December 27, 2011

Rival Queens, Precious Books

I came across a fascinating post on the British Library site today which discussed two prayer books belonging to two very different Queens: The Lady Jane Grey and Mary I. What is special about these books, besides their owners, is that they have been added to the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts on the British Library website. You can now thumb through the pages once read by these fascinating women!

Read more detail here.

The Jane Grey Prayer Book was said to have been taken to the scaffold by the unfortunate Nine Days Queen, and written in by her the night before she died. Look at it here.

The Queen Mary Psalter was written nearly 200 years before the Queen was presented with it. Be sure to thumb through it here.

*Note: Scroll down to the bottom of each page for interior images of the books.

December 7, 2011

New "Tudors" Series

I know this is a bit late in coming, but I wanted to post about a new series in the works based on Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall." I'm very excited about this! I hope it will fill the void in my heart left by "The Tudors."

Here's the link to an article about it. There isn't much information out yet, but I will post as information becomes available!

I also read that there is not going to be another "The Tudors" Season. There had been a rumor that Michael Hirst was working on a new season/series about Mary, Edward and Elizabeth, but alas. It is not to be :(

However, he is working on a new film about Mary, Queen of Scots! Should be interesting....

December 5, 2011

Book of the Week: The Eton Choirbook

The Eton Choirbook is one of three large choirbooks, containing Latin liturgical music, to survive the Reformation. It contains richly illuminated scores by 24 different composers dating from 1490-1530. However, most of the scores are incomplete or damaged. Of the 224 scores, 98 are missing. According to Tudor England: An Encyclopedia, "Rich sonorities, lengthy melismatic melodic lines, unexpected melodic and harmonic twists, and extravagant rhythmic complexities characterize the distinctive musical style of Eton Choirbook Compositions...and is a unique monument to the genius of the early Tudor period" (243).

Tudor England: An Encyclopedia

August 17, 2011

August Giveaway Winner!

This month's giveaway winner is......Claire Copeland!

Congrats Claire, and thanks to everyone who entered. There will be another giveaway next month, so be sure to keep an eye open!

August 9, 2011

New Release and Giveaway!

To jumpstart the blog again (after my two week absence...sorry!) I am hosting a giveaway. Today (Aug. 9th) is the official release date for Sandra Byrd's latest novel To Die For. The author has kindly offered you the chance to win a copy of her book, as well as a pair of Amethyst and Pearl Drop Earrings from The Everything Tudor Store!
"To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne's favor rises and falls, so does Meg's. And though she's pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.

Meg's childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg's story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg's brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book—Meg."
I will be posting a review for this novel a little later this week, so keep a look out!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment here. If you are a follower here on blogspot, on twitter, or on facebook, make sure to mention this in your post. Each one you are follower on equals how many times your name will be entered into the drawing, thus increasing your chances to win. If you are not a follower on one or any of these, become one, mention it, and you will be entered that many times. However, just leaving a comment here will get you one entry.

All entries must be in by midnight (eastern time) Monday, August. 15th. The winner will be announced on Tues. August 16th.

I hope this isn't too confusing! If you have any questions feel free to ask! Good luck!

July 18, 2011

New Discussions at the Everything Tudor Wiki!

The Tudor Film Club is wrapping up its discussion of the first part of Elizabeth R. We are now moving on to Part II: The Marriage Game. Please watch the film (available on Youtube) and join in the discussions!

Here's the link to the Tudor Film Club Page.

July 7, 2011

New Episode of Tudor Talk Up!

Virginia has posted the latest episode of Tudor Talk! We discuss the chapter on Anne of Cleves from David Starkey's Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII.

Be sure to listen here!

Help Identify "New" Old Books!

Author Susan Bordo contacted me via facebook today to invite me and all of you to help identify old Tudor books that publishing companies are trying to pass of as new books! Here's what she said,

"We have started to compile a list of "new" books that are actually re-issued. Please come over to our page--The Creation of Anne Boleyn--and contribute any info you have. Once we've got a good list, we will post as a note to which we can add in the future, so readers can be forewarned!"

To join, go to the Creation of Anne Boleyn facebook page!

July 1, 2011

Tudor Book Blog Giveaway Winner!

I want to thank everyone who entered the contest and left such wonderul comments about the site! I am honored that you all really like it and enjoy reading it! Please keep coming back!

