Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

The Wives Of Henry VIII

Sunday, 5 April 2009

That’s the subject of my Observer column this week,

The Wives Of Henry VIII.

- and I’m thinking maybe I should put a link to it on the blog every week*, rather than just having all the columns on the ‘writing’ page, to fatten out the entries and make the blog all nice and bloated like Henry himself. Is that a terrible idea?

  (*To each new Obs column, I mean. Linking to this specific Henry VIII column every week might be overkill.)

  Another plus, of course, is that it means readers will then have a choice of whether they want to comment on it here, or (if they want to say that I’m an evil half-witted crone who can’t write and only got the job because of my father) can post on the Guardian website where it is mandatory to say something that approx. once every five comments…


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Andy at 3:21 pm on April 5th, 2009

I thought I’d write to thank you for the Heresy ticket and tell you what an enjoyable time I had on Thursday. David Mitchell was on good form as ever and of course the host was especially funny, despite an audience full of ‘wriggle bottoms’. It was also interesting to get an insight into how such programmes are made. I must also compliment the efficiency of Phoebe who sent me all the relevant information on a Sunday morning. I hope you’re not working her too hard.
Sorry this isn’t particularly relevant to your blog.
Thank you again

Rhubarb at 4:46 pm on April 5th, 2009

Aren’t we allowed to say that you’re an evil halfwitted crone here then?

Victoria Coren at 6:33 pm on April 5th, 2009

Well, since you put it so nicely… <sigh>

Rhubarb at 7:25 pm on April 5th, 2009

Thanks. Longseye know. I’d hate to think I was being rude…

PS. Wouldn’t worry too much about your writing, or your father either. You only have to read your bit in the Observer and then some of your respondents to understand why you’re the columnist and they….well….ain’t.

Fitch at 10:19 pm on April 5th, 2009

Is it wrong to feel protective towards women? I’ve met many strong, intelligent women. I married two of them. Yet, inside, there was still something that needed love.
When you called out my name on Thursday evening, everything that I had worked out to say (if you chose to ask me) just turned to mush, like my brain.
Is not wanting young women to end up looking like Arthur Mullard old hat? Is chivalry dead? just like my brain on Thursday.
Many apologies.
You stick to your guns. I wish there were more like you.

AndytheDealer at 10:05 am on April 6th, 2009

This feedback form needs a character counter.  I just spent 20 minutes typing a reply with a list of historically important women, as long as your arm, that disappeared into the ether!!

So, some of them, short and sweet…

1. Bowdaceeah, famous English charioteer.

2. George Eliot, inventor of the soap opera.

3. Marie Curie, see through Polish/French scientist.

4. Margaret Thatcher, world champion fire breather.

5. Cleopatra, supreme exponent of the feminie wile of masculine manipulation.

6. Catherine the Great, famous for her love of horses, or parts of them anyway.

7. Ang Sung Suu Kyi, holder of the world record for living under house arrest as a democratically elected

8. Mary Queen of Scots.  Famous for being Scottish.

Victoria Coren at 11:51 am on April 6th, 2009

If the form tells you a message is too long, if you press the ‘back’ button you should get back to your original text & be able to edit - or can always send it in two parts!
  Thanks for the list - although 20th century women and certainly living women (like Thatch and Sung Suu Ki) don’t really count, cos it is different today, women have far more visibility in public life. It’s the ones from 19th C and before that nobody has really heard of…

Andrew at 4:22 pm on April 8th, 2009

Just from one episode in history what about Harriet Tytler or (on the other side)  the Rani of Jhansi.  I recommend Saul David’s ‘The Indian Mutiny’ for further details. Gunnhild, the wife of old Erik Blloodaxe, was quite a character (at least according to the Sagas).  Queen (to some Saint) Margaret of Scotland, the wife of Malcolm, was an influential character despite the efforts of hagiographers to disguise the fact.

MarkP at 10:17 pm on April 8th, 2009

But, but, but, do my ears deceive me, I’ve just seen the trailer for the next episode and the voice over seems vaguely familiar, in fact I sat there opened mouth. So you did plug his show after all.

Victoria Coren at 2:22 am on April 9th, 2009

What are you on about? You mean you think I did a voiceover for a trailer for a David Starkey show? Why would I be doing that?! No, your ears *do* deceive you…

LC at 2:24 pm on April 9th, 2009

Ears are easily deceived, VC. There was another trailer on Channel 4 at the moment that I thought was you.

Basically, it appears that one of the voiceover folks of Channel 4 just has a very similar voice.

Victoria Coren

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