It’s almost too late!

People keep telling me that I need to watch The Tudors on Showtime and blog about it, to which I reply that my blog is already medieval porntastic enough as it is. Nonetheless, this advertisement for their “King Me” contest caught my eye. See if you can tell what in particular did the eye-catching:


Did you guess the badly photoshopped black cat there down by Queen Boleyn’s arm? It’s phasing through her dress! That’s one spooky ghost cat.

I suppose the prizes offered in the contest are also somewhat eye-catching, though hard to see at the resolution I used. If you hurry over to the contest website, you have maybe five more chances to enter your name into the drawing for a fabulous package that includes:

  • A $50,000 King’s Ransom
  • A $25,000 Donation to a Noble Charity
  • An Authentic English Title such as Lord or Lady
  • A 7 day/6 night Luxury Vacation at a Sheraton Resort

According to the fine print, the prize package is worth approximately $80,000. Unless the vacation is worth negative money, that means that Authentic English Titles are basically worthless, m’lord.

Given what constitutes a King’s Ransom for Showtime, this seems about right. Using the historical currency converter, one 16th-century British pound is worth a little over 454 21st-century British pounds. Since the dollar today is worth jack squat about 50p, that means our King’s Ransom of $50,000 is worth around 55 16th-century British pounds. By contrast, King John II of France was ransomed just a century and a half earlier for 700,000 14th-century British pounds* (or 663,000ish early-16th-century British pounds, if you want to get technical about it). Clearly, kings, like Beanie Babies, ain’t worth what they used to be.

Our old pal Geoffrey Chaucer was ransomed for 16 pounds around the same time as King John went for 700,000, so to be more accurate Showtime should say that they’re giving away Three-and-a-Half Squire’s Ransoms.

*Henry VIII was born on the cusp of his century, and John’s ransom was in the middle of his. So yes, the 14th-century was a century and a half before the 16th century.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • EK Black

    Hi, your blog is my hero–just wanted to let you know. But more to the point, this “such as Lord or Lady” business makes me wonder about the implied other possibilities. Ye Venerable Shoeshiner? Ye Watcher of the Cathode-Rays? Perhaps a more gender-neutral amalgamation of Lord AND Lady–Lard? Lo(r)ry? Or would that be way too progressive for the English aristocracy?

  • Got Medieval

    My blog tells me I must thank you for your kind words.

    Also, you need to add Olde to all those titles. Ye Olde Shoeshiner, etc.

  • Marye the Quene

    My father looked nothing like that!

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