Likely Enough to Bear Children
What was the experience of pregnancy like for Early Modern noblewomen? How did expectations of fertility govern their lives and marriages? What medical "tips and tricks" did women follow to get and stay pregnant? And how did the stress of being Henry VIII's queen affect his wives' pregnancies?
In this episode, Kate and Cally discuss the first step to motherhood for our six queens: conception and pregnancy.
Listeners should be aware that this episode contains MATURE CONTENT and discussions of topics that some viewers may find uncomfortable. In particular, a discussion of miscarriage that takes place between 26:25 and 30:22.
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11. I Seek to Hold the Wind28:53Happy Valentine's Day! Celebrate with a deep-dive into Tudor love poetry, specifically the sonnet "Whoso List to Hunt" written by Sir Thomas Wyatt. Read it and follow along here. Legend says that Wyatt was in love with Anne Boleyn and wrote this poem about his unrequited, unsuccessful love for her. Is there any truth in the legend? Did Anne's flirtations inspire groundbreaking poetry? And what does the poem tell us about love and romance at the Tudor court?
11. Six Queens Live! Series 4 Recap01:30:01Kate and Cally take to Instagram Live to recap the Motherhood series, share some personal highlights, discuss some topics that weren't addressed in the main episodes, answer audience questions, and preview what's to come in 2024.Partially-edited recording of a live broadcast streamed 26 January 2024. Viewers should be advised that the live show contains references to topics that may be disturbing to some listeners, including miscarriage/pregnancy loss and childbirth.
10. Honourable Mentions: Bessie Blount53:00"Honourable Mentions" is a series that honours the lives of Tudor women who knew, aided, and impacted the lives of our six queens. To end Series 4, "Motherhood," Kate and Cally are discussing the most infamous mother at the Tudor court: Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount, the mother of Henry VIII's only acknowledged illegitimate child.Who was Bessie? How did her relationship with the King begin? How was her fate impacted by the chaotic, confusing politics of the Great Matter? And how did Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn interact with their husband's mistress and the child she bore?
10. Six Queens on Screen: The Private Life of Henry VIII51:04To celebrate the holiday season, Kate and Cally get cozy with a black-and-white classic: The Private Life of Henry VIII, made in 1933. It's the first "talkie" film featuring the Tudor period and our queens, telling the story of Henry VIII's quest to find "the perfect wife."How did the on-screen portrayals of our queens meet expectations? What was surprising? Do all the familiar dramatic tropes apply to such an old film? And what were the small details that really brought the Tudor court to life?
9. No Queen but My Mother44:54Three of our queens were the mothers of English monarchs, in addition to being married to one. How did they view their children as the legacies of their reigns and ambitions? And how did the children honor their mothers' memories once on the throne?In the final episode of "Motherhood," Kate and Cally explore the ways in which Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I remembered their mothers and, in some cases, vindicated their complicated legacies.
8. Like Another Mother46:29Five of our queens were stepmothers to Henry VIII's children. How did they approach this complicated family dynamic? Did the politics and etiquette of court affect the relationships between stepmother and stepchildren? Kate and Cally discuss the complicated relationships between our queens and their royal stepchildren: Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward.
7. Much Comfort and Encouragement40:58How did queens embrace the responsibility of educating their children, especially their daughters? How did they assert their own political power through raising and shaping their children?Kate and Cally are devoting two episodes to discussing education, one of the most important components of motherhood for our six queens. On this episode, they celebrate the ways in which Katherine Parr championed the education of her stepchildren, especially Elizabeth.
6. Education of a Christian Woman37:41How did queens embrace the responsibility of educating their children, especially their daughters? How did they assert their own political power through raising and shaping their children?Kate and Cally are devoting two episodes to discussing education, one of the most important components of motherhood for our six queens. On this episode, they'll examine the progressive (for its time) education of Princess Mary, commissioned and championed by her mother, Katharine of Aragon.
5. Them That Bring Us Up38:48Who was in charge of raising a royal baby? How did nurses and governesses assume a maternal role in the lives of their charges?Kate and Cally investigate the royal nursery to reveal the interesting lives of wet nurses and governesses, especially how they interacted with (and advocated for) Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and their children.