After tallying up everyone's entries, I placed the numbers in and generated the number for this month's winner....

Again, a big thank you to all who entered! Do not dispair though! I will be posting July's giveaway very soon! I hope you all enter it as well! :)

The Tudor Film Club: Elizabeth R

Now that we have finished discussing Lady Jane over at the Tudor Film Club, located at the Everything Tudor Wiki, we have turned our sights to the epic Elizabeth R. We are starting with Part I: The Lion's Cub.

Please come join us here! We would love to discuss the film with you, know what you think about it, and help answer any questions you may have!

June 28, 2011

Anne Boleyn: The Young Queen to Be

Author Josephine Wilkinson has recently released a new biography, Anne Boleyn: The Young Queen to Be. According to the publisher:

"The story of Anne Boleyn's early life, told in detail for the first time. Anne Boleyn is perhaps the most engaging of Henry VIII's Queens. For her he would divorce his wife of some twenty years standing, he would take on the might of the Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire; he would even alienate his own people in order to win her favour and, eventually, her hand.

But before Henry came into her life Anne Boleyn had already wandered down love's winding path. She had learned its twists and turns during her youth spent at the courts of the Low Countries and France, where she had been sent as a result of her scandalous behaviour with her father's butler and chaplain. Here her education had been directed by two of the strongest women of the age - and one of the weakest."

Here's the amazon link!

June 27, 2011

Tudor Book Blog Reviews: Pale Rose of England

Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth

I. Background

This novel is set during the reign of Henry VII. It follows Catherine and Richard (Perkin Warbeck) as they attempt to seize the English throne. Richard claims to be Richard, Duke of York, the youngest of the Princes in the Tower. Catherine, the daughter of a Scottish noble and cousin to King James, marries Richard and, after his defeat, joins the English court as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth. The novel follows Catherine through her next three marriages, to her death in 1537.

II. Review

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Personally, I am a huge fan of third-person novels. However, a lot of people prefer first-person because you really get inside the main character's head. Though Pale Rose... is in third-person, Worth did a good job of relating the story through Catherine's point of view. For example, Catherine firmly believes, without a shadow of a doubt, that Richard is Richard, Duke of York, thus you believe it too.

I also really liked how one can tell Worth has done her research. The time period comes alive in the smallest details. Worth even provides an author's note at the end of the story to explain the history behind her novel. I feel this is extremely important when writing historical fiction.

Perkin Warbeck
Another highlight of the novel is how Worth shows Perkin Warbeck as, without a doubt, the youngest of the Princes in the Tower. Few historians believe that Perkin Warbeck was Richard, Duke of York. However, Worth offers a few valid arguments to support he was. She goes into detail about his handsome appearance (which greatly resembled the real Richard's father, King Edward IV, including his "Plantagenet eye"), his courtly and royal air (quite unlike the uneducated peasant Henry VII makes him out to be), and the fact that many European monarchs supported him (including James of Scotland, who allowed Warbeck to marry his niece) even after he was captured and was of no political use to them.

Though two bodies were found in the Tower in the 1600's, and thought to be the two Princes, DNA testing has not been performed, and the mystery remains unsolved.

Lastly, I really liked how Worth chose a time period few Tudor authors venture to. Her characters are barely mentioned in other Tudor novels (or even history books), but are well developed in hers. She barely mentions Henry VIII and "The Great Matter," but focuses on Richard and his quest to take the English Throne. Just think, if he had there would have been no "Great Matter!"

Henry VII
One thing I did not like about the story was how the author seemed to skim over Catherine's later life. Each chapter became a whole new chunk of time in her life. I would have rather the author break the novel into two novels, and focus more attention on Catherine's life before and during her marriage to Richard. The novel picks up right before their defeat by Henry VII. I would have rather had a few chapters going into more detail about their meeting, marriage, etc.

Worth also attempts to show that Henry VII was in love with Catherine. Of course, this makes for a great story, but it is not factual. Firstly, most Tudor historians do not think Henry VII had extramarital affairs. Secondly, looking at Henry VII's treatment of Catherine, there isn't much cause to think he thought anything of her. He did give her large gifts of clothing, but this was about the time his daughter married the King of Scotland. Of course he wanted to treat the King of Scotland's niece well...

