Friday, November 23, 2007

Question from Louisa - Spurs on cushions from "The Tudors"

In the episode of The Tudors shown on Friday 16th November, something caught my eye which made me feel very ignorant!
At the service of rememberence/thanksgiving/funeral of William Compton, (not sure exactly what it was!), all the women who had lost their menfolk were in church and had their husbands spurs on a cushion next to them. Was this common practice or something put in by the 'imaginative' writers of the series!
Hope you can help!


  1. I have not heard of any such practice, but I am not an expert on funerary and remembrance rituals, either. But may I offer a comment in the more general context of "The Tudors" as a piece of historical fiction? It is absolute trash, a complete and utter abomination. The errors, omissions, fabrications, and fictionalizations in this show will have history teachers and professors cleaning up the mess for a decade to come.

  2. I personally feel that any teacher/professor who has in their care a student who gleans their historical information from a DRAMA rather has their work cut out for them anyway. "The Tudors" is being unfairly slated because even in tone it's an academic's nightmare, rather than on its entertainment value. The costumes are questionable, so the aesthetic seems to be the initial excuse for repetitive critical mauling. I am, however, reliably assured that "The Tudors" will be as nothing compared to what is passed for history and believable drama in "The Other Boleyn Girl." (Both take a battering.) But, we shall have to wait and see. Either way, fiction is fiction and it's likely to contain only vignettes or theatrical impressions of reality. It's the nature of movies, television and plays; some "great" works have been wildly inaccurate - "The Private Lives of Elizabeth & Essex," "Anne of the Thousand Days," "La Reine Margot" and "A man for all Seasons." It's only recently that we seem to be getting ourselves into an intellectual tizz over accuracy in a fictional genre.

    On a more specific note, Spurs were often used at Requiem Masses to honour the departed knights.

  3. Historical or not, it peaks interest. I am netflixing the serious now and have done more research on the royal history off England then was required for my minor in Western European History.

  4. Any historian who claims the version of his understanding to be the truth will be shown differently in time.

  5. In my eleventeenth time of watching the series, I just noticed the spurs now and my curious Googling led here. I just have to comment that this show is historical fiction. As creator Michael Hirst said, "Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history ... And we wanted people to watch it."
    Actually Hirst is known for his history geekness. He chooses to play with history (having also produced/created the TV series Vikings and the Elizabeth 1 films starring Cate Blanchett)and, in my opinion, gives you the modern day equivalence in a sense of understanding the events clearer. What was beauty then is different than what beauty is today.
    I think Reign's deviation from reality is MUCH harder to sit through lol

    And I'd really like a 'Tudor' series version! (Like The Borgias vs Borgia.)

  6. I don't know how true this is, but I have heard that spurs represented knighthood. William was a knight so maybe that is why they chose to use that symbol in the episode of The Tudors.

  7. All this blabbing about historical accuracy and not one answer to the original question.


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