What makes a person develop biased views?
Sometimes, it part of who we are. instinct, faith, personal morals and beliefs. Sometimes it’s because we know no better. sometimes it’s the influence of those around us and views that the history-obsessed may find online…
Team Katherine/Anne/Jane is the kind of thing one can often find lingering online… For anyone who hasn’t seen these on various history discussion groups it’s basically when one chooses their favourite of Henry’s first three wives, Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, and nag others about why they are better than any other wife. It’s a bit like team Edward and Jacob only this is history rather than excited teenage girls… Occasionally someone may also fight for Anne of Cleves, Katheryn Howard or Katherine Parr but it’s mainly just Katherine, Anne and Jane.
What I’m not saying is that people shouldn’t have favourites because I think it’s only natural to even when discussing such marvelous women. Yes, I have my favourite wives too and I see no problem with it. It’s just when I see people referring to themselves in profiles on various history forums as ‘Team Boleyn’ I become slightly concerned and it leaves me thinking ‘is this really necessary..?’
All wives had their good points. If I had to narrow it don’t to a sentence per wife it would probably go something like this:
Katherine of Aragon- Remained strong until the bitter end and never stopped fighting.
Anne Boleyn- Had the intelligence and wit to know just how to make herself a great legend and role model.
Jane Seymour- Knew exactly when Henry’s wrath was to get the better of him.
Anne of Cleves- Learnt so well from other people’s mistakes.
Katheryn Howard- Extremely lovable and knew herself rather well in my opinion.
Katherine Parr- Acted as Queen, wife, mother, author, lover and active courtier.
Now presume you have a favourite and want to make the rest seem bad to make people come to your way of thinking (I really don’t see why people do this, but they do), you can easily twist the above points into negatives:
Katherine of Aragon- Stubborn and causing many people more pain than it was worth.
Anne Boleyn- Schemer who knew exactly what she was doing when she refused to sleep with Henry.
Jane Seymour- Just plain dull.
Anne of Cleves- Just as dull as JS…
Katheryn Howard- I love with the wrong people and terribly foolish not to consider the consequences of her actions or the fate of her cousin.
Katherine Parr- The survivor that very almost wasn’t and trusted all the wrong people.
See how easy it is to completely malign facts? All of this is mere opinion diverted from facts we just don’t know for certain!
But back to Team Katherine/Anne/Jane. What could the reasons be for people picking a favourite? I think most admire Anne Boleyn and many will go to Anne as soon as they hear of these ‘teams’; then they feel bad for Katherine and some will think that actually they prefer Katherine just a tad more than feeling sorry for Jane Seymour and deciding that seeing as she doesn’t have that many admirers you may as well be one. And yes, you do know exactly what I’m referring to…
Personally, if someone asked me to choose one of these three women I would automatically think Katherine of Aragon. And of course I’m not saying there’s anything bad about that although I do feel rather guilty about it…
But my point is, is it really necessary to choose just one wife? Should we bypass the others and ignore their achievements just because we’re not on their ‘Team’? Are we right to make negative comments about others to make your chosen wife seem to rise above the rest? Do we sometimes twist the truth? Does committing ourselves to one wife narrow our minds? Does it make us believe what we wouldn’t normally? Does it make us ignorant of the rest of the wives?
I suppose what I’m saying is be careful when judging these women. They all had good and bad points- everyone does. Don’t commit yourselves to one and become obsessed with that one wife and remain oblivious to the good of the rest. If you choose one wife, you ignore five. I think most people who join these teams develop a sense of bias- it’s pretty difficult to prevent. But if you want to know the whole truth of these women- please don’t restrict yourself.
That’s my rant over. Just think about it- is it really necessary to commit ourselves to one of the six wives thus?