, Anne jerked a necklace off Jane’s neck and discovered a portrait of the King in the pendant. Later, shortly after the death of Queen Katherine of Aragon, Anne discovered Jane sitting in Henry’s lap as he fondled her. All hell broke loose but Jane remained at Court.
     Jane, who was a devout Catholic, was recognized as the King’s mistress but the European diplomats writing home could not discern the basis for the King’s attraction. She was pale and passive and, at twenty-seven, rather old to be unmarried. She was the antithesis of Anne and her demeanor may have reminded Henry of his beloved mother, Elizabeth.
     Jane retired from Court during the troubles with Anne. When the cannons boomed announcing the Anne’s death, Henry rushed with horses and hounds to arrive at her home that night. They were engaged the next day and married May 29th, 1536. Parliament removed the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth from the succession in favor of Jane’s child or whomever Henry designated as his heir.

Jane Seymour

     Jane kept a low profile except for brokering a reconciliation between Henry and his daughter Mary. She also attempted to ease the persecution of the Catholic Church but was rebuked by Henry and reminded of the fate of her predecessor. She was never crowned Queen because of the presence of plague in London and Henry desired to wait until after the birth of his son.
     Henry in the middle of Jane’s difficult delivery was asked whether his wife or child should be saved if a choice must be made replied “If you cannot save both, at least let the child live, for other wives are easily found.” Edward was born on the 16th of September, 1537 and was baptized soon after. Jane went steadily down hill after the birth and died on October 24th, 1537 of puerperal fever—a post-delivery infection that killed many women until the advent of antibiotics and cleanliness during deliveries.
     Henry, the proud father but not so grieving widower, returned to Windsor where he began a search for his next wife. Next week, an aging Henry looks abroad for his next wife. RitaVF

Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Young Henry VIII

         

     Henry Tudor of the Six Wives fame is Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History. Born in 1491 in Greenwich Palace, as the second son of Henry VII he was not expected to inherit and consequently his early childhood is lost to history. 

     He attended the wedding of Arthur, Prince of Wales to Catherine of Aragon in November 1501.  Within five months of the marriage, the always sickly Arthur died. Despite Arthur’s post-wedding night brag (“been in Spain”), Catherine claimed that the marriage had not been consummated. After obtaining a papal dispensation, England and Spain signed a treaty allowing Catherine (who had been born in 1485) to marry Prince Henry.
     In the years that followed, squabbling between the monarchs of Spain and England left Catherine impoverished, forced to hock her possessions to maintain herself and her household. The English King was having buyer’s remorse and had taken steps to back out of the betrothal. When Henry VII died in 1509, his 17-year-old son became Henry VIII, decided that he liked Catherine and married her within months. He also executed his father’s most productive and hated tax collectors, Edmund Dudley and Sir Richard Empson who had helped his father amass his fortune.
     Henry, unlike our historical image, resembled his handsome grandfather (Edward IV)—tall (six feet) with red-gold hair and beard . Henry was athletic (a big-time tennis player) and loved to hunt and joust. SO very different from his dour father.
     A Venetian diplomat described the 25-year-old Henry in a dispatch: “His Majesty is the handsomest potentate I ever set eyes on; above the usual height, with an extremely fine calf to his leg, his complexion very fair and bright, auburn hair combed straight and short, in the French fashion, and a round face so very beautiful that it would become a pretty woman, his throat being rather long and thick…. He speaks French, English and Latin, and a little Italian, plays well on the lute and harpsichord, sings from book at sight, draws the bow with greater strength than any man in England and jousts marvelously…. a most accomplished Prince.” 

Field of Cloth of Gold

      In 1511, Catherine gave birth to their first child, a son named Henry after his father. The infant died two months later—the first of a long line of unsuccessful pregnancies that ended in miscarriage or infant death with only a daughter, Mary who was born in 1516, to survive. Catherine was considered a model wife—well-educated, well-connected, and skilled in household matters (She even sewed and mended Henry’s shirts.) She participated in the business of the Court and Henry called himself her “Knight of the Loyal Heart.”            

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

 

Henry soon strayed, however. In 1514, he commenced an affair with one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting—Bessie Blount who was 13 or 14 years old at the time. The affair lasted until 1519 when Bessie delivered Henry’s bastard , Henry Fitzroy who was created the Duke of Richmond and Somerset. About this time, Mary Boleyn (Anne Boleyn’s sister) came on the scene as one of Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting.
     

Meyers as Henry VIII in The Tudors

 

In 1514, Henry engaged successfully in a war with France which ended in the Anglo-French treaty of 1514. In a spirit of the bond of friendship, Henry and King Francis I met outside Calais in June of 1520 in what is now called the “Field of Cloth of Gold,” a meeting famous for its extravagance and pageantry. 

