The conquests of Henry VIII: masculinity, sex and the national past in the Tudors

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The Tudors (2007-2010) is a series that straddles the past and the present both in reconstructing events from a distant period in a modern accessible manner and in presenting itself generically as an old-fashioned ‘lavish epic’ with an ‘all-star cast’ that appeals to a modern audience. It is also a series that spans continents, owing its existence to British, Irish, Canadian and American production companies. It features an international cast and was filmed in Ireland with an Irish actor as the English king. As such, it is a prime example of a new type of post-national and post-historical heritage product that has recently become an established global alternative to BBC costume drama. Unlike traditional British costume and historical dramas, heritage and post-heritage cinema, The Tudors does not present to audiences the greatness of a specific national past through the location shooting of splendid manor houses, cathedrals and castles. Instead, the world its characters occupy is often computer generated suggesting less the past (the CGI period depicted) than now (the CGI technology used to depict it). In addition, rather than dealing in national concerns, it is a series that is hybridised in form and content to the extent that it is extremely difficult to discuss in relation to specific national characteristics and so, this chapter argues, it should instead be considered in relation to broad international consensus notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘nationhood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTelevision, sex and society
Subtitle of host publicationanalyzing contemporary representations
EditorsBasil Glynn, Beth Johnson, James Aston
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9780826434982
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


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