The Six Wives of Henry VIII Series (1970) Review – Jane Seymour Episode

The episode starts off with Jane looking sick and being carried to meet her husband Henry and see her son’s christening. Already it is obvious that most of this story is going to be shown in a flashback and quickly this is proved to be true as the scene changes to a woman in a field. The woman is told by her son Edward that the King is coming, this is obviously Edward Seymour and his mother. Edward then greets his sister, Jane, and they are all looking forward to the King arriving.

Soon the King is playing cards with the Seymour family, Jane’s mother starts talking about needing to arrange Jane’s marriage. They comment on her paleness and that it is her nature colour and can’t change, which was true. Jane’s paleness was said to be the complete opposite of Anne. Then Jane is invited to sit next to the King and taught how to play cards.

In the next scene, we can see Henry losing his love for Anne. He says how people blame him for the never ending rain and that it is because of the deaths of More and Fisher. He even calls Elizabeth a bastard. I am not sure if this is true or not, whether the people believed that about the rain but I have never heard it.

Later on, Henry and his men are out hunting when he sees Jane. He boasts about how he killed boars. For once, this series comments on how Jane had been at court before she was spotted by Henry. Most shows just make her appear as a lady in waiting to Anne, but she was also a lady in waiting to Catherine and they make her discuss this with the King.

When Jane returns to court, she is made to swear the oath of allegiance. She swears that she is loyal to the King but can’t say that the Princess Mary is illegitimate. Henry, hearing this, steps in and convinces her to swear to all of the oath. He takes her in his arms but she pushes away, not wanting him to see her alone. The King then gives her the necklace with his portrait on, this has been shown in The Tudors as well and there is evidence that he gave her this and that Anne ripped it off of her. Anne doing this is shown next.

It then goes back to when Jane is ill, still watching her son being christened. She is obviously thinking back on all of this and it reminds me of the movie with Henry VIII dying and his flashbacks.

They show the moment where Jane is given a purse and a letter from Henry and she kisses the letter before giving it back. This happened in real life and may or may not have been Jane playing with the King, like Anne did. Henry comments on how he likes her modesty and that he won’t see Jane unless she is with her family.

I’m glad that they mentioned Henry Percy, even though they didn’t show him in this series. Jane Seymour is told that there are doubts about the legality of the King’s marriage, saying that Anne may have been previously betrothed to the Earl of Northumberland. The Earl of Northumberland was Henry Percy, a man Anne Boleyn loved before Henry VIII. They couldn’t be together because Wolsey split them up and Henry Percy was made to marry another woman.

Quickly, we see Anne Boleyn get beheaded and Jane and Henry marry. It zooms in on her ring before going back to the christening. Jane looks at a girl that I guess is Mary, especially as soon after we are in a flashback again and Henry is reading a letter from Mary. Jane tries to get Henry to forgive Mary as she is his daughter and they need to consider the public. He tells Jane that she shouldn’t care for Mary and instead care for the children that they are going to have.

Eventually, Henry VIII gives in and says that if Mary acknowledges his status now then she can come back to court. She soon arrives and he says the infamous line “some of you wanted me to put this jewel to death” and Mary faints, just as she did in real life. He then stays close to her and they are a ‘happy family’.

The Pilgrimage of Grace is soon mentioned and Jane begs Henry to forgive them. Henry then threatens her and says that she ‘may meet the same end as Anne Boleyn’. Even though they did not use the exact words, a moment like this also happened in real life too.

Soon we can see that Jane is obviously pregnant, she tells Archbishop Cranmer of her craving for quails eggs. She seems quite happy with the marriage, even though a little while ago she found out that her father had died. This happiness soon disappeared as she finds out that the men of the Pilgrimage of Grace had been executed even though Henry had pardoned them.

Jane starts to worry that Anne Boleyn was not guilty when she was beheaded. She thinks that she should be punished instead of rewarded. We do not know if Jane regretted what happened to Anne in real life.

Back in ‘the present’, Henry takes Jane up to her room and is overjoyed by the birth of his son. He doesn’t seem to notice how sick she is. In the next scene, she is dead and Mary is by her body. Cromwell is already saying that Henry needs to accept it and take a new wife. Henry is overly protecting his son, Edward, and doesn’t care about anything else. He doesn’t want a new wife and is actually upset over Jane’s death. He says ‘he will never marry again’. Obviously, we know that this won’t happen. However, he does start considering it as he makes his way throughout the castle. The last scene shows Henry consoling Mary and then crying next to Jane’s body.

This has to be my favourite episode so far, there are not huge inaccuracies that I could see and it didn’t start to get boring like the end of the Catherine of Aragon episode did. Halfway in, my least favourite so far is the Anne Boleyn episode as it has got many inaccuracies and this my favourite.

Rating: 5/5

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My edit of the Jane Seymour episode.

 

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