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The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Season 1 Episode 3

Jane Seymour

0
Aired Unknown Jan 15, 1970 on BBC Two
7.6
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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The third episode of the series is told in flashback, as Queen Jane Seymour lies on her deathbed, after giving birth to Henry's sole male heir, Prince Edward. Anxious to rid himself of the shrewish Anne Boleyn, and desperate for a son, Henry is charmed by the naive and pious Jane, the daughter of a wealthy country aristocrat. Political and religious turmoil threaten their happy marriage, as Catholic and Protestant factions clash but Jane is able to provide King Henry with his long-awaited male heir. Tragically, it is at the cost of her own life as she dies six days after her son's birth.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A love story.

    7.9
    The story of Henry VIII is mostly about him getting rid of wives. It makes an episode about Jane Seymour a bit of a problem, as she died om him. Without a clear conflict, the writer had to return to the previous marriage for tension and focus more on the love story. You have to give it to these producers for having the guts to make six episodes that don't necessary follow a straight line. For the first forty minutes of this one we go back to the problematic Anne Boleyn marriage. (Whereas the same actress portrayed her in the first two episodes, Anne Boleyn is only shown here in short sequences, always from the back. Obviously, Dorothy Tutin was no longer available/necessary. The execution also looks different than in the preceding episode.) Some of the elements missing from the Anne Boleyn episode, such as the intrigue at the court, appear here.



    Because it's a love story, Keith Mitchell has more to do here. His interpretation of Henry becomes - no pun intended - rounded; we see more about his insecurities. Jane Seymour remains a very passive character, which she probably was. I'm not sure whether her protests against the reformation are realistic. I got the impression those discussions were put in to get some dramatic tension in the second half of the episode.moreless
  • Jane Seymour - Henry VIII's Great Love (after he forgot his love for Catherine)

    10
    Jane Seymour lived for such a short time, it is difficult to create a 90 minute drama about her. This show does a beautiful job and makes her a very poignant character indeed. It begins with Jane, consumed with puerperal fever, lying a divan while watching her son being christened in church. She is slowly dying but the King is pleased at the son she has born. Nevertheless, King Henry cared for her a great deal. Jane was close to the first queen and cared very much for her daughter Mary. She was sometimes terrified of the King, for good reason, but was very skillful at heading off trouble and her temperament was so mild she was generally successful. The fact she bore a son was very good luck for her if she had lived. Through this dramatization, we can see why Henry liked her. He really never recovered from her death and age became more and more a liability on the marriage market.moreless
Anne Stallybrass

Anne Stallybrass

Jane Seymour

Guest Star

Howard Lang

Howard Lang

Sir John Seymour

Guest Star

Daniel Moynihan

Daniel Moynihan

Edward Seymour

Guest Star

Wolfe Morris

Wolfe Morris

Thomas Cromwell

Recurring Role

Bernard Hepton

Bernard Hepton

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer

Recurring Role

Sheila Burrell

Sheila Burrell

Lady Rochford

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Thomas Seymour, brother of Jane Seymour, would later marry Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of Henry VIII, after the monarch's death.

    • Actress Jane Seymour, whose real name is Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg, took her stage name from the real life English queen who was the subject of this episode.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Henry: All my sons put away by stealth in darkness like things accursed of God. (to Sir John) What is your flesh that can get living sons? Am I not a man? Am I not a man like you?

    • Bishop Gardiner: Cromwell's blotted his copybook at last, eh?
      Norfolk: It's hardly surprising. If you eat cherries with your superiors, you must expect to get the stones in your eyes.

    • Jane: God giveth grace to the humble.
      Henry: And you're not without grace, mistress. Why do you always look away?
      Jane: I was told Your Grace is averse to being stared at.

    • Henry (to Jane): How can I speak to you in a cold frost? When you were taking the oath I wanted to wrap you in my arms.

    • Cranmer: Your Grace must take better care of his health. Our prayers can only do so much.
      Henry: There's nothing the matter with me, Archbishop, that a little healthy exercise cannot cure. I'm out of condition, that's all.

    • Norfolk (to Henry about Princess Mary): Give her a good hiding, sir. That's what I'd do. Girls need a good hiding.

    • Cromwell: One of the highest arts of a politician 'tis to devise means where sovereigns may gratify their appetites without appearing to outrage morality.

    • Henry (to Cromwell): I'm an Englishman. I cannot say one thing when I mean another.

    • Cromwell: If you wish to see your sister crowned Queen of England, Master Seymour, leave it to me. I'm an old hand at it.

    • Henry (about Princess Mary): She's always been obstinate and disobedient. It's her Spanish blood.

    • Henry (to Jane): God and my conscience are on perfectly good terms, Madame, and if you wish not to follow Mistress Boleyn's end you'll not meddle in my affairs.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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