Reliving the Past Through the Writings of the Queen of Historical Fiction
I have read 30 books by Jean Plaidy and the only character in which I don’t agree with the portrayal is Henry VIII. I’ve read of him in St. Thomas’s Eve, Uneasy Lies the Head, the Katharine of Aragon trilogy, The Lady in the Tower, The Rose without a Thorn, The Sixth Wife, In the Shadow of the Crown and Queen of This Realm. Admittedly, the ones where he was very young or near the end of his life were more in line with my opinion of his personality, but the ones where he was married to the first two wives were very harsh toward him. I think my vision of Henry has forever been swayed by Margaret George’s The Autobiography of Henry VIII. All of his thoughts and decisions seem to be very justifiable. Plaidy makes him out to be a spoiled tyrant, which many people believe him to have been. Personally I think she had little liking for him and it shows in her writing. This is the only instance where I think she wasn’t 100% fair to her character.
You thrhre me off on this one- I thought yoyu woukd have picked a lady...Well, I have to agree that the ones I've read of Henry by Plaidy are quite negative portrayals. I have the Autobiography and promised myself that I'd read it before the end of 2009- let's see...
I think I better reread my comments before posting..the typos are horrible!Let me try this again:You threw me off on this one- I thought you would have picked a lady...;)
I wrote a whole thing but operation aborted came up. My response SHORTENED Considerably:I think Plaidy wrote well with the history that she researched. I am not qualified to really dispute anything, I have only read a few of her books anyway, and I think she is a favorite among many for a reason.
Yes Marie, you're so right about Plaidy knowing her stuff- but sometimes, if we've read history differently or from a different point of view, some characters may seem like they've been portrayed differently by some authors. I raised this question because I was so interested by a comment made recently by Tudor Daughter regarding Thomas More. Remember how wonderfully he was depicted by Plaidy? Tudor Daughter pointed out that this wasn't all there was to him- another side of him wasn't shown at all. So this would be an example of how a character may have been mis-portrayed...I thought this was very interesting.I have to admit though, that of all the historical fiction novels I've read- if compared to historical documentation, Plaidy's are the closest to history that I know of.(I love this conversation!)
More is negatively portrayed in Portrait of an Unknown Woman, so I know what you're talking about.I have read a lot of Plaidy and a lot of other authors on the same characters and I think Plaidy nearly ALWAYS does a better job of portraying her characters. She had a real talent for understanding people and their motives.