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  1. Continuing: Money was one of main reasons to the rift between brothers. When George V died, he left most of his private property to his younger sons, thinking that his eldest son had as the Prince of Wales had during 25 years collected a fortune from his duchy of Cornwall and would get enough as the king. Edward VIII was disappointed and angry as he had hoped to give Wallis even more jewelry and money he already had. When he abdicated, the family fortunes had to be settled. Edward VIII had inherited from his father a life interest to his private landed property, such as Sandringham and Balmoral, but because the British people had used to them as places where the king lived, George VI paid compensation for them. However, when the issue had been negotiated, Edward VIII lied about the quantity of his savings which were in fact much bigger. Perhaps the lie was caused by the huge distress Edward felt at the time: Wallis urged him in the phone not to abdicate, he had promised her the crown of a Queen and failed, and because he had already promised to abdicate before the terms were agreed, he had a disadvantage in the negotiations. Any case, when George VI learned about the lie of his eldest brother who he had adored all his life and whose duty he had forced to take although he felt it exceeded his abilities, he had disappointed and hurt beyond the words. Could his brother be trusted at all? The duke of Windsor never showed any gratitude towards his brother about his huge allowance which meant that his brother's private income became much less (the state didn't give the duke anything), but always wanted to get more. Of course, he had lived in the time of revolutions and seen how many people lost their positions and fortunes (even middle-class Frenchmen who had invested in Russian shares before the Revolution or middle-class Germans whose savings vanished during the hyperinflation). But the fear of becoming "poor" he and Wallis felt didn't cease after the WW2, nor did they change their luxurious lifestyle they felt they were entitled by his birth. Which makes one respect Philip who as a young man was ready to earn his living and rise in the ranks of the British Navy by his own merits (although he of course had best connections because of his Lord Mountbatten). Maybe it was because he had to emigrate as a baby and had never lived in luxury, but the difference with the duke of Windsor is clear. Many have compared Philip and the duke of Windsor because both were dissatisfied with their positions and showed it by complaining. But there is also a big difference. Philip is a plain-speaking man of action who is unused to intrigues and without connections except Lord Mountbatten. He only way is to demand from his wife what he wants but when he can't get it, he sulks He can't lie nor conspire, go behind people's back and use other's weaknesses and mutual disputes to get what he wants. Instead, the duke is a born charmer (and charm and connections is all he has left) who does precisely that.
  2. That was the reason why the wedding was originally postponed. But the small wedding was because of the Covid virus - they wanted to have the Queen and Prince Philip as guests.
  3. For all his talk about "modernizing the monarchy", he had used to live in luxury - he could despise it when he was the Prince of Wales and the King and have a "modest" week-end home, Fort Belvedere, and his servants didn't use royal liveries. But once he lost his position, it all mattered the more - he wanted to live like a royal and offer it to Wallis. Obviously, because her former life, Wallis was mortally afraid to become poor. It didn't help that she had got from him expensive jewels and huge sums in foreign banks (savings from his duchy of Cornwall) already when she was Mrs Simpson.
  4. It's strange that Phyllis's mother had experienced how weak is the position of a house wife whose husband fails (it was told before but I can't any more remember exactly what had happened - maybe somebody does). So a woman who would have a different character than Phyllis would become a supporter of ERA. Why didn't she? Was she shamed of her failed parents and humble background?
  5. The book made some things clearer: - The story about "Lindberg's baby was kidnapped by the Nazis and the couple was therefore in their power" was presented only as Evelyn's story that was later a conspiracy theory. The disappearing of Lindberg's plane was left a mystery. - Alvin was presented as a boy who was never "a hero". He had lost his parents and Philip's father died to rise him but failed. As a teenager he stole from his employer, his get wounded out of simply stupidity when he went to the no-man's-land where he shot and spit on the enemy soldier who was already dead, after coming home continued to spend time with his petty criminal pals and falsified game machines. Even in the show, his silk suit told clearly that he had become a gangster. - Evelyn and her husband and Sandy's motive to become Lindbergh's supporters is described as opportunism: they benefit from it. The rabbi's synagogue hasn't been popular and now he becomes a celebrity, Evelyn thrives as a socialite who gets an invitation from White House. Both feel they have got power in the program to send Jews to the Mid-America - they can select families and out of spite select the Roths after their relations are broken. Sandy becomes a poster boy to a program to send Jewish boys to farms. - The Roth family and other Jews in the neighborhood are described as secular: they go the synagogue three times a year, a rabbi is needed only in celebration of births, bar mitzvas, marriages and funerals. The Roths eat kosher but mainly because the grandparents visit them. However, they need each other socially because in the "goy" neighborhood they would, if not discriminated, treated with exaggerated kindness.
  6. The problem was that before the WW2 Hitler's offers were small in numbers compared those of Stalin who had executed hundreds of thousands people alone in 1937-8, not to speak of those died in camps or of hunger. Also, other great countries weren't models of equality, quite the opposite: Britain and France had empires and racism was general also in the US. The crux of matter was to understand what Hitler's aim was. He spoke of it openly but was not believed by many.