Worth also shows Catherine and Richard as having a son. There is no historical evidence of this.

Ok, I will admit that these last two can't really be counted as "dislikes." This is a fictional account, and it makes for a good story :)
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and give it Four Tudor Roses.

Though I am not fully convinced that Perkin Warbeck was Richard, Duke of York, this novel has really gotten me thinking and reading. That, to me, is the sign of good historical fiction.


*Note: A huge thank you to author Sandra Worth for providing me with a copy of her wonderful novel!

June 24, 2011

The Crown

According to author Nancy Bilyeau, her new novel The Crown is set to be released Jan 10, 2012.

According to the synopsis:

Joanna Stafford, "a young nun, learns her cousin is about to be burned at the stake for rebelling against Henry VIII. She makes a decision that will change not only her life, but quite possibly the fate of a nation.  

Joanna breaks the sacred rule of enclosure and runs away from Dartford Priory. But when Joanna and her father are arrested and sent to the Tower of London, she finds herself a pawn in a deadly power struggle. Those closest to the throne are locked in a fierce fight against those desperate to save England's monasteries from destruction.

Charged with a mission to find a hidden relic believed to possess a mystical power that has slain three Englishmen of royal blood in the last 300 years, Joanna and a troubled young friar, Brother Edmund, must seek answers across England. Once she learns the true secret of her quest, Joanna must finally determine who to trust, and how far she’s willing to go to protect her life, her family and everything she holds dear."
I can't wait to get my hands on this one! Read more about the author and the book here!

June 21, 2011

June Giveaway!

I apologize for the lack of giveaways (and activity) on the site. As most of you know, I have been having a lot of behind-the-scenes problems with hosting, etc. and have now moved the Tudor Book Blog to a new domain. To celebrate, I am hosting a new giveaway!

The prizes: A copy of Alison Weir's The Children of Henry VIII AND a $25.00 voucher to the Everything Tudor Store.

Here are the rules:

1) Using, I will choose a name from the comment list on this post. To enter, leave a comment.

2) To increase your chances of winning, share the new domain for The Tudor Book Blog on one of the following:

Blogger (your own blog)

If you share on all three, you will get your name in the virtual "pot" three times.

3) If you become a "Follower" on Blogger, Twitter, or "Like" on Facebook, that will also count towards your entry. If you do any (or all) of these, mention it in the comment.

4) Once you have shared the new address and/or Followed/Liked, leave your comment entering the giveaway with links to where you shared.

You have until midnight on June 30th to enter the giveaway. The winner will be announced on July 1st.

This giveaway is open to EVERYONE!

You have 7 possible ways to get your name into the drawing (simply commenting, sharing, following, and/or liking). Good luck!!!

June 16, 2011

State Papers Online, Henry VIII's Love Letters, and Anne of Cleves

Good news! The State Papers are now fully online! The only problem, you cannot access them unless you are affiliated with an organization that has access to them. I am currently trying to get the library I work for to get a subscription, but we shall see...Eventually you will be able to get individual access, but until then check with you local library (especially if you live in the UK).

Here's the link for more info!

I can't remember if I posted this or not (and would be surprised if I didn't!) but Virginia and I have finished our latest joint episode of Tudor Talk. In this episode, we are reading all the known letters between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

Listen here!

We are going to record our next episode together some time this week. We will be discussing the chapters on Anne of Cleves from Six Wives by David Starkey. I will post when it is up!

I have a lot of backed up mail in my inbox, including a few Q&A's. I apologize for not getting them up/answering them in a timely manner. I am moving into a new apartment this week, so I am super busy! I promise next week, after the move, I will have a lot more free time to get things up and running smoothly again! Thanks for your patience!

June 10, 2011

Book of the Week: The Jewel Book of Anna of Bavaria

I stummbled across this lovely book while I was searching around the web for Sims 2 Tudor and Medieval downloads (yes, my nerdiness continues to grow). This stunning book is titled "The Jewel Book of Anna of Bavaria." Anna (originally from Austria) lived from 1528-1590. She was married to Albrecht V or Bavaria. She had an amazing  collection of jewels. This book "was commissioned in 1552 by Duke Albrecht V of inventory of the jewelry owned by the duke and his wife, Duchess Anna, a member of the Habsburg dynasty and a daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I. The work contains 110 magnificent drawings by the Munich court painter Hans Mielich."

