Thanks to Pen and Sword for giving me a copy of this to review.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram @tudorblogger would have seen this morning that I was asked to take part in the InstaTour for this book, and I was thrilled to be asked!
I really loved this book, it’s a little gem full of titbits about authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and George Orwell, some of the greats of literary history, and their connections to London. It discusses not only the connections of the authors to London, but their characters as well.
The book divides London down into sections including south, north, west, east, and central, and then into areas inside that including Bridewell, Clerkenwell, Holborn, Kensington, and Whitechapel. There are also some lovely images demonstrating the places in and around London, including blue plaques marking the places where famous writers lived or worked.
There is a very handy list in the back of the book of all of the books mentioned in the main text, classics and modern texts listed alphabetically by author. Reading this book has certainly expanded by want to read list; and that’s already miles long.
It’s amazing all the places and things that you can walk past in London without realising their significance but now I certainly won’t miss any of the bookish spots in London when I’m wandering around with the help of this guide. It’s a little pocket gem!
I’ve been so busy recently it’s taken me a while to get round to putting this up on my blog – back in November when I was in London, as well as going to the Tower of London, Natural History Museum, and on a Jack the Ripper walking tour I, of course, had to find time to visit the British Library to see their exhibition on Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. This was just perfect timing, given that I was writing my first book on Elizabethan Rebellions which Mary was a huge part of.
There was so much to see and take in during the exhibition: portraits, books, letters, papal bulls, and jewellery. It was a real insight into the minds of these women and how they were trying to negotiate the murky political waters of the sixteenth century. Here I’m going to talk about just a couple of things in the exhibition which made a huge impact on me.
The first is the letter from the Privy Council agreeing to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. The original warrant long ago went missing, so this is the closest thing that we have. To see the signatures of William Cecil, Henry Carey Lord Hunsdon, Francis Knollys, and Charles Howard demonstrates just how willing these men were to go over and above their Queen and threaten the very idea of divine right in order to safeguard Elizabeth I’s throne. Mary was just too dangerous to be allowed to live and Elizabeth wouldn’t be safe while she did.
The second was the Babington ‘gallows’ letter which Mary Queen of Scots sent to Anthony Babington in 1586 during the Babington Plot and which led directly to her own execution the following year. The original was written in code and then burnt by Babington once he’d read it. This is a copy made by Walsingham’s codebreaker, Thomas Phelippes. When Phelippes realised that the letter incriminated Mary Queen of Scots in treason he drew a gallows on his copy before sending it onto Walsingham as evidence, hence the name ‘gallows letter’.
The final two things I’m going to talk about, I’m going to do together as they are related to one of my favourite Tudor people – Anne Boleyn. The exhibition included the written announcement of the birth of Elizabeth I in 1533 which was amazing to see, and the famous Chequers ring, which has portraits of Elizabeth I and, allegedly, Anne Boleyn, though this has never been conclusively proven. It seems likely, however, as Elizabeth wore it and never took it off until her death. It’s a stunning piece, smaller than I had imagined but absolutely beautiful. It links the two women together and helps us to consider what Elizabeth might have thought about her mother, who had been executed by her father when she was just 2 years old.
If you want to catch the exhibition before it closes, it is on at the British Library for another week, until 20th February 2022, or you can do a digital tour online.
While I was in London with a friend back in November we went on a Jack the Ripper walking tour in Whitechapel. It’s something that had been on my bucket list for a while, and I was so excited when I finally got to do it. They’re obviously popular as we saw three other tours when we were out as well! Jack the Ripper is one of those enduring historical mysteries that is still fascinating today, and there is such a long list of suspects of who might have done it, including royalty, artists, Polish Jews, and authors. The fact that the murders were never solved gives infinite scope for people to come up with their own suspect.
It was so interesting to see the places where the murders took place, even if they have changed a lot in the over a hundred years since they happened. It really gives a sense of place and atmosphere, and the layout of the streets is interesting to understand how the murderer was able to get away and avoid the police on the streets.
Jack the Ripper killed five women between August and November 1888, possibly more but five are accepted as canonical victims – Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nichols on 31st August, Annie Chapman on 8th September, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes on 30th September, and Mary Jane Kelly on 9th November. Although I think that a prior victim in early August 1888 was actually a Ripper victim as well – Martha Tabram.