  7. Roseanna


    Actually the Jews weren't murdered by their own government - save a small minority of then, half of German Jews (the other half had emigrated in time). And Holocaust happened in "killing fields" where people were already traumatized by occupation (sometimes two times), hunger, purges, executions and deportations. Do I understand right that the Hasidic interpretation was that God would have saved the Jews if they had followed literally all the orders of Old Testament? But didn't already the prophets say that the most important thing was to help widows, orphans and poor?
  8. Difficult to get a source inside Russia? The French succeeded to two and much better ones than Saul and Carrie in the serie French spy serie le bureuau des legendes. The fifth and final season of Le bureau that was really amazing and "adult" and makes Homeland's end seem even more mediocre and childish. Where Homeland's writers didn't succeed to make even a likely plot and admirer Carrie and Saul far too much, Le Bureau had not only a super plot and many-sided characters but it went really deeply to the basic problem: what living a double life and using people to get information causes to agents.
  9. I have now seen the last episode and the plot seems even odd more than ever. It was reminded that Elizabeth of York said on her deathbed that if Harry married Catherine, he would get no son. Henry VII believed her wife because "Lizzie and her mother could see the future". But in the Gregory's novel series and the show Elizabeth "knew" that her and her mother's "curse" had caused the death of her son Arthur and would eventually cause the death of Henry's son. And in the previous show, she had together her husband decided to kill Perkin Warbeck that she knew to be her younger brother Richard who had escaped from the Tower where his brother Edward V was killed on the order of Margaret Beaufort. So it was never a question "Harry would get no son by Catherine" (actually there was a son born early in the marriage but he didn't live even two months) but "whoever Harry will marry, his son will die young" - which his grandmother knew full well but evidently couldn't accept her own responsibility. But having so far presented Catherine and Harry as a pair of true love (save that Catherine lied about being a virgin because she desperately wanted to marry him), now it was revealed by Catherine's father Ferdinand of Aragon that her married sister, Juana, had told him that she he had slept with Harry when she was in England. Harry denied it, but there was a clear hint that he lied - and that he knew that she had lied, too. This twist was obviously made to show to Catherine "which kind of man" she was going to marry. Irl Ferdinand of course didn't write anything of that kind to Catherine - for the simple reason that if Juana had claimed that, he wouldn't have believed her because she was mad. (Some new historians claim that she wasn't mad at all but her father only claimed it to size the Castilian crown which she had inherited from her mother Isabella and to whom Ferdinand, as the king of Aragon, had no right, but basically it didn't change the matter.) And it's well known that until he died, Henry VII kept his only surviving son and heir isolated, so Harry was believed to be a virgin when he married Catherine. Gregory's novel has a better plot: Catherine learns what kind of man she has married when he had his first affair when she is pregnant the first time and, according to the custom, must live in seclusion (she miscarried but was persuaded that she had carried twins of which the other lived but it was "a phantom pregnancy" like her daughter Mary later had). This married mistress pretended to be a virgin by saying that the intercourse hurt awfully and by bleeding a lot in bed and made Henry to doubt that his marriage is "cursed" because Catherine was his brother's wife - which is an easy task because Henry had doubted it already in the wedding night. (Only, why would Henry had waited years before acting if he had doubts from the beginning?) Also Margaret Pole's plot was not only against the history but unconvincing: if she had taken part in the conspiracy to overthrow Henry VII, she had acted also against his heir, Harry, who would have been killed with his father. Only a loggerhead couldn't have understand that and Catherine wasn't that, she was Isabella's daughter. No matter how badly Margaret Beaufort had treated Margaret Pole, her treason couldn't have been forgiven. Irl there wasn't even suspicion of her loyalty. After Henry and Catherine married, she was made Countess of Salisbury (the title of her brother and her mother's family, Nevilles) and given back part of his brother's lands, her eldest son was made Baron of Montagu, her younger son Reginald's studies in the university of Padua was paid by the king and she herself was made the governess of Princess Mary. Her family later fell from favor but that is another story.
  10. I don't believe that's correct. Christina made a risque joke but continued: if the Emperor didn't command her to marry Henry. In fact, Henry was offered French princesses but, vain as he was, he demanded those he regarded "better", not caring that they were already promised to other countries. Foreign alliances depended on the current situation of foreign policy. When Henry, urged by Cromwell, married Anne of Cleves, he did so to make an alliance with the Protestant princes in Germany because the Emperor and the French king weren't opponents for a moment. In the same way, it wasn't a question only of Cleves's prestige, but Prostestant German princes needed an ally against the Emperor. On the other hand, it was a skillful act of balance: when Henry didn't marry a Habsburg nor French princess, he didn't anger France nor respectively the Emperor.