Here's the link to the main descriptor page. Here's the link to look inside this beautiful manuscript.

The description also points out one of the most intriguing Tudor-era pictures I have seen. It states, "One of the most impressive of these drawings is the front page miniature showing Albrecht and Anna playing chess, with Albrecht portrayed as a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece."

How did this book survive to the present day? According to the site, it is "because of its outstanding importance as a work of art, the manuscript was kept in the private ducal and electoral Chamber of Artifacts for almost three centuries—long after the originals of the jewelry depicted had been lost. Only in 1843 was the work presented to the Bavarian State Library by King Ludwig I."

This book is extremely rare and offers a stunning glimpse into the world that few of that time had access to. It is also important because books like this rarely survived to modern times. I be that Henry VIII had a very similar book, as did his wives. Speaking of which, check out page 81. Look familiar?

The Real Ophelia?

ElizabethW102, a follower on Twitter, was kind enough to point out this fascinating article to me!
Recent research into old coroners reports from Tudor England has revealed a possible link between Shakespeare and a girl who could have been his inspiration for the tragic Ophelia. According to the article, "Dr Steven Gunn has found a coroner's report into the drowning of a Jane Shaxspere in 1569. The girl, possibly a young cousin of William Shakespeare, had been picking flowers when she fell into a millpond near Stratford upon Avon..." Gunn concludes that the similarities between Jane and Ophelia are "tantalising."
Here's an excerpt from the coroner's report:
"By reason of collecting and holding out certain flowers called 'yellow boddles' growing on the bank of a certain small channel at Upton aforesaid called Upton millpond - the same Jane Shaxspere the said sixteenth day of June about the eighth hour after noon of the same day suddenly and by misfortune fell into the same small channel and was drowned in the aforesaid small channel; and then and there she instantly died.
And thus the aforesaid flowers were the cause of the death of the aforesaid Jane."
It is certainly a fascinating discovery! The article does point out, however, that other historians do not necessarily agree with Gunn. For example, there are other "theories about the inspiration for Ophelia, including the story of Katharine Hamlet, who drowned in the river Avon, not far from Stratford upon Avon, in 1579 - a decade after Jane Shaxspere."

Like many things with Shakespeare, it is likely it will remain a mystery.

Here's the link to the full article. It is well worth the read! Thanks again ElizabethW102!

June 2, 2011

Several New Q&A's

1) Who did Henry VIII execute, who was considered his good friend previously? Obviously Cromwell, Carew, Neville, Norris and More, but any others?

2) Which Englishwomen became the friends of Anne of Cleves?

3) Who attended the wedding of Henry VIII and Lady Anne of Cleves?

4) Is it true that Henry VIII started Valentine's Day being celebrated?

5)Who were Henry VIII's closest friends at the start of his reign?

6)I am interested in Renaissance poetry, women's in particular, and have just come across Anne Locke. I don't know how well-known she was, but she was a sixteenth-century poet. What I want to known is: what she the first ever to write a sonnet sequence? And was she the first woman to write a sonnet?

7)Does anyone know any historically accurate computer games, ones that teach you about the Tudors as you're playing them?

Thanks for this!


May 19, 2011

Witchcraft and Anne Boleyn

Rather than focusing on Anne Boleyn's death today, I thought I would focus on some of the most famous myths about her. Below, I present research on the accusations of witchcraft against Anne Boleyn, including where this accusation came from, how history has been warped to make it seem like it is the reason for her death, and why people of her time would have believed this allegation.

