it a contemporary rather than historical aesthetic. It also constitutes, as Ramona Wray contends, ‘an extraordinarily detailed take on the reign’ 2 of Henry VIII and is ‘with a total of thirty-eight episodes and a combined running time of almost thirty-five hours’, as Sue Parrill and William B. Robinson observe, ‘by far the longest filmic event ever to deal with the Tudor dynasty’. 3 SCREENING HENRY

in The British monarchy on screen
Editor: Mandy Merck

Moving images of the British monarchy, in fact and fiction, are almost as old as the moving image itself, dating back to an 1895 dramatic vignette, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Led by Queen Victoria, British monarchs themselves appeared in the new 'animated photography' from 1896. Half a century later, the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II was a milestone in the adoption of television, watched by 20 million Britons and 100 million North Americans. At the century's end, Princess Diana's funeral was viewed by 2.5 billion worldwide. Seventeen essays by international commentators examine the portrayal of royalty in the 'actuality' picture, the early extended feature, amateur cinema, the movie melodrama, the Commonwealth documentary, New Queer Cinema, TV current affairs, the big screen ceremonial and the post-historical boxed set. These contributors include Ian Christie, Elisabeth Bronfen, Andrew Higson, Steven Fielding, Karen Lury, Glyn Davis, Ann Gray, Jane Landman, Victoria Duckett, Jude Cowan Montague, James Downs, Barbara Straumann, Deirdre Gilfedder, Jo Stephenson, Ruth Adams, Erin Bell, Basil Glynn and Nicola Rehling.

.1.147–58) In this speech Lily B. Campbell detects ‘the voice of Elizabeth’ speaking through John; 22 her inference misses the mark. It is not Elizabeth speaking but her father, Henry VIII. A careful reading of Shakespeare’s words reveals a precise epitome of Henry’s attacks on the power of the papacy in England. To begin, ‘interrogatories’ are legal

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
Contemporary ‘British’ cinema and the nation’s monarchs

), Richard I Robin Hood (Ridley Scott, 2010), Richard I, John Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989), Henry V Richard III (Richard Loncraine, 1995), Richard III. The films that fall into the second category depict the early modern monarchs, the more or less absolutist kings and queens of the Tudor and Stuart periods, from Henry VIII to Charles II, with Elizabeth I very much at the centre of attention. Instead of warriors, these kings and

in The British monarchy on screen

set Olivia mourning for the death of her brother only, instead she has both a father and brother lost, as had Elizabeth in Henry VIII (d. 1547) and Edward VI (d. 1553). How Feste got his name ‘Feste’ is a Shakespearean nonce-word in which commentators have long recognized a hint of ‘festive’, ‘feast’, or ‘festival’, an

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind
A lost epic of the reign of Victoria

form’. He reused this three-act approach to periodisation in later projects. 2 Seeking an experienced filmmaker he approached Will Barker, whose studios at Ealing had already produced many prestige films, most notably a cinematic version of Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s extravagant stage version of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII . Having experienced the financial benefits of a royal subject, Barker embraced the

in The British monarchy on screen

’. The ordinances for the eisteddfodau were included in the grandly called ‘Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan’ (Ystatud Gruffudd ap Cynan), after the twelfthcentury king of Gwynedd. Numerous manuscript versions of the bardic statute are extant, and they testify to the interest of patrons and performers in the rights and privileges of the poets and minstrels and their anxiety to maintain them.66 The ‘roll’ of the eisteddfod begins with the proclamation of a session to be held at Caerwys, a Flintshire borough, by commission of Henry VIII ‘to bring order and control to the

in The spoken word
Open Access (free)

in our national literature, and to place on record the successive steps by which Art in Scotland has attained its present high pre-eminence’ (1889: vi). 5 A further symptom of this is the way in which political history is referred to in this ‘history’ of British art: again it is that of England, not of Britain. To take an example from the first programme, Henry VIII of England is described as the reformation monarch who dissolved the monasteries. From an English perspective this is true. But for a Scot, Henry VIII was an invader, like Edward I before him and Oliver

in Across the margins
Open Access (free)

remained a keen observer of affairs, both on the Continent and in England. In 1535, Cochlaeus published a pamphlet attacking the divorce of King Henry VIII of England – an impolitic act that cost him his post as chaplain to Duke George of Saxony. But in the Commentary Cochlaeus records with pleasure Henry’s reactionary Six Articles (1536–9) which ended any hope of communion between his English church and the Lutherans. Toward the end of his life Cochlaeus served as canon at Breslau. He died there in 1552. Cochlaeus’s Commentary provides a fascinating perspective on Luther

in Luther’s lives

producers announced their intention to make a film about the life of Victoria: Alexander Korda, Michael Balcon and Herbert Wilcox. Korda was still basking in the success of his direction of a previous royal biopic, The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), which had provided Charles Laughton with his first Oscar and saved Korda’s London Film Company from financial ruin. Although the

in The British monarchy on screen