The Ripper walking tour took in Osbourne Street, Hanbury Street, the Ten Bells pub, Goulston Street, Dorset Street, and Mitre Square. Osbourne Street was the location of the murder of Emma Smith, which happened before that of Martha Tabram and isn’t generally considered to be a Ripper murder but is included in the Whitechapel murder sequence. Hanbury Street was the location of the murder of Annie Chapman, although the exact building no longer survives. The Ten Bells pub still survives today although it did go through a period in the 1980s of being renamed the Jack the Ripper pub. Goulston Street was the location of the infamous graffiti which was left after the murder of Catherine Eddowes, and where part of her apron was dropped after the murderer wiped his knife on it. Dorset Street was the location of the murder of the Ripper’s final canonical victim, Mary Jane Kelly. Mitre Square was the location of the fourth murder, the second of the double night; that of Catherine Eddowes.
Although many of these locations have drastically changed since the 1880s, the atmosphere of the East End is still there and you can still get a sense of what it would have been like for these women living on the streets or in boarding houses, packed together. George Yard, where Elizabeth Stride was murdered, is now Gunthorpe Street. Bucks Row, where Polly Nichols was murdered, is now Durward Street.
Big thanks to our tour guide, Angie, who was so knowledgeable and such an engaging person to tell this gruesome tale. Visit the website to book a tour of your own if you’re ever in London!
So, as you might have guessed from my previous post on the ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ exhibition (click here) I have been on holiday in London. How could I not visit some Tudor-related sites? I was with a friend who had never visited the Tower of London before, so we used the tickets that had been booked way back at the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic hit.
We arrived early and spent five hours wandering around, stopping for a café break as well. We walked the walls, and took in the exhibitions, seeing displays on the Medieval Palace, Imprisonment at the Tower, and the Tower in War. We were using my guidebook from 2010 as I haven’t got an updated version and, in one display, there were guidebooks from the past and the same copy as mine was in a glass case! That was weird.
The Beauchamp Tower is where we saw all of the graffiti left by those imprisoned there, notably this coat of arms likely carved by one of the Dudleys in 1553-4 after Jane Grey’s failed reign (the photo isn’t great because of the light from behind). There were also several pieces of graffiti left by those involved in rebellions against Elizabeth I which was especially interesting for me to see.
The Bloody Tower includes Walter Raleigh’s study and an exploration of the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, something that I’ve read quite a lot about. Raleigh wrote his ‘The History of the World’ while imprisoned here. The Salt Tower was the place of imprisonment of Hew Draper who was incarcerated for sorcery during the reign of Elizabeth I. There are some fascinating astrological drawings on the walls of various places in the Tower where he was kept. A zodiac design contains the date 30 May 1561.
Of course, a visit to the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula (Peter in Chains) was a must. It’s an absolutely beautiful space where lie buried the remains of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, Jane Boleyn Lady Rochford, Edward Seymour Duke of Somerset, John Dudley Duke of Northumberland, and Guildford Dudley within the main body of the chapel. In the crypt are the remains of Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher of Rochester who were executed on nearby Tower Hill.
The armouries in the White Tower were fascinating, though I had seen them before. I almost looked at the rooms anew and visited St John’s Chapel in the White Tower for the very first time. It’s starkly simple but incredibly profound with plain walls and some stone carving, quite a contrast to the better-known St Peter ad Vincula in the grounds. The armouries themselves contain armour from Henry VIII, Charles I, and James II, and a collection of swords, cannon, and other arms from across the ages and across the world. Possibly of more interest to a military historian but seeing the detail on the armour was a highlight of the White Tower for me.
On the way back to our hotel we visited the memorial on Tower Hill where the likes of Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham, Sir Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher of Rochester, and Robert Devereux 2nd Earl of Essex were executed, among many others. The names and dates of execution are places on blocks around a small square within the First World War memorial gardens. It’s very easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. More were executed there than are named, but the names of those who were the most notable are written. It is worth a visit if you’re going to the Tower of London as many of those executed there spent time in the Tower itself.
