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The Tudor myth refers to a series of actions, stories and intrigues surrounding the English throne. Kings who’ve fallen, kings who’ve risen and a lot of plotting. It is called a myth by historians who have solid proof that all of the stories were nothing more than rumors planted by the Tudors in order to make their dynasty seem the best dynasty to ever rule, and their reign the most prolific and a golden age for the kingdom. How did all of the stories come to life?
Everything started with Henry IV’s usurpation of the throne from Richard II which set in motion a number of events that led to a war and more plotting.
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The Tudor Myth Unraveled
After Henry IV’s usurpation, who took the throne from an anointed king ruling by the divine right, almost one century of disorder followed for England. The War of the Roses, as it is known in history, was a war between two rivaling houses: the house of Lancaster and the house of York, who battled for the throne and for power.
The name of this event in history comes from the fact that both the house of Lancaster and the house of York had heraldic symbols in the form of red and white roses, respectively. They fought sporadically between 1455 and 1485. The war ended when the Lancastrian Henry VII removed Richard III from the throne, and united the two roses. Ever since Henry VII ‘s ascension to the throne of England the Tudor myth became more and more prominent.
Richard III was falsely portrayed as an evil ruler with a hunchback, a symbol for a creature of eviol at that time. The Tudors and their supporters started a campaign to smear the name of Richard and to showcase the War of the Roses as England’s darkest time. The Tudor dynasty would bring peace and serenity, as Henry VII was God’s messager on Earth. Any enemy of the Tudors was to be seen as a threat for the stability of the country. However, Henry VIII actions – such as the break with Rome – were not trademarks of a stable country. The Tudor reign lasted until 1603, when Queen Elizabeth I died.
What else do you know about the Tudor myth?
References: internetshakespeare.uvic.ca, shmoop.com