Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed To Walk Invisible, a docudrama about the Brontë sisters. Heather reviewed Mrs. Sommersby’s Second Chance, third in The Sommersby Brides series. Tina reviewed the quirky Irish movie Lost & Found. Jean reviewed a classic by Anthony Trollope, The Claverings, and the first in a contemporary mystery-fantasy series, Midnight Riot.
I’m a big fan of Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and presenter of historical television documentaries. I wish we could see more of her work on American TV. Once in a while, PBS manages to procure one of her series — like Secrets of The Six Wives about the wives of King Henry the Eighth.
Our traditional view of the wives comes from a long line of male historians who were mainly interested in how the women reflected in the eyes of the men. What if you come at their stories with the notion that these women had minds of their own and that their thoughts reflected their own life experiences? That’s what we get from Lucy Worsley and it’s a much more interesting story.
I enjoyed the story-telling in this documentary series. Lucy Worsley narrates — sometimes in modern clothes, sometimes in period costume, and sometimes off screen. Watch for the paintings of the queens that accompany her travels.
Some crucial scenes are acted out in appropriate costume and setting. I would use the word “skit” to describe those scenes since they are short and sporadic, except that they are much better than that word conjures — I was fully engaged with the characters in those moments.
Have you seen Secrets of The Six Wives? What did you think?
I watched Secrets of The Six Wives using my PBS Passport (a benefit of membership in my local station). It’s also available on DVD in many libraries.