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May 13, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Sponsored by "Breaking the Spine". This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

(Found this Information on Amazon:)
Hardcover: 232 pages
Publisher: Boydell Press (September 17, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1843834804
ISBN-13: 978-1843834809
HOLY MOLY $95.00

Product Description: Arthur Tudor was the first son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, elder brother of Henry VIII. He was trained to succeed his father, sent to govern Wales and the Marches, and married to Catherine of Aragon. He died at the age of fifteen in 1502 and was buried in a chantry chapel in Worcester Cathedral. This volume, with contributions from historians, art historians, architectural historians, and archaeologists, pulls together current academic debate on Arthur's life and death and the symbols of his commemoration: individual chapters cover his life and marriage, his cultural world, his funeral and his tomb. The introduction outlines the events of Arthur's life, death and commemoration.

Pulled From Boydell & Brewer:

Prince Arthur [1486-1502], son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, was the great hope of early Tudor England. Today he is largely forgotten, remembered only as Henry VIII's shadowy elder brother, the first husband of Katherine of Aragon. But in his lifetime Arthur counted for much more than that. Groomed for kingship, sent to govern Wales and the Marches, married to secure the Spanish alliance, celebrated in portraits, poems and pageants, Arthur stood at the centre of his father's plans. His death brought a grand funeral and a lasting monument, the chantry chapel covered in Tudor badges that still stands in Worcester Cathedral. These richly illustrated essays, by historians, art historians and archaeologists, investigate Arthur's life and posthumous commemoration from every angle. They set him in the context of the fledgling Tudor regime and of the religion, art and architecture of late medieval death and memory. They close with an exploration of the re-enactment of Arthur's funeral at Worcester in 2002, an event that sought to rescue the prince from the oblivion that has been his lot for five hundred years.

I doubt there is a cover image for the book yet, couldn't see one anywhere. It is my impression that Arthur Tudor really was a forgotten heir to the English throne. It is rare to see him as a protagonist in a Tudor History book, fiction or otherwise. There was P. Gregory's fiction "The Constant Princess" in which we see Arthur as he weds Catherine of Aragon, but I doubt the characterization of her Arthur was very accurate at all. One tends to think of him as a weak child but nothing else really comes to mind about his reality, and I would love to have an in depth look at his short life.

To think... If Arthur had lived to succeed his father, and did have children with Catherine of Aragon, surpassing the need for his brother Henry to take the throne, where would England be without the infamous Henry VIII, and his six wives? He would not have married Catherine, obviously, and he probably would have been forced into an profitable alliance with another country; nothing like the love-match of Anne Boleyn. If only Arthur had lived.. perhaps Catherine of Aragon would not have had such a sorrowful life. Would Catherine be able to deliver a healthy heir? Yet still if it was a female heir we certainly would not have had the Gloriana Elizabeth I, the daughter of Anne Boleyn! Oh the possibilities of conjecture!
See A YouTube Video on the subject but NOT this book, narrated by historian David Starkey: