Thanks to The History Press for a copy of this book to review.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a refreshing new look at the Tudor period through the objects that have survived. I’ve read several other books by John Matusiak before, including his biographies on Henry VIII and Thomas Wolsey. This one is my favourite because it is so different.
Objects examined in the book include the silver-gilt boar badge found at Bosworth, Lady Jane Grey’s prayer book, and a lock of Elizabeth I’s hair. These more famous artefacts are examined alongside things like a sun mask, a birthing chair, a pocket pistol, and the world’s oldest football. There are so many different objects and some that you didn’t realise even existed in this period.
There are images of all of the artefacts discussed and a discussion of each object, along with the context in which they would have been used and were discovered. Some are quite recent discoveries, like the bedhead of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, and others had been handed down through generations or are in museums. The history of these individual objects is almost as interesting as the contextual history.
The writing is clear and concise, giving plenty of detail without going overboard. I also like how each object has its own section, so no one object is given more attention and information than any other, even the more famous and well-known ones. In a way this book gives more attention to the lesser known and general objects because there are more of them, which is quite nice.
I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with an interest in Tudor history or of historical objects and the history of them. One that I’ll definitely come back to!
Dynasty, Politics, Nation Birth, Childhood, Marriage, and Death Women, Work, Craftsmen, and Paupers Food, Drink, and Fashion Home, Hearth, and Travel Culture and Pastimes Health and Healing Religion Superstition Warfare, Weapons, and Defence Crime and Punishment Novelties and New Horizons
Story of past open to interpretation
Carefully edited and deceitful version of events
Not just a version of what happened – more a tapestry of different stories woven together by whoever was in power at the time
Wars of the Roses was invented by the Tudors to justify their power
Immortalised by Shakespeare – darkest chapter in English history
Lancaster and York locked in battle for the crown of England – kings deposed, innocent children murdered, cousin fought against cousin
1485 Richard III slain and Henry Tudor took the throne
Henry VII’s victory hailed the ending of the Medieval period
Line between fact and fiction often gets blurred
Late 16th Century portrait of Richard III, housed in the National Portrait Gallery.
1455 Stubbins in Lancashire scene of a legendary battle in the Wars of the Roses beginning with volleys of arrows but ran out of ammunition
Lancastrians pelted the Yorkists with black pudding – local legend
Yorkists pelted the Lancastrians with Yorkshire puddings – local legend
Wars of the Roses in national memory
History books – rivalry between Lancaster (red rose) and York (white rose) – bloody rivalry largely a creation of the Tudors
1461 bloodshed real in the middle of a snowstorm at Towton
Lancastrians started out well but tide turned against them, chased by the Yorkists down the slope to a river and so a massacre began
Blood stained the snow red, so location became known as the bloody meadow
Shakespeare portrayed the battle as a bloody Armageddon – represented a country torn apart by war, nothing as bad in our history
Somme 19,000 British soldiers killed on the first day, Towton 28,000 killed
20 years ago Bradford University revealed barbarity of fighting with remains of 43 men killed at Towton
Head forced down into the spine, poleaxes – exceptional even for the Wars of the Roses
Skirmishes, but real battles only around 8 in 30 years
Not ravaged by all-out war – later myth
Out of 32 years of wars, fighting on lasted a total of 13 weeks
Continue reading “Documentary Notes – British History’s Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley: the Wars of the Roses”
‘Talking Tudors’ is a podcast by Natalie Grueninger, author of ‘Discovering Tudor London’ and co-author of ‘In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn’ and ‘In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII’ with Sarah Morris. Along with Kathryn Holeman Natalie has also released two Tudor colouring books – ‘Colouring Tudor History’ and ‘Colouring Tudor History: Queens and Consorts’.
Natalie interviews guests about their particular interests and the Tudors in general. Each episode ends with “10 To Go” and a “Tudor Takeaway”, and at the beginning often starts with a piece of Tudor-inspired music.
The first 21 episodes guests and topics are listed below (everything live up to this date 8
th February 2019).
Continue reading “Talking Tudors Podcast with Natalie Grueninger”
Royal Badge of England, including the Tudor Rose.