All in all, an incredibly fascinating historical day out, even if we were exhausted afterwards having been on our feet most of the day and then going on a Jack the Ripper walking tour that evening! A blog post on that to follow …
Today I’ve been to the Natural History Museum to see the ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ exhibition. It was incredibly interesting to see creatures that inspiration may have come from in real life and how some fantasy creatures were thought to be real in the not too distant past and why that might be.
There were props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films alongside actual historical artefacts including books, skeletons, and replicas. It’s worth seeing for any Wizarding World fan and for anyone who is interested in fantasy creatures and their origins as the exhibition does go into creatures that we know about today that exhibit some of the same characteristics or that Rowling and the filmmakers could have drawn inspiration from in designing their own creatures.
One of the objects that I found the creepiest was this mermaid. It’s known as the Buxton Mermaid, lent to the exhibition by Derbyshire County Council, and Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, date unknown. She is mummified and may have held a comb and mirror to brush her hair at one point. The maker of this remains a mystery but sailors were sometimes known to keep them as lucky charms or exhibit them. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the mermaids are part of the second Triwizard task where the four champions have to rescue something that has been taken from them. The chief merman speak to Professor Dumbledore after the task to say that Harry was first to the hostages but was determined to rescue them all, not just his, demonstrating moral fibre.
There was a beautiful book called ‘The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents’ by Edward Topsell (1658) which has some drawings of dragons and other creatures. Bestiaries were very popular in the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern period across Europe and combined real creatures with imagined ones. Topsell’s work is no different. People used to believe, however, that dragons were real, a possible descendent of the dinosaurs. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Harry has to fight his way past a dragon in the first task to retrieve a golden egg with a clue for the second task. The four champions each face a different type of dragon – Welsh Green, Swedish Shortsnout, Hungarian Horntail, or Chinese Fireball. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape from Gringotts Bank on the back of a dragon they’ve set free.
Something that I didn’t know is that there is a dinosaur named after Hogwarts – the Dracorex hogwartsia which was discovered in 2004. A cast of the skeleton is part of the exhibition. The dinosaur itself was part of the pachycephalosaur family (bone-headed dinosaurs). The name means ‘Dragon King of Hogwarts’. The remains were discovered in the Hell Creek Formation in South Dakota, U.S.A., by three amateur palaeontologists.
It’s well-worth a visit to the Natural History Museum in London just to see this exhibition, though they also have fantastic exhibitions on dinosaurs, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the development of humans.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ is on at the Natural History Museum in London until 3 January 2022.
Tynemouth Priory is the most local historic site to where I live, no more than a 15-minute walk from my home. I’ve lived in the area since I was 7 years old and the Priory has been a constant fixture. I remember going there many times when I was growing up – to see fireworks displays, jousting contests, and other displays.
I didn’t realise until recently that there was actually a Tudor connection and that the Priory was one of those dissolved during the Reformation. The Priory was also the birthplace of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, in 1564.
Some Roman stones have been found at the Priory, but there is no evidence of any settlement there. The Danes persistently plundered the priory, and Earl Tostig made Tynemouth his fortress during the reign of Edward the Confessor. In 1095 Robert de Mowbray took refuge in Tynemouth Castle after rebelling against William II. In 1110 a new church was founded on the site.
In 1296 the prior of Tynemouth was given royal permission to surround the site with stone walls and in 1390 a gatehouse and barbican were added on the landward side of the castle. It was originally completely enclosed by walls, but the north and east walls fell into the sea and most of the south wall was demolished. In 1312 Edward II and Piers Gaveston took refuge at Tynemouth Castle before fleeing to Scarborough.
In 1336 a new presbytery chapel was built at the north end of the presbytery. In the 1400s the Percy Chantry was added to the east end of the presbytery. This is the only complete part of the church that remains.
The Tudor Connection
In the early 1500s Tynemouth gained independence from St Alban’s Abbey, but the wealth of the priory was huge so it became a target for Henry VIII’s commissioners who in 1536 brought trumped-up charges of misconduct against the prior and 7 of the 15 monks.
In 1538 the priory at Tynemouth was suppressed as part of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. The priory and its lands were granted to Sir Thomas Hilton. Most of the monastic buildings were destroyed, leaving only the church and prior’s house. Within a year work was underway to improve the defences around the priory to protect from invasion from the river. New artillery fortifications were built from 1545 with the threat of invasion from the French.
