Because she died so soon after her son's birth, she had no time to make the dreadful mistake of producing a daughter, unlike the two wives before her. She did nothing during her short marriage to anger the King or give him reason to doubt her devotion, love, or fertility. She is the only wife of Henry's to have received a proper Queen's funeral and burial, and she now rests next to her husband in a grave he had made for her. (Henry had three wives after Jane, and still was buried next to her when he died - that's saying something, isn't it?)
She is popularly considered Henry's favorite wife, because of her ability to produce what he, so obsessively, desired - a son. Through her, he secured, what he thought to be, a solid heir to his throne. After the disappointment of his former wives, Katherine and Anne, and their daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, he finally had his son.
Jane was never accused of treason or adultery (like Anne Boleyn and Kitty Howard), or of her marriage to him being invalid (like Katherine of Aragon). He never considered her ugly or undesireable (like Anne of Cleves), and he showered her with love and affection (unlike his last wife, Catherine Parr). Upon Jane's unexpected death, Henry wore black for three months in mourning, and did not remarry for three years (even when he married again, it seemed to be more out of duty than desire). With all this being said, all signs point to Jane Seymour being the prized wife of King Henry VIIIl. This brings me to my ultimate question:
Why don't we hear about her as much as the others?
How many books have you seen or read about Anne Boleyn? She is, undoubtedly, the most-written about wife of Henry's, because of her intrigue and complicated character - not to mention her tragic end. On the same note, Katherine Howard is also commonly written about as being naive, immature, and tragic. I have personally read at least one book on all of Henry's wives...except Jane.
Maybe it's because she did not have the drama surrounding her marriage and time as Queen. Maybe because she was not beheaded or banished from court, she is pushed aside as a "boring" Tudor figure. Popular historical fiction author, Philippa Gregory wrote two novels in a row - "The Other Boleyn Girl," about Mary and Anne Boleyn, and then "The Boleyn Inheritance," which skips Jane Seymour's life completely, and jumps straight to Anne of Cleves! When questioned about why Philippa has not written about Jane in her books, she responded that Jane "does not interest" her, as the others do.
...I'm sorry, but what is not interesting about the prized wife of the notorious ladies man, King Henry VIII? Why is the fact that she did nothing wrong during her time as wife and Queen, and died from producing the most treasured child (at the time) of King Henry VIII, not worth writing a novel about?
Perhaps there are more biographies and factual, historical accounts of her life than I am aware of...But what I'm craving is a good novel about this woman. I have read novels about Anne (both of them), Katherine (all three), Bessie Blount, Jane Rochford, Jane Grey, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, but not once have I been able to find a novel that centers on Henry's third (and forgotten) wife.
If any of my readers have information about Jane Seymour novels, movies, anything...PLEASE let me know. I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic - What do you think of the forgotten wife?