Birth of Henry VII
Birth of Elizabeth of York
Henry VII defeats Richard III at Battle of Bosworth
Birth of Katherine of Aragon
Coronation of Henry VII
Marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York
Birth of Prince Arthur
Defeat of Lambert Simnel at Battle of Stoke
Birth of Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland
Birth of Henry VIII
Birth of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk
Execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick
Marriage of Katherine of Aragon and Prince Arthur
Death of Prince Arthur
Death of Elizabeth of York
Marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland
Death of Henry VII and accession of Henry VIII
Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon
Coronation of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon
Death of Margaret Beaufort
Birth of Henry, Duke of Cornwall
Battle of the Spurs
Defeat of James IV of Scotland at Battle of Flodden
Birth of Anne of Cleves
Birth of Mary I
Birth of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy
Beginning of the Field of the Cloth of Gold
End of the Field of the Cloth of Gold
Execution of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham
Pope grants Henry VIII title ‘Defender of the Faith’
Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
Coronation of Anne Boleyn
Birth of Elizabeth I
Execution of Elizabeth Barton, Nun of Kent
Execution of Thomas More
Death of Katherine of Aragon
Execution of Anne Boleyn
Marriage of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour
Death of Henry Fitzroy
Beginning of the Lincolnshire Rising / Pilgrimage of Grace
Birth of Edward VI
Death of Jane Seymour
Marriage of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
Annulment of marriage between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Howard, execution of Thomas Cromwell
Execution of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury
Execution of Katherine Howard
Marriage of Henry VIII and Katherine Parr
Sinking of the Mary Rose
Execution of Anne Askew
Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Death of Henry VIII and accession of Edward VI
Battle of Pinkie Cleugh
Death of Katherine Parr
Execution of Thomas Seymour, Baron Seymour
Execution of Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset
Death of Edward VI
Proclamation of Jane Grey as queen
Overthrow of Jane Grey and accession of Mary I
Execution of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland
Coronation of Mary I
Execution of Jane Grey
Marriage of Mary I and Philip II of Spain
Execution of Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London
Execution of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury
Death of Anne of Cleves
Death of Mary I and accession of Elizabeth I
Coronation of Elizabeth I
Execution of Mary Queen of Scots
First sighting of the Spanish Armada off the English coast
Battle of Gravelines and defeat of Spanish Armada
Execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex
Death of Elizabeth I and accession of James I
Continue reading “Timetable of Tudor Events”
One of the most turbulent and violent periods in Britain’s history.
1461 Henry VI had the throne snatched away by young and charismatic Edward IV – he was helped to the throne by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick – the Kingmaker.
It took Edward 7 years to learn that to save the country a good king must do bad things.
3 months after Richard Duke of York’s death Edward IV takes his revenge on the king.
The bloodiest battle on English soil ends (Towton) and Edward IV succeeds as the king and queen’s forces have been wiped out and Henry VI and his family are forced to flee to Scotland.
28000 men slaughtered in 10 hours, pretty much half of the troops involved in the fight.
Edward declared king in 1461, aged just 18 – 12th plantagenet king of England.
Edward needs to end the violence, assisted by Warwick, to make the country stable and safe.
Continue reading “Britain’s Bloody Crown Part 2 14.01.2016”
Henry VI 1540 at the National Portrait Gallery
Nearly 600 years ago Wars of the Roses fought over the crown.
30 years crown changed hands 7 times.
Struggle erupted when there was a feud between Margaret of Anjou (Queen of England) and Richard, Duke of York, over the control of the weak king, Henry VI.
Trouble began because Henry VI was so weak that a vacuum opened in England that takes 50 years to be fixed.
May 1450 Henry VI in power, Duke of Suffolk papered over the cracks, but he is now dead by rebel hands.
Summer 1450, no one now left to keep a lid on trouble for Henry VI – rebels enter London and cause violence and looting.
Henry VI never seen a battlefield, shallow, pious and foolish.
Henry VI tries to placate rebels by giving them the corrupt Lord Say – they try and execute him at the Guildhall.
England dissolving into anarchy – Henry VI leaves London for Kenilworth.
Continue reading “Britain’s Bloody Crown Part 1 07.01.2016”