According to Warnicke, Anne
"was charged with inciting, in witchlike fashion, five men to have sexual relations with her...That Anne was indentified as the initiator of these contacts was consistent both with the need to prove that she was a witch and not a passive victim and with the contemporary belief that 'demonic' women were thought to be able to entice men into unnatural carnal acts..." (203).
Remember, at this time it was not treasonable for a Queen to cheat on a King.
Obviously, it would be very stupid to do so, but it wasn't until Katheryn Howard that Henry made it treasonable. Rather, the treason charge on Anne Boleyn came from her "conspiring the King's death" with her lovers. Her "lovers," especially the lowly Mark Smeaton, were invented and used to show how depraved and wicked she was. Though witchcraft wasn't the charge against her, Cromwell (and probably Henry) used it to show that she was unfit to be Queen, that the King had been coaxed into marriage against his natural will, and that she deserved death.
Warnicke also points out that while in the Tower,
Anne, in her hysteria, said it would not rain in England until she was released. This could be interpreted as a sign of witchcraft as "witches were thought to be able to control the wind and the weather." Though Anne did not intend for this statement to be used in this manner, Cromwell took every little bit of "evidence" against her and twisted it to make it seem as if she were evil and deserving of her fate.
Perhaps the most well known "evidence" that Anne was a witch came from Nicholas Sander. Sander was born after Anne's death. He also hated Anne's daughter Elizabeth, who was Queen when he wrote
against Anne. He is responsible for the many "myths" associated with Anne. He claimed that she was a
"very tall (tall women were thought to be excessively lusty), sallow in complexion (perhaps a reference to their perceived habit of living in the forests), with a wen under her chin (possibly an early reference to the witches' teat which could be found in various places including the pudenda); with a projecting tooth under the upper lip (gobber teeth were associated with witches) and six fingers on her right hand (fingers and fingernails played a prominent role in witchcraft)..." (245).
In an effort to discredit Elizabeth, Sanders wrote many inaccurate descriptions of Anne. These descriptions have sadly been passed down as fact by some.

In his excellent biography, Eric Ives recounts the story of Anne's last miscarriage in detail. He explains that on Jan. 29, "Anne miscarried, and to make the blow worse, the baby had been a son." He goes on to discuss Henry's reaction, saying "the disaster was to him the horribly familiar and totally convincing voice of God." He told a servant in secret that "God was again denying him a son; he had been seduced into marriage with Anne by witchcraft - the marriage was null and void, and he would take a new wife." Ives doesn't go into a lot of detail about what Henry meant by "seduced by witchcraft." He simply states that "what the comment about witchcraft referred to is not clear; perhaps the king had in mind the flood of encouraging auguries which had greeted Anne's pregnancy in 1533" (434).

Warnicke also tackles the "mishappen fetus" story. She explains that "Witches were thought to give birth not only to deformed creatures and monsters but also to stillborn children, which reportedly had been bewitched to death by their devil-worshiping mothers..." (246). Thus, if the story is true, Cromwell could have used it to push Henry to get rid of Anne. Likewise, Henry (who was very superstitious and by this time in love with another woman) could have seen it as a "sign."

Regardless of the "evidence" against Anne, it is easy to see that she was a victim of a superstitious time, where powerful men used stories and misinterpretations to condemn an innocent woman.

May 16, 2011

Tudor Weekly News Update

"John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine – the first detailed maps of every area in England and Wales – is being republished on the internet." Apparently, it took 10 years to make!
Here's a link for more info.
Here's a great article about the history of the King James Bible, which is about to celebrate its 400th birthday! According to the article,"Produced in 1611, the King James Version was not the first English Bible, and its translators relied heavily on the work of earlier men. The men who did it viewed it as making a good thing better," MacLeod said. Fifty-four of the country's top scholars were chosen from Cambridge and Oxford universities, and eventually 47 went to work on the translation. 'These were the leading scholars of the day,' said Emmaus professor Steven H. Sanchez. 'Later scholars were very impressed with the job they did...'"
Most Tudor History fans have heard of Anne Boleyn's yearly journey to Blickling Hall, her traditional birth spot, on the anniversary of her execution. Now, spectators can see Anne for themselves! Well, maybe not the "real" ghost...but a Tudor pageant called the Return of the Queen, which "will include demonstrations of period crime and punishment, music and dancing, fashion, food and feasting, surgery and medicine, traders and more, all overseen by Henry VIII and his six wives."
Here's the link for more info.
Finally, here's the link to a fascinating article about a musical composer who has been inspired by Anne Boleyn. She has written a song titled "Touch n'Go Game" which graces the new CD "Secret Lives of Women." It is "a collection of songs about women who, for better or worse, have made the world take notice of them."

May 12, 2011

Sorry for the Delay!

I apologize for not getting any posts up recently. I have just been hired at a library (yay! I get to put my masters degree to work!) and am in the process of changing jobs, finding a new apartment, and moving. Please bare with me. I plan to set some time aside today to get the remaining Tudor Q&A's I have sitting in my inbox up, as well as the Tudor Book of the Week! Thanks for you patience guys :D

To tide you over, here is a wonderful pic a reader recently sent me. Enjoy!