  11. Eric Ives writes in a biography of Anne Boleyn: However:
  12. It didn't happen badly to Jane Seymours's brother until Henry had died and then it was due their own behavior. Also, Catherine Parr was deeply religious and evidently in love with Thomas Seymour. But when the King proposed to her, it would be dangerous to refuse - and she began to believe that it was God's will to accept. When people were ambitious enough, they were willing to take the risks. Or they wanted to promote their cause like Cranmer. Also, no doubt people were also then afraid of death but before the execution they could confess their sins which guaranteed that they would go to Heaven.
  13. Even if "a king could have any woman he wanted", kings were different because men were and are different. Edward IV married for love Elizabeth Woodville, a widow and a mother of two sons who refused to bed him without marriage, but continued to have many affairs also with married women of London merchants. Henry VII married Elizabeth of York to unite royal fractions but there is no information about his affairs. Henry seems to be like his maternal grandfather Edward IV in it that he wanted to marry for love which was uncommon among royals who usually married other royals for heirs and alliances and then had mistresses for love and/or sex. But Edward IV had many children by Elizabeth Woodville, among them a heir and a spare. And even if he hadn't, he had brothers and they had sons. Henry desperately longer for a son, but he was also unusual in that when he wanted to end his marriage, he had already chosen his next wife among the Queen's ladies-of-waiting (Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Catherine Howard). At least with Anne and Jane, it began as "court love" and his interest became serious after their refusal to bed him. When Henry did make a dynastic marriage with Anne of Cleves, it failed. The marriage with Catherine of Aragon was of course also dynastic, but Henry did know her beforehand. When a king married a woman without a royal status, that always created envy and discord, also because her relatives were elevated. The marriage of Elizabeth Woodville first alienated Edward IV's cousin, the famous Kingmaker, earl of Warwick and for a time the king had to flee from the country. After Edward IV's death a fateful conflict arose between the Queen (whose brother had raised the heir) and Edward's brother Richard. Also Henry VIII elevated the relatives of Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour and Catherine Parr, but Anne's fall meant also the fall of his brother. As the uncles of Edward VI, Edward and Thomas Seymour seemed at first fare well, but both were executed. On the other hand, a foreign Queen can also bring problems, if she too obviously favors her former country's interests or some faction in England, especially if her husband is so weak that she must act for him which was considered improper for a woman (Henry VI's Queen Margaret of Anjou). Although Catherine of Aragon in the beginning of her marriage got Henry to follow his father's advice against England's interests, she was all the time well loved by the English people. We can't of course know what kind of lover Henry was, but an educated guess is that if a man can easily have women, he don't have a motivation to learn to make love, and of course even women who had known better lovers couldn't be honest about a king's performance. And before all, the Church had strict orders about intercourse: how and when to do it.
  14. Margaret Pole didn't hate Catherine of Aragon, not in Gregory's novel, not in this show and, before all, not in history. No doubt Margaret was intelligent enough to understand that Catherine was innocent and her brother's death was caused by Catherine's parents and Henry VII. Later, Margaret became the governess of Princess Mary. I wrote about Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII's mother who in this show tries to prevent Catherine to marry Harry, because she believes that they would get no son, although according "the curse" of Elizabeth of York and her mother Queen Elizabeth Woodville did in Gregory's novels and the previous shows was directed on the murderer of Edward V and his younger brother Richard duke of York, who according to Gregory were Margaret Beaufort herself and (if the pretender Perkin Warbeck was Richard) Henry VII. Come to think about, maybe Margaret Beaufort hates Catherine because she tries to conceal from herself that she has destroyed her son's dynasty.
  15. Although Henry could have any women he wanted, there is no surety that he wanted to have them. On the contrary he only had few mistresses and mostly when his wives were pregnant and couldn't lay with him. If he really was chaste for years when he waited for Anne Boleyn, sex wasn't important to him. Before all, Henry's job was only get his wives pregnant and his record is quite normal: in 1509-1518 Catherine of Aragon became pregnant at least six times and in 1532-1536 Anne Boleyn at least three times. And Jane Seymour had one child during a marriage that lasted not even one and half year. It's of course possible that Henry had some sickness for which Catherine and Anne Boleyn had so many miscarriages and still births, but it's also more likely that it was simply due to the practices of childbirth that weren't healthy from today's perspective. In addition, Anne was already over 30 when she at last married Henry. However, after 1540 when he was 49 years, Henry did no more get his three later wives pregnant. He didn't lay with Anne of Cleaves, but with Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr he was probably too fat and sick (his leg wound). Catherine Parr had had no children with her two previous husbands who were older than her but she became pregnant soon after she married Thomas Seymour. It's likely that Henry was impotent during his marriage with Anne of Cleves. And George Boleyn during his trial read aloud the line he was claimed to have said which meat that that Henry had either been temporarily impotent with his sister or that he couldn't satisfy her as it was supposed that a woman must enjoy to become pregnant.
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