The castle was also the birthplace of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, in 1564, when his father, the 8th Earl, was custodian of the castle.
The headland at Tynemouth remained defended throughout the 1700s. A new barracks was built for 1000 men in 1758. By the end of the 18th century military preparedness was in decline, but this ratcheted up again with the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th century.
After 1882 Germany was considered a large threat, and so new military gun emplacements were built. During the First World War there was a selection of long-range artillery based at Tynemouth intended to attack ships out at sea. There were also quick-firing guns to attack smaller boats in the River Tyne. Searchlights and ammunition storage were also in place.
During World War Two Tynemouth also had a defensive role, to defend against aircraft as well as enemy shipping. Tynemouth then remained a military base until the UK’s coastal defences were disbanded in 1956. In 1960 many of the military buildings were pulled down to give more prominence to the Medieval ruins.
Tynemouth is a mishmash of Medieval remains and 20th century military fortifications. It is a beautiful place to visit, and an inspiring place to sit and think. Well worth a visit if you haven’t already.
I thought I’d do a walkthrough of my history bookshelves, as pictures on my Instagram of different books that I’ve bought or been sent by publishers are always very popular. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through the #HistoryGirls community on Instagram, it’s that historians and history lovers are always looking for new reading material!
And, no, before anyone asks, I haven’t read all of these yet. I’m steadily working my way through them. I’ve had some very lovely publishers (The History Press and Pen & Sword Books) send me some complimentary copies for review and these are currently top of my list, though this lockdown has slowed me down rather than speeding me up! I promise, I will get there.
Shelf 1 – Monarchy and Wars of the Roses
This shelf starts with my books on the monarchy in general, before moving onto the Plantagenets, Wars of the Roses, Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, the Princes in the Tower, and Richard III.
From left to right:
John Burke – An Illustrated History of England
David Loades – The Kings and Queens of England
J.P. Brooke-Little – Royal Heraldry: Beasts and Badges of Britain
The Royal Line of Succession: Official Souvenir Guide
Andrew Gimson – Kings and Queens: Brief Lives of the Monarchs Since 1066
David Starkey – Monarchy: England and Her Rulers from the Tudors to the Windsors
Mike Ashley – A Brief History of British Kings and Queens
Elizabeth Norton – She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of England
Alison Weir – Britain’s Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy
Peter Ackroyd – History of England Volume 1: Foundation
E.F. Jacob – The Fifteenth Century 1399-1485
Ian Mortimer – The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England
Desmond Seward – The Demon’s Brood: The Plantagenet Dynasty That Forged the English Nation
David Grummitt – A Short History of the Wars of the Roses
Desmond Seward – A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses
Sarah Gristwood – Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses
Michael Jones – Bosworth 1485: Psychology of a Battle
John Ashdown-Hill – Elizabeth Widville: Edward IV’s Chief Mistress and the ‘Pink Queen’
Amy Licence – Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: A True Romance
Jeffrey James – Edward IV: Glorious Son of York
Andrew Beattie – Following in the Footsteps of the Princes in the Tower
Alison Weir – The Princes in the Tower
David Horspool – Richard III: A Ruler and His Reputation
Philippa Langley & Michael Jones – The Search for Richard III: The King’s Grave
Michael Hicks – The Family of Richard III
Kristie Dean – The World of Richard III
Amy Licence – Richard III: The Road to Leicester
Matthew Lewis – Richard III: Fact and Fiction
Peter A. Hancock – Richard III and the Murder in the Tower
Matthew Lewis – Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me
Shelf 2 – General Tudors and Henry VII
This shelf consists of all my books on the Tudor dynasty as a whole, then just manages to start Henry VII and Elizabeth of York on the end.
From left to right:
David Loades – Chronicles of the Tudor Kings
Frances Wilkins – Growing Up in Tudor Times
Peter Marsden – 1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?