Sir Walter Raleigh

May 4, 2011

Tudor Film Club Chooses "Lady Jane"

Sorry things have been quiet this week. It is finals and I have been super busy at work. I have a few Q&A's to post (I promise to do so this weekend) and some news, articles, and reviews.
In the mean time, the Tudor Film Club has picked "Lady Jane" as its next film. Be sure to join in the discussions here!

April 25, 2011

Tudor Q&A: 10 Things You Need to Know About the Wars of the Roses

What are ten things that you NEED to know about the Wars of the Roses? (in history, not the film)
I am so glad this question was posed! Besides the Tudors, the Wars of the Roses is one of the most fascinating times in English history to me.
I'm not putting these in any particular order:

1) The name "Wars of the Roses" comes from the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet who fought the wars: the house of Lancaster (whose symbol was the Red Rose) and the house of York (whose symbol was the White Rose).

2) Origins of the Wars: The strife between the two families originated when Henry of Bolingbroke deposed his cousin, Richard II. Richard II's government was highly unpopular, thus the nobles championed Henry's succession as King. Richard II was descended from Edward III through his eldest son, the Black Prince. Henry was descended from Edward III's third son, John of Gaunt. Though he claimed the throne, the succession should have followed down the line of Edward III's second son, Lionel, to his grandson Roger Mortimer before it passed to Henry. Richard II was childless and had adopted Roger as his heir. However, Roger was young and the nobles supported the elder Henry over him.Eventually, Roger's claim to the throne passed to his grandson, Richard, Duke of York.

Henry Bolingbroke became Henry IV. His son later became Henry V. When he died, his son (Henry VI) was only an infant. He also, throughout his life, suffered from bouts of madness. His government (mostly run by feuding noblemen) was extremely unpopular. This paved the way for Richard, Duke of York's claims to the throne.

3) The Wars of the Roses can be divided into three parts:

The first is the conflict between Henry VI and Richard, Duke of York (mentioned above). Henry VI's government proved ineffective. In 1455, Richard, Duke of York rose up against Henry VI's government. In 1460 the forces drew a peace treaty in which Richard became Henry VI's heir. However, Henry VI's wife, Margaret of Anjou and her son did not like this compromise. She fled to Wales and gathered support their. During the Battle of Wakefield, Richard was killed. His remaining sons, Edward, George and Richard took up their father's banner.

The second part of the Wars of the Roses was between Richard's son Edward and Henry VI. Like his father, Edward was now considered Henry VI's heir (despite the fact that he had a son by Margaret of Anjou). However, Edward knew Margaret would never allow his succession. He moved toward London with his army. Upon entering the city he was unofficially crowned King by Parliament and the people. He was officially crowned King Edward IV in 1461. Fighting continued and Henry VI was finally captured. He was imprisoned and killed within the Tower of London in 1471. His son and heir was also killed in battle. Edward was temporarily overthrown by his once ally, the Earl of Warwick. However he regained his throne in 1471. For a time, there was peace. Edward IV died in 1483.

The third part of the Wars of the Roses began when Richard, Edward IV's younger brother, claimed the throne over Edward's young son, Edward V. Richard had Edward V and his young brother, Richard, placed in protective custody in the Tower of London. He then had the boys declared illegitimate, thus leaving the throne to himself. Eventually, the two young boys disappeared. They became known as "The Princes in the Tower." Richard III was crowned king in July 1483. Opposition to Richard's rule was quick. Henry VI's claim to the throne had passed to Henry Tudor, a descendant of Edward III through his mother, Margaret Beaufort. Henry Tudor raised an army and invaded England. He defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He was then crowned King of England. He married Edward VI's only surviving child, Elizabeth, thus combining the Houses of York and Lancaster to create the House of Tudor. (Please keep in mind that this is a very general overview of the Wars of the Roses!)

4) Henry VI died after being deposed and imprisoned in the Tower of London. However, his death is still under speculation. Some claim Edward IV had him murdered, but others claim he died of natural causes.

5) Edward IV married Elizabeth Wydville (a minor knight's daughter) in secret. Theirs was a marriage of love, not for political or monetary gain. The marriage was the main cause of the division between Edward and the Earl of Warwick.

