On Henry VIII and the Duchess

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Like most posts on this blog, this one really isnt about its advertised subject matter, it’s really about me. Today is the birthday of Henry VIII (1491-1547).

On our first date, the Duchess and I discovered that not only did we both have an interest in this colorful monarch, but we had both researched and started to write unfinished plays about him. Other arcane enthusiasms we learned we both shared on this first date included Antarctic explorers (Shackleton, Scott, Amundsen, et al), the murder of silent film director William Desmond Taylor, an interest in Broadway revues of the teens, 20s and 30s, silent film, representational visual art, Victorian novels, and a whole host of other subjects. We both have similar checkered educational and professional backgrounds (eclectic smorgasbords that make us unfit to be anything other than who we are, really); we both proudly, defiantly lack baccalaureates; both detest sports; and both grew up in seaside towns in the shadows of the mansions of New York millionaires.

Our first date lasted eight hours. Not for the usual reason, I hasten to protest! It lasted eight hours because it was actually three or four dates all strung together in a row in a single evening: drinks at a bar, a double feature of two old black and white movies (The Third Man and Notorious) and then a midnight hamburger at a diner, where we found all that stuff out about each other . Eight hours, door to door. If you wonder why the two of us seem to have been joined at the hip for the past three years, consider the odds of either of us finding someone else who can stand our morbid, unhealthy hobbies. I also think she’s cool and beautiful. And she keeps me devoted by committing at least one act of heresy a day, sometimes several.

TMI? Go sit on a bottle and spin, baby!

Perhaps Henry VIII isn’t the best mascot for a relationship. On the other hand, he makes a very entertaining cautionary tale. A few weeks back the Duchess and I re-watched Charles Laughton’s hilarious performance as Henry, which made me realize that my own “ridiculous” version of his life would probably be redundant. I highly recommend this movie:

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