The Other Boleyn Girl

I watched the movie last night: not bad, as these things go. It didn't mangle the history too much: the entire English Reformation was made to seem like it took place due to an offhand suggestion made by Anne Boleyn, but that was probably the worst infelicity.

But I had to smack myself on the forehead during the special features when Natalie Portman claimed that Anne had convinced Henry that the Catholic Church was "archaic"! Of all the complaints Protestants had about the Roman church, it being "archaic" is one I have never heard. It was corrupt, Satan's work, the whore of Babylon, idolatrous, Mammon-worshiping: but archaic? Protestants, in fact, accused it of having departed from the original, scripture-based Christianity, and of adding layers of useless Scholastic philosophy to the genuine, ancient truth of scripture. Harvard, you let Natalie down.

An Aside: My daughter and I were talking about Henry and his wives, and I remarked that although he had married six women, he had only married three first names (Anne, Catherine, and Jane).

"Wow," she replied, "why is that?"

"Well, the Dark Ages, you know: their technology for inventing names was way behind ours."


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