Rosemary Weinstein – Tudor London
Peter Ackroyd – The History of the England Volume 2: Tudors
Amy Licence – In Bed with the Tudors: The Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I
Leanda de Lisle – Tudor: The Family Story
David Loades – The Tudors: History of a Dynasty
Chris Skidmore – The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History
Terry Breverton – Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Tudors But Were Afraid to Ask
Tracy Borman – The Private Lives of the Tudors
Timothy Venning – An Alternative History of Britain: The Tudors
Kirsten Claiden-Yardley – The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk
A Guide to Tudor and Jacobean Portraits
John Matusiak – A History of the Tudors in 100 Objects
David Loades – The Tudor Queens of England
Alex Woolf – The Tudor Kings and Queens
Carola Hicks – The King’s Glass: A Story of Tudor Power and Secret Art
J.D. Mackie – The Earlier Tudors 1485-1558
Annie Bullen – The Little Book of the Tudors
Alison Weir – The Lost Tudor Princess
Alison Plowden – The House of Tudor
Dave Tonge – Tudor Folk Tales
Jane Bingham – The Tudors: The Kings and Queens of England’s Golden Age
Elizabeth Norton – The Lives of Tudor Women
Ruth Goodman – How to be a Tudor
Jasper Ridley – A Brief History of the Tudor Age
G.J. Meyer – The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty
John Guy – The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction
Christopher Morris – The Tudors
Phil Carradice – Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor
Shelf 3 – Henry VIII and the Six Wives
This shelf has the rest of my books about Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, all of my Henry VIII books and those overarching books about the Six Wives.
From left to right:
Thomas Penn – Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England
Alison Weir – Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen
Joan MacAlpine – The Shadow of the Tower: Henry VII and His Background
David Loades – Henry VIII
David Starkey – Henry: Virtuous Prince
John Matusiak – Martyrs of Henry VIII: Repression, Defiance, Sacrifice
J.J. Scarisbrick – Henry VIII
George Cavendish – The Life of Cardinal Wolsey
John Guy – The Children of Henry VIII
Robert Hutchinson – Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII
Alison Weir – Children of England: The Heirs of King Henry VIII
John Matusiak – Henry VIII: The Life and Rule of England’s Nero
Philippa Jones – The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards
Kelly Hart – The Mistresses of Henry VIII
Alison Weir – Henry VIII: King and Court
David Starkey – The Reign of Henry VIII: Personalities and Politics
Robert Hutchinson – Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII’s Most Notorious Minister
Derek Wilson – A Brief History of Henry VIII
Robert Hutchinson – The Last Days of Henry VIII
Sarah Morris & Natalie Grueninger – In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII
Amy Licence – The Six Wives and Many Mistresses of Henry VIII
Karen Lindsey – Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII
Alison Weir – The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Lauren Mackay – Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Eyes of the Spanish Ambassador
Antonia Fraser – The Six Wives of Henry VIII
David Starkey – Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII
Shelf 4 – Six Wives
This shelf is broken down into books on each of the Six Wives – Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn (by far the biggest section, as you can see!), Jane Seymour (zero books), Anne of Cleves (zero books), Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr.
From left to right:
David Loades – The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Amy Licence – Catherine of Aragon: An Intimate Life of Henry VIII’s True Wife
Giles Tremlett – Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen
Patrick Williams – Katharine of Aragon
Paul Friedmann – Anne Boleyn
Elizabeth Norton – Anne Boleyn: In Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her
Alison Weir – The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn
Elizabeth Norton – The Boleyn Women: The Tudor Femmes Fatales Who Changed English History
David Loades – The Boleyns: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Family
Amy Licence – Anne Boleyn: Adultery, Heresy, Desire
Lissa Chapman – Anne Boleyn in London
Lacey Baldwin Smith – Anne Boleyn: The Queen of Controversy
Susan Bordo – The Creation of Anne Boleyn: In Search of the Tudors’ Most Notorious Queen
Alison Weir – Mary Boleyn: The Great and Infamous Whore
Carolly Erickson – Mistress Anne
Eric Ives – The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
Francis Bacon – The Tragedy of Anne Boleyn
Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn
Retha Warnicke – The Rise and Fall of Anne Boleyn
Josephine Wilkinson – Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII’s Favourite Mistress
Josephine Wilkinson – Anne Boleyn: The Young Queen to Be
Elizabeth Norton – Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII’s Obsession
G.W. Bernard – Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions
Joanna Denny – Anne Boleyn
Marie Louise Bruce – Anne Boleyn
Josephine Wilkinson – Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen
Conor Byrne – Katherine Howard: Henry VIII’s Slandered Queen
Robert Hutchinson – House of Treason: The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty
Linda Porter – Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII
Shelf 5 – The Later Tudors
This shelf goes through Edward VI, Jane Grey, Mary I and Elizabeth I, onto Mary Queen of Scots and the English Reformation. As you can probably tell from the number of books on the later Tudors compared to the likes of Henry VIII, my primary focus is on the earlier period.