6) The Princes in the Tower disappeared in 1483. To this day, historians still speculate whether or not they were murdered by Richard III, Henry VII or possibly the Duke of Buckingham.

7) Men you should know:

Henry VI-King of England
Richard, Duke of York-Claimed the throne, but died in battle
Edward IV-son of Richard, Duke of York. Won crown from Henry VI.
Richard, Earl of Warwick-Known as "the King Maker." Major player in the later battles between Edward and Henry.
Richard III-Brother of Edward IV. Claimed throne after Edward's death.
Henry Tudor (later Henry VII)-Won the Battle of Bosworth against Richard III and founded the Tudor Dynasty.

8) Women you should know:

Margaret of Anjou-Queen of Henry VI
Margaret Beaufort-Mother of Henry VII
Elizabeth Wydville-Wife of Edward IV

9) Battles you should know:

The Battle of First St. Albans-The first battle of the Wars of the Roses. Richard, Duke of York won against Henry VI.
The Battle of Wakefield-Victory for Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou's forces. Richard, Duke of York was killed.
The Battle of Barnet-Richard, Earl of Warwick was defeated (and killed) by Edward IV's forces.
The Battle of Tewkesbury-Victory for Edward IV in which he demolished the Lancastrian forces.
The Battle of Bosworth-Victory for Henry VII against Richard III. Richard III was killed.

10) Despite Henry VII's decisive victory, he and his son Henry VIII were plagued by imposters and claimants until 1525.

These are just a few of the things I think are important. Please feel free to add your own!

April 21, 2011

This Day in Tudor History: The Death of Henry VII

Death bed scene of Henry VII
On April 21, 1509, King Henry VII of England died. His son, Prince Henry, became King of England as Henry VIII. According to historical records, Henry VII died at Richmond Palace from tuburculosis.
Henry VII was buried in the Henry VII Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey. He was buried beside his wife, Elizabeth of York, who had died in 1503. The Henry VII Lady Chapel is one of the most famous parts of Westminster Abbey. Its  most famous feature is the pendant fan vault ceiling. It is the first example of this in known history.
The tomb of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York was constructed by Henry VIII. The altar which was placed by the tomb was also constructed by Henry VIII, but then destroyed during the Reformation. This fascinates me. It is speculated that Henry and his father did not have a good relationship, but it is known that he cared deeply for his mother. Why would he allow their altar to be destroyed? Any thoughts?

April 20, 2011

Book(s) of the Week: Tudor Pirates

This week in Tudor History, Sir Francis Drake severely damaged the Spanish fleet at the Bay of Cadiz on April 18, 1587. This event delayed the Spanish invasion of England for over a year. This event is not that well known, but it got me thinking about Sir Francis Drake and Tudor Piracy.

Sir Francis Drake is probably the most famous English pirates of the Elizabethan Era. The Queen did not name him a pirate, however, but a "Privateer." Because the Spanish continually complained about Drake's constant attacks on their treasure ships, the Queen said that she would stop it. However, she rewarded him with a knighthood in 1581. He was second in command against the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Doing a bit of research, I found a few interesting books on Drake and Tudor Piracy.
The first I want to point out is Francis Drake: The Queen's Pirate by Harry Kelsey. According to amazon, the book discusses how "Francis Drake roamed the world under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. He enriched her coffers by attacking Spanish merchant ships in the Caribbean, raiding ports, looting churches, and taking a cut of the slave trade--the acts not of a military man, Harry Kelsey argues, but of a pirate, and of a cowardly one at that as he was given to fleeing at the first sign of danger, leaving his men behind. Even so, for his services Elizabeth awarded Drake a knighthood and a degree of immunity until he failed to appear at his post during a naval engagement against ships of the Spanish armada. He then lost the queen's favor and disappeared from history's stage. Drake has few champions today, certainly fewer than he did in Elizabethan times. Even then he was none too popular. This well-written revisionist biography explains why."

Here's the amazon link.

