Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Tudors and Fictionalized History

I've been watching the Showtime series The Tudors on our television screen on streaming Netflix, thanks to that little Roku box my son bought us for Christmas.

I love everything about this option, but above everything else, I love The Tudors. The writing for this fictionalized history is excellent. I like all of the actors. The costumes and settings are wonderful. I'm nearing the end of Season Two, and I'm sad that Season Three is not yet available for instant play. I'll have to order the DVDs instead. Didn't take me long to get spoiled, did it?

The Tudors chronicles the loves and lusts of Henry VIII as well as the politics of the times. I'd forgotten how much I love reading about this era. I just queried "The Tudors" on and found plenty of titles to whet my appetite even more. And I recently read in the Publishers Lunch newsletter that a new novel will be coming about Ann Boleyn's cousin, the one Ann encouraged to have an affair with the king so Ann could better spy on his activities. Wow! What a great idea.

Hmmm, that didn't sound right. I meant "what a great idea for a novel."

I love the idea of writing a big novel of fictionalized history. I'm not sure I love the idea of doing all the research required to get it right.

Do you read much historical fiction (or fictionalized history)? If so, which novel is your all-time favorite? I think mine is Lincoln by Gore Vidal, but I can think of several others that would make my top ten list.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've read some and really enjoyed it. So I wonder why I haven't read more? I think I always worry I'm not up to the challenge, history-wise. But the Tudor period I could handle! :)

I'll have to rent "The Tudors"--thanks for the tip!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Jan Morrison said...

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell - it won the Booker this year and is utterly thrilling - set in Henry VIII's time and court focussing on Cromwell who is portrayed in a very interesting way.
I fell in love with this time period by reading Brief Gaudy Hour (focussing on Ann Bolyen) when I was a teen. yummy stuff.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Swimming against the tide again...the Tudors drives me insane. The history is WRONG. The costumes are WRONG. The casting...well, that's the director's choice.

I think this period is interesting enough without having to make it up. Intrigue, lust, ambition, it's all there.

Sorry to rant.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Elspeth, aren't your arms getting tired? LOL

I stand by my original statements: the writing is excellent, the costumes and settings are wonderful, and I like the actors. I'm thoroughly enjoying the series. Any historical facts in the mix are a bonus, but this is fictionalized history. After all, this is a Showtime series, not a History Channel series.

Ann Elle Altman said...

That's really cool. I've never seen the series but I should check it out. Thanks for the information.


Jeanie said...

I love historical fiction and went through a period of reading everything about the Tudor era I could get my hands on. I got to go to London shortly afterward, so it was all very interesting. I do think about all the research required for writing historical fiction.

Kay said...

I haven't seen the Showtime version of the Tudor saga. Does it show the changing of the young idealistic Henry to the despot he became in his old age?

The War of the Roses is one of my favorite periods, especially the way Elizabeth I saved the sinking English ship of state by outsmarting the rest of the despots of Europe.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love historical fiction almost as much as I love streaming Netflix (we do it through our TiVo and, coming soon, our Wii. Yes, two devices. There's a reason for it.)

But my favorite? Wow. That's like asking me to pick my favorite cat.

Amy Tate said...

My WIP is middle grade historical fiction, and the research is the best part! I absolutley love visiting Culpeper and walking the battlefields. My brain ran crazy with ideas. Check out Laurie Halse Anderson's, Chains. She won the Scott O' Dell a couple of years ago. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading that book by flashlight.

Anonymous said...

Have your read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory? It's the time of Anne Boleyn. It's great.