Myths are best served exploded, otherwise they can overinflate and thus hide the substance of any dish. And if that dish be the national consciousness or identity of a nation, then such over-egging must be avoided, lest it become the overelaborated norm.

In recent times the Tudors have become entertainment currency, and not only in British media. From television series to historical novels to feature films, we have seen a plethora of offerings, mainly stories of Henry VIII and Elizabeth, it has to be said. These often degenerate into costume dramas or whodunits of political intrigue, where accuracy is smoothed out of the history to create the kind of simplistic clich√© of plot that mass markets are deemed to demand. “Based on a true story”, that overworked and internally contradictory byline, is now so overworked that it would be better omitted. “Fabricated around historical names” would be better. And though there is nothing wrong with fiction, since it often allows interpretations…

Source by Philip Spires

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