How Has the Study of History Developed for the Digital Age?


Map of British Isles by Gerardus Mercator 1596
Map of British Isles by Gerardus Mercator 1596

The study of history has inevitably changed over the last few decades, and no doubt will continue to change because of the introduction of new technologies such as computers and the internet. It is now much easier to share things online than it used to be, and this means that more people can access a wider range of information.

Many archives and journals now publish online, meaning that more people have access to the sources and information that they provide. For example, online databases like British History Online (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/) brings together a selection of sources from different periods, and makes them available for anyone to look at without having to travel down to archives in London or Edinburgh or Dublin. For my own analysis of British History Online see https://tudorblogger.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/review-of-sources-on-british-history-online/. The National Archives operate similarly and I’m sure many others do as well. Even the BBC have audio clips on a wide range of subjects from people who were there, and even old newsreels. Continue reading

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Tips for writing a good history essay for school, college or university


What are the tips and tricks to get the best grade you can?

The best tip that I can give for writing a good history essay is to analyse. Don’t just tell the story. You need to say why people could have done or believed what they did. What were the consequences?

For example:-

Narrative: Henry VIII had six wives and three children by different wives.

Analytical: Henry VIII had six wives because he was determined that women couldn’t rule a country. He needed a male heir to secure the succession and avoid a repeat of the Wars of the Roses. He got rid of his first two wives, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, because they only had a daughter each. It was his third wife, Jane Seymour, who finally presented him with a son, and it was with her that Henry VIII chose to be buried at Windsor because of her success in his eyes. Continue reading

Burial of Richard III Getting Out of Hand


 

Richard III Head Modelled from Skeleton Found in Leicester
Richard III Head Modelled from Skeleton Found in Leicester

Burial of Richard III Getting Out of Hand

The burial argument over whether to bury the remains of Richard III at York or Leicester is getting out of hand. A decision has now been postponed until 2014. Although I think both cases have merit, I wish they would agree on one and let this tormented king rest. Surely that is more important than the where. That he is finally at peace in a recognised burial place where people can visit and pay their respects.

Click the above link for the full story from the BBC.

Henry VIII Mural Reveals Secret


Henry VIII Mural found in a Somerset home in 2011
Henry VIII Mural found in a Somerset home in 2011

Henry VIII Mural Reveals Secret

“A COUPLE who stumbled across an almost life-size mural of Henry VIII as they redecorated their drawing room have now discovered that the devil is in the detail.

Angie and Rhodri Powell found out that when viewed upside down or through a wine glass, the portrait of the king on his throne is transformed into a vision of Satan, with goat’s eyes and horns.

The mural, found in the couple’s 16th-century home in Milverton, Somerset, in 2011, has already been declared a work of national importance.”

Personal Tudor 20 Questions


1. Favourite Tudor Monarch: Elizabeth I

2. Favourite Tudor Consort: Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.
Anne Boleyn National Portrait Gallery.

3. Most intriguing Tudor personality: Jane Grey

4. Favourite Tudor marriage: Prince Arthur and Katherine of Aragon

5. I want to learn more about: Catherine Carey and Katherine Grey

6. Aspect of the Tudors least interested in: Military and naval

7. Least favourite Tudor personality: Thomas Seymour

8. Least favourite Tudor Monarch: Edward VI

9. Favourite Tudor place: Hampton Court Palace Continue reading

My Short Hist-Fic Reviews


Jean Plaidy's 'Murder Most Royal' (1949).
Jean Plaidy’s ‘Murder Most Royal’ (1949).

My Short Hist-Fic Reviews

Click on the above link to be taken to my Facebook page where I have filled a folder with Tudor and Wars of the Roses historical fiction that I have reviewed. Within that folder there is also a link to my Goodreads account, so feel free to friend me!

I will keep updating the folder as I read, and there is also a non-fiction folder as well.

Historical Truth: Does It Exist?


It has been debated for many years whether or not there is such a thing as historical truth. Reading Chris Skidmore’s Death and the Virgin about the death of Amy Robsart got me thinking about this, so I conducted some research, and here is my opinion on the matter of historical truth.

Death And The Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart (2011)
Death And The Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart (2011)

“For the historian, the truth is neither impossible nor improbable; it can only be, quite simply, whatever remains.” (Chris Skidmore, Death and the Virgin)[i]

The full truth doesn’t exist because evidence is missing and there is often a distinct lack of testimony, particularly in the earlier periods. We can’t be sure of exactly what happened in, for example, the death of Amy Robsart or the fall of Anne Boleyn, without talking directly to the people involved. Historians have to base what we see as truth on whatever sources survive. I think it is impossible to get to the ‘historical truth’ because of the lack of sources. No matter what you believe you can never be 100% sure. The only things sure are dates. For example, the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066 and Elizabeth I died in 1603. Everything that really matters – the thoughts, feelings and motives – are subjective. Skidmore’s perception of historical truth isn’t truth per ce, but is actually a compromise based on what is left. Continue reading

The Tudor Rose


The Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York, alter combined to create the iconic Tudor Rose.
The Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York, alter combined to create the iconic Tudor Rose.

The Tudor rose is, of course, the most poignant symbol of the Tudor dynasty and what it stood for. The visuals are very well-known – the red rose and the white rose together. But what does it actually stand for and what is the significance of it?

Jean Plaidy in her novel, The Red Rose of Anjou imagines a scene where the roses come into play. It goes as follows:

“[Somerset] moved away from Buckingham’s restraining hand and plucking one of the red roses, the symbol of the House of Lancaster since the days of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster and brother of Edward the First, he cried out: ‘I pluck this red rose. The red rose of Lancaster. I am for Lancaster and the King.’

Warwick turned away and immediately picked a white rose – the symbol of York – the white rose worn by the Black Prince himself. He held the rose on high. ‘I pluck this white rose,’ he said. ‘The white rose of York. Let every man among us choose his rose. Continue reading