Thank you to Pen and Sword Books for a copy of this to review.
I’ve already read ‘Following in the Footsteps of the Princes in the Tower’ from the same series, so I was looking forward to this one, expecting it to be in the same vein, but I was a little disappointed. I didn’t find it very engaging and perhaps it isn’t fair to compare it to another book in the same series by a different author.
I was expecting a breakdown of each place that Henry travelled through, and although it is a comprehensive exploration of the route Henry Tudor took from his birth to his accession to the throne, the places themselves seem to take a back seat, not what I’d expect from a book called ‘Following in the Footsteps’ but I know that’s my personal opinion and others might disagree.
There were also a few errors – for example, the Duke of Norfolk is in several places referred to as the Earl of Norfolk, and Rhys ap Thomas sometimes referred to as Rhys ap Tudor. Perkin Warbeck and the Earl of Warwick were said to have been executed in 1497, but it was actually 1499. I also had a problem with the bibliography. For the amount of information given in the book I expected quite a comprehensive bibliography, but it was surprisingly short, and a book doesn’t instil me with confidence when it lists Wikipedia and the Daily Mail as sources, to be honest.
It’s certainly an interesting book and did offer a lot of insight especially into the journey Henry VII took on landing in Wales in August 1485 to Bosworth Field where Richard III died. That section is particularly detailed, but the sources are questionable sometimes I think. For the story I think it is intriguing, but I wouldn’t trust the sources used – if you’re planning on referencing or believing anything in this book, go back to the original sources.
My blogging was quite uneven last year with the COVID-19 lockdown and my mental health being quite fragile. Looking forward to 2021 I really want to blog more, and not just about the Tudors and Wars of the Roses – I also have interests in the English Regency, Jack the Ripper, and the British Monarchy.
Read below for my history resolutions for 2021!
1. Blog More on Different Topics
Although my blog is called TudorBlogger, and the Tudors are my first and abiding interest, I also have really started developing other interests over the last few years so I’d love to share some of my other historical passions like the English Regency period, Jack the Ripper, and the history of the British Monarchy. I also like looking at and visiting historical sites including castles and palaces. So keep an eye out for some new content on my blog!
2. Get Up to Date on my Review Copies from Lovely Publishers!
I have a bit of a backlog on my review copies pile which I’ve received from publishers over the last year or so. Because of my mental health issues in 2020 with the lockdown I haven’t felt able to give them my full attention and didn’t want to do half-arsed reviews of them, because they deserve better. So, you can look out for reviews of the following over the next few months!
John Ashdown-Hill – Elizabeth Widville: Lady Grey (Pen & Sword)
John Matusiak – A History of the Tudors in 100 Objects (History Press)
Phil Carradice – Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor (Pen & Sword)
John Matusiak – Martyrs of Henry VIII: Repression, Defiance, Sacrifice (History Press)
Matthew Lewis – Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me (Amberley Publishing)
Kirsten Claiden-Yardley – The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (Pen & Sword)
Robert Stedall – Elizabeth I’s Secret Lover: Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (Pen & Sword)
Amy Licence – 1520: The Field of the Cloth of Gold (Amberley Publishing)
Heather Darsie – Anna Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister (Amberley Publishing)
Paul Dryburgh – Royal Seals: Images of Power and Majesty (Pen & Sword)
Paul Kendall – Henry VIII in 100 Objects: The Tyrant King Who Had Six Wives (Pen & Sword)
Nathan Amin – Henry VIII and the Tudor Pretenders: Simnel, Warbeck and Warwick (Amberley Publishing)
I also have a fiction review coming of Saga Hillborn’s ‘Princess of Thorns’ based on the life of Cecily Plantagenet, sister to Elizabeth of York and daughter of Edward IV. There will also be a surprise guest post from Saga Hillborn to coincide with the release of the book in March 2021.
3. Historical Cross Stitch
I’ve currently got 2 historical cross stitch kits to work on – a Hampton Court mini cushion kit from Sheena Rogers Designs, which you might have seen me start if you follow me on Instagram (@tudorblogger). I also have a Kings and Queens of England cross stitch which I’m excited to start once I’ve done the Hampton Court one. Last year I completed a Henry VIII and his Six Wives cross stitch during the lockdown which has now been framed and is on my study wall. If you want to follow my progress on my cross stitches, updates will be posted to my Instagram.
4. Get Up to Date on my History Podcasts
I have quite a few history podcasts that I listen to, or want to listen to, but I’m really behind on listening to them, again a mental health issue. The following are the podcasts I want to catch up with!
People are having to find new things to do to keep themselves occupied while the world is in lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve been a bit remiss on this blog recently through a combination of different things, but I have really been struggling to find things to keep me occupied – here is my list of some of the history-related things that are keeping me sane during this very difficult and unprecedented time.
Listening to history podcasts
There are a couple of really great history podcasts that I love, and I am getting my history fix from these, not all Tudor-related.
Natalie Grueninger talks with various people about different aspects of the Tudor period; there are currently 67 episodes covering everything from Anne Boleyn to Tudor Christmases, from Anne Clifford to the Golden Hinde.
Leanda de Lisle discusses the Tudors and Stuarts in easily digestible 10-minute chunks from Henry VI to Charles I, the Gunpowder Plot to the role of royal consort. There are plenty of topics to find something of interest to everyone.
David Crowther podcasts from his shed, currently with 286 episodes covering a history of England from the Anglo-Saxons currently up to the accession of Elizabeth I, though further episodes are to come.
This is a podcast linked to magazines like BBC History and History Revealed. It deals with historical topics from across time as well as different countries. If you’re going to find something to interest you, you’ll find it here.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how short this book was, that it managed to cram in so much detail. There are so many little details throughout the book that I didn’t expect. It’s a great introduction to the reign of Mary I, and especially her role in the Catholic Counter-Reformation in England in the 1550s. There is lots of detail about the Protestant martyrs of her reign who I didn’t really know much about to be honest, but I do now!
I especially enjoyed the introductory section about Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, and the section about Thomas Cranmer’s recantation and execution. John Foxe’s book lists many of the people who were killed under Mary I as Protestant martyrs, and their beliefs and executions are covered in a surprising amount of detail. I haven’t yet got around to reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, just dipping in and out for assignments and blog posts, but this makes me want to spend more time with it.