From left to right:
Hester Chapman – The Last Tudor King: A Study of Edward VI
Leanda de Lisle – The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey
Nicola Tallis – Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
Alison Plowden – Lady Jane Grey: Nine Days Queen
Anna Whitelock – Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen
Phil Carradice – Bloody Mary: Tudor Terror 1553-1558
J.A. Froude – The Reign of Mary Tudor
Alison Plowden – Elizabethan England
David Cecil – The Cecils of Hatfield House
Robert Stedall – Elizabeth I’s Secret Lover: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
John Guy – Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
Anna Whitelock – Elizabeth’s Bedfellows: An Intimate History of the Queen’s Court
Carole Levin – The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and Power
J.B. Black – The Reign of Elizabeth 1558-1603
David Birt – Elizabeth’s England
Robert Hutchinson – Elizabeth’s Spymaster: Francis Walsingham and the Secret War That Saved England
David Starkey – Elizabeth
Nicola Tallis – Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester
Chris Skidmore – Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart
Alison Weir – Elizabeth the Queen
David & Judy Steel – Mary Stuart’s Scotland
Mary Was Here: Where Mary Queen of Scots Went and What She Did There
Antonia Fraser – Mary Queen of Scots
Lynda Telford – Tudor Victims of the Reformation
Diarmaid MacCulloch – Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700
Derek Wilson – A Brief History of the English Reformation
Shelf 6 – Palaces and Places
The bottom shelf currently stores largely my guidebooks and BBC History magazines, along with a couple of my more general history books.
From left to right:
David Souden – The Royal Palaces of London
Christopher Hibbert – Tower of London
The Private Life of Palaces
Simon Thurley – Houses of Power: The Places That Shaped the Tudor World
Suzannah Lipscomb – A Journey Through Tudor England
Nigel Jones – Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London
Terry Deary – The Peasants’ Revolting … Crimes
Merry Wiesner-Hanks – Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe
Richard III and Henry VII Experience in York
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
The Jewel Tower
The Palace of Westminster
The Church of Saint Michael at Framlingham
St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Tower of London
Hampton Court Palace
The Mary Rose
Imperial War Museum London
Are there any books missing that you would thoroughly recommend? Sound off in the comments!
‘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 8th February 2019).
Bradgate House = Bradgate House is now a ruin, but it was home to the Grey family, descended from the first son of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband. Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, Katherine and Mary, grew up here. The Grey family lived here for two hundred year until 1739, but a newer house, also in ruins, now stands nearby to the original ruins. More of the Tudor chapel and tower stand now than of the house itself.
Burghley House = Burghley House was built by William Cecil, Lord Burghley. He was the most trusted councillor of Elizabeth I, and very focused on trying to catch Mary Queen of Scots in conducting treason. Burghley’s changes to the house took from 1555 to 1587, but little of the Tudor inside now remains. Burghley House is the only one of Cecil’s many properties still standing today, though it has been much changed. Continue reading “Potted History of Tudor Homes”
Greenwich Palace no longer stands, but it was the birthplace of Henry VIII, as well as both of his daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. It used to be known as the Palace of Placentia and was built in 1433 by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, in the reign of the pious King Henry VI. The Palace fell into disrepute during the English Civil War, and was later demolished and replaced with the Greenwich Hospital (now the Old Royal Naval College) in the late 17th century.
Eltham Palace was the childhood home of Henry VIII and was built in 1295. Henry stayed here even as Prince of Wales, rather than go to Ludlow. At one point, it was bigger even than Hampton Court Palace. Even as Henry got older and when he became king, he continued to prize Eltham, putting some of its features into Hampton Court, and he remodelled Eltham itself 1519-22. Only small sections now remain as it fell into disrepute after Henry’s death. Continue reading “Potted History of Tudor Palaces”