Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Question from Haven Leigh - "The Autobiography of Henry VIII" and "The Tudors"

Hello all
I have decided to start reading "The autobiography of Henry VIII" . My question is this: the book and the tv show "the tudors" are so similar! Does anyone 1) notice this too? 2) or know if the tv show was directly based on the this fiction book?

I know the author Margret George used lots of history books, researched her facts, etc. But I am just curious if it is just a coincidence the similarities between his book and the Tudors or the producers and authors both just used common known facts. Thank you.

PS- I truly enjoy this book and am wondering how accurate it is.


PhD Historian said...

That's a question for the writers of the TV show, one that only they can answer.

George's book is fiction. Huge chunks of it, especially the dialogue and thoughts of the characters, cannot be supported by primary source evidence. They are simply "made up."

Gareth Russell said...

One of the things to bear in mind from a literary point of view, and I remember reading this point in an interview with Ms George some time ago, was that the novel is intended to be Henry's own point-of-view, so the presentation of certain characters are how she imagines he would see them - not how impartial history or she herself, even, would necessarily have portrayed them. Ms George cited in particular the characterisation of Anne Boleyn, contrasting one rather touching scene where, watching people skate on the frozen Thames, she whispers to herself that she would do anything to avoid going to Hell but many chapters later, Henry seems to believe that she has committed adultery, effectively quashing the earlier memory.

Kristian said...

I am not sure about the use of that particular book but I can tell you that I felt the same way while reading biographies like The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn by Eric Ives. There were assertions made in his book - disputed by other biographers - which found their way into the script of The Tudors.
Many speeches and comments used in The Tudors are found, word-for-word, in various accounts by historians. Michael Hirst (who writes ALL of the episodes) has clearly done his research before taking creative license.