Another book I wanted to highlight is Under the Bloody Flag: Pirates of the Tudor Age by John Appleby. This fascinating book mentions Francis Drake, but explains that "Although the young Francis Drake became the most famous pirate of the period, scores of little-known pirate leaders operated during this time, acquiring mixed reputations on land and at sea. Captain Henry Strangeways earned notoriety for his attacks on French shipping in the English Channel and the Irish Sea, selling booty ashore in southwest England and Wales. John Callice and his associates sailed in consort with others, including another arch-pirate Robert Hicks, plundering French, Spanish, Danish, and Scottish shipping, in voyages that ranged from Scotland to Spain. The first British pirates led erratic careers, but their roving in local waters paved the way for the more aggressive and ambitious deep-sea piracy in the Caribbean."

Here's the amazon link.

Finally, I wanted to point out The Pirate Queen: Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire by Susan Ronald. This book shows how Elizabeth, "the iron-willed, financially astute monarch utilized piracy and plunder as a vital tool in guaranteeing English independence from foreign domination and in transforming a backwater nation into a nascent empire." It seems to be a new and interesting approach to Elizabeth.

Here's the amazon link.

April 19, 2011

Tudor Q&A: Katheryn Howard's Annullment

I wanted to ask if Henry VIII annulled his marriage to Catheryn Howard or not, and if so, on what grounds?

Tudor Q&A: Mary Seymour

Is there a possibility that Mary Seymour (daughter of Catherine Parr) lived? Could it have been for her own protection that it was said she died at age of 2 years. It is very strange that her death was not recorded as she was the daughter of a Queen.

Tudor Q&A: Tudor Tailor

I am doing a speech for English class and I have to dress up as the person I am researching. I am a tailor during the Elizabethan Era. I have no idea what the tailors wore and yes I am aware that the majority of tailors were men. So, what would a male tailor wear during that time? Any suggestion of what I can use at home to create an outfit?

April 18, 2011

Weekly News Update: Shakespeare's House, and Mary Rose, King James Bible, and Bess of Hardwick Exhibits

A dig at the site of Shakespeare's last home has began uncovering ground not touched for 400 years. According to this article, finds so far include "roof tiles, pottery and animal remains which experts from the trust say suggests that New Place was at times a high status household, with venison, and salt and fresh water fish supplementing the diet of meat from cows, pigs, sheep, geese and chickens." There will soon be an exhibit of the findings.

I've mentioned before on the blog that the Mary Rose Museum will be opening next year, displaying all of its fascinating artifacts. Here is a new article on the museum as well as a short video on some of the artifacts. According to the article, "the 19,000 artifacts found on Henry VIII's flagship's Mary Rose are to go on display in a new museum being built for the ship in Portsmouth. The £36m building, due to open in 2012, will allow the hull of the ship and its artifacts to be seen under the same roof. So far, most of the items have been held, unseen by the public, in conservation rooms."
The 400th anniversary of the King James Bible is being celebrated with an exhibit. Though the exhibit is now over, this article offers some fascinating insight into the wording of the King James Bible.

*Note: Apparently the exhibit is traveling to at least one other location, so you may still be able to see it! Read more here.

Bess of Hardwick's 200+ letters are going on display for the first time. According to BBC News, "the exhibition at Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield will allow visitors to see their content for the first time. The letters include exchanges with friends, lovers, royalty and spies."
Read more about this fascinating new exhibit here.

April 16, 2011

"The Favourite"

Author Mathew Lyons has recently released a fascinating new book titled The Favourite: Ambition, Politics, and Love-Sir Walter Raleigh in Elizabeth I's Court. According to the author's website, "Mathew Lyons reveals a new portrait of an immortal relationship and a fascinating exploration of the many layers of love between Gloriana and Ralegh – courtier, chancer and privateer."

Similarly, an article from, titled Why Elizabeth Walked All Over Raleigh, discusses the famous story of Raleigh throwing his jacket over a puddle so the Queen could walk upon it. "Mathew Lyons...says: 'In a way the truth doesn’t really matter. It’s not a significant story, even if it is true, but I think it tells us something about the politics of Elizabeth’s court and the role of the favourite; their deference and the kind of submissiveness she demanded.' Despite this, the relationship between Elizabeth and Ralegh (many historians prefer to spell his name without the i) remains relatively unexamined. Was he manipulating a lovesick Queen? Or was she using a man, dazzled by her power and her charm, for her own ends? Lyons went back to original sources, state papers and letters of those at court, to try to find out."

Read more here.

Also, here's the link to the author's website and the amazon listing.