January 22, 2011

Heartstone, Shakespeare, and Henry VIII’s Reproductive Woes

C.J. Sampson’s latest novel, Heartstone, has just been released this past week. This is the third in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery Series. According to the Washington Post, “The novel has it all: an ingenious plot, ceaseless suspense, villains galore, tipsy priests, a bull-baiting, a stag hunt, several murders, the horrors of war, a brooding sense of evil and a glittering portrait of a fascinating age.” It focuses on Matthew Shardlake who undertakes a mission for Queen Catherine Parr. He becomes fast friends with the young Elizabeth Tudor, who aides him in his task.
Here is the link to the Washington Post review, as well as another from NJ.com.
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In other news, the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will stage all the Bard’s 38 plays (including Henry VIII), each performed by a different theater company, in a different language for the 2012 Olympics.
You can read more about it here.

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Natalie, from On the Tudor Trail, has posted a fascinating article on the Reproductive Woes and Midlife Decline of Henry VIII and an interview with the authors. I think it would be fascinating if the authors could exhume the body of Herny VIII and run some tests on it. However, due to the fact that he is royalty I doubt they will get permission. The Queen refuses to allow royal bodies to be exhummed, including those of the “Princes in the Tower.” Thus, testing cannot be done and the mystery remains.
Here is the link to the article, and to Natalie’s interview.
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Here are a few extras:
A nice review on Wolf Hall.
A review discussing both The Tudor Secret and Death and the Virgin Queen.
A review for Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen.

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