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Current and Popular Contexts

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 While mainstream fascination with Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the Tudor court has remained fairly consistent throughout the past several decades, recent years have seen a decided upsurge in interest in the period. Within popular culture, Showtime’s critically acclaimed series The Tudors and Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall signal a resurgent fascination with the historical personalities of early modern aristocracy.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 1 The Tudors incorporates several contributors to the Devonshire Manuscript: Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Sir Edmund Knyvet (in the form of Sir Anthony Knivert, a fictional composite) figure as fictional as characters in The Tudors. Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk (brother to Lord Thomas Howard of the Douglas-Howard lyrics), Margaret Tudor (mother to Lady Margaret Douglas), and Anne Boleyn feature prominently in various seasons of the show, dramatizing the centrality of the Devonshire Manuscript coterie to contemporary court politics.[1]

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Although The Tudors is perhaps the best known manifestation of interest in the Henrican period in current popular culture, Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall fictionalizes many of the same characters and circumstances. Burrows, in his review of the novel, notes that “Mantel’s chief method is to pick out tableaux vivants from the historical record—which she has worked over with great care—and then to suggest that they have an inward aspect which is completely unlike the version presented in history books” (2009, n. pag). In his view, the “chief running joke” of the novel is that “people and things which come to be of immense historical significance are within the novel unobserved and peripheral” (ibid., n. pag.). Burrows’ chief example is that “Mary Boleyn loses her book of love poems, and then remembers that her cousin Mary Shelton has it. This book of poems is presumably what is now known as the Devonshire Manuscript, the richest surviving record of early Tudor poetry and of the literary activities of early 16th-century women“ (ibid., n. pag). Transformed into a fictional text, the Devonshire Manuscript is deployed yet again in a game of show and tell where only those “in the know” can interpret and shape its significance.

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Source: http://dms.itercommunity.org/general-overview-4-current-and-popular-contexts