     Henry has piqued the imagination of generations. He has been a popular subject for plays and movies such as The Tudors in which he was portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Next week, Henry and Anne.   RitaVF

The Sizzlers Welcome Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Ok, not like our recent guests. I mean, no, he didn’t do a personal interview with us. But I am quite sure that if he knew how much we luuurrrvve him, he would have. Somehow we managed to get ahead of ourselves with the posts, and we ended up this morning without a special guest.

But SFCatty pointed out that we have gotten a lot of hits when we run pix of Jonathan, and y’all know I am never against a little bit of British historical-epic actor eye candy. So sit back, get yourself a nice cold mojito, and enjoy one of our favorite videos:

Badurday- June 26, 2010- The Tudors Edition

In honor of the end of The Tudors series, I have chosen our Bad-urday boy this week to be Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  Now, I actually chose him a couple of weeks ago when I was watching Bend it like Beckham where he plays Joe, the girls’ soccer coach but he got bumped first by Billy Burke and then by Frank Sinatra when I was in New York.  But it worked out all right as here we are with the end of the series and we have our King Henry VIII.  AND it is World Cup month and he was in a soccer movie, so it worked out there, too.  Our bad boy also played the assassin of Michael Collins in the film of the same name with Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman. Love that movie.  He was in August Rush, which is a cool little movie.  He wasn’t a bad boy in it but he was sexy as hell. Have not seen Loss of Sexual Innocence which he is in- may have to rent that one.  And for the breeches crowd, he was in Vanity Fair as well.

Henry VIII was the baddest boy ever.  In real life, he was an ogre but he was very handsome in his early years. 

Here are some more great shots: Remember the old song by Eartha Kitt “C’mon a my house?”  C’mon, man, c’mon!

Badurday March 6, 2010

Although I am a complete history nerd and always have been, I write mostly contemporary romance.  I have several reasons.  One is that I have issues with the way women were treated and held back from their dreams in times past (Yeah.  I know, I should mine those feelings for some kick butt story). The other major reason is pure laziness.  I don’t want the “Historical police” to come after me for using the wrong language for the time (although Sayde would probably say that I should go for it due to my distaste for contractions).  I have written one historical but have been told it’ll never sell because it is based in 1920.  I couldn’t help it. It was a story that had to be told.  But, I digress from the topic of my post.  AND I know you are all saying, this is all well and good, SFCatty, but get with it already.  Where’s the bad boy and why are you telling us all this crap? Ok.  Ok.  Have some patience, I’m telling you all this because you may be shocked at my choice of genre today.

There was a show on BBC America last summer (and season two will be on this summer) that was just a wonderful little six episode show. The name of it is Being Human.  The story is about a vampire named Mitchell, a werewolf named George and a ghost named Annie.   Mitchell is trying to quit his blood addiction cold turkey and George is fighting his werewolf tendencies.  They decide to move into a flat together to try to live as humanly as possible.  The flat they move into is haunted by Annie.  She was murdered there.  She’s thrilled that they can see her.  It is a fun premise.  The funniest part is that the vampire and the werewolf both work in a hospital.  Mitchell is dead sexy (pun intended) and tempted by all the blood in the hospital.  I highly recommend this and you can download it to your I-Pod from www.BBCamerica.com.

Mitchell is played by Aiden Turner.  A fine Irish lad. He was in an episode of The Tudors and he has a show coming on BBC called Desperate Romantics which I hope will be aired here as well.  Enjoy:

Bad-urday Oct 10 edition

Today’s bad boy is the gorgeous Jeremy Northam –  He played An Ideal Husband where he was a member of Parliment being blackmailed for an indiscretion.  He tried his best to deceive his wife but she found him out.  Gotta love Oscar Wilde’s writing.  Jeremy looks so yummy in period clothes as evidenced by that film as well as Emma where he played Mr. Knightley.   AND he was Sir Thomas More in The Tudors.  Gosford Park was from a more recent historical era and he rocked the clothes there, too.  He was in a movie called A Cock and Bull Story and the name alone is intriguing.  Very weird movie and yes, it is about cock and bull.  LOL!   jeremy_northam_01jeremyP_Jeremy_Northam_001

Enjoy the beautiful Jeremy.  He can play bad boys but he always redeems himself.  Enjoy him as a lawyer in The Winslow Boy.  An excellent adaptation of a David Mamet play and yet again, a period piece.  

I’ll be gone next bad-urday and will be leaving you in the capable hands of Romancemama.  She has her instructions for a duo of bad boys of film.  Hope you’ll like them AND hope she doesn’t forget like she almost forgot Wetsday!  Love ya Romancemama and behave Sizzlers while I’m out of the country.

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