Monday, November 27, 2023

How to Dress Like a Tudor by Judith Arnopp

Amazon Blurb: The perfect how-to guide for dressing like your favorite Tudor.

Have you ever hankered to dress like a Tudor lord or lady, or perhaps you prefer the status of goodwife, or costermonger, or even a bawd?

For beginner historical reenactors, the path to authenticity can be bewildering and sometimes intimidating. Judith Arnopp uses her own experience, both as a historian and a medieval/Tudor lady, to make your own journey a little easier.

The author traces the transition of fashion from the relatively subtle styles popular at the court of Henry VII, through the carefully constructed royal grandeur of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I to the pinnacle of majesty and splendid iconography of Elizabeth I.

In contrast to the magnificence of court come the ordinary folk who, subject to sumptuary laws and regulations, wore garments of a simpler cut and cloth – a strata of society that formed the back bone of Tudor England.

This brief history of sixteenth century fashion examines clothing for both rich and poor, adult and child, and offers tips and tricks on how to begin to sew your first historically inspired garment, this book is aimed at helping the beginner learn How to Dress like a Tudor.

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The Forgotten Tudor Royal: Margaret Douglas by Beverley Adams

Amazon Blurb: As the daughter and cousin of queens and the granddaughter and niece of kings, Lady Margaret Douglas was an integral part of the Tudor royal dynasty. A favorite of her uncle King Henry VIII and a close friend of Queen Mary I she courted scandal which saw her imprisoned in the Tower of London on more than one occasion. Against the orders of Queen Elizabeth I she plotted the marriage of her eldest son Lord Darnley to Mary, Queen of Scots with disastrous consequences.

She came as close to the executioners block as she did to the throne of England, with some believing she had a right to be queen. A devout Catholic all her life, she lived at a time when religious division split the country in half yet she remained steadfast in her beliefs. A respected and revered lady on both sides of the border, Lady Margaret Douglas, later Countess of Lennox through her marriage, suffered much heartbreak and loss. Her husband and son were both murdered at the hands of the Scots and she outlived all her children.

Despite these tragedies she never gave up on her dream of uniting the thrones of England and Scotland which was realized through her grandson King James VI/I.

The story of her life is a remarkable tale of intrigue and survival and deserves to be more widely told.

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Inside the Tudor Home: Daily Life in the Sixteenth Century by Bethan Watts

Amazon Blurb: Inside the Tudor Home sheds light on how people lived in the sixteenth century from plush royal palaces to wattle-and-daub cottages and everything in between.

Power. Politics. Prosperity. Plague.

Tudor England; a country replete with sprawling landscapes, dense forests and twisting urban labyrinths. This is a place of stagnation and of progress; of glorious cultural revolution, where the wheel of fortune is forever turning.

From the plush royal palaces to the draughtiest of wattle-and-daub cottages, sixteenth-century England revolved around the people who formed the beating heart of Tudor society. These people celebrated scientific progress and lamented religious persecution; championed the rights of women and the underrepresented; fell in love with sweethearts, cared for pets and mourned the deaths of their loved ones.

In her first book, Bethan Catherine Watts sheds light on the Tudor home and the everyday lives of those who lived there.

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Heirs of Ambition: The Making of the Boleyns by Claire Martin

Amazon Blurb: Heirs of Ambition: The Making of the Boleyns uncovers the story and the family behind England’s most obsessed-over queen, Anne Boleyn.

From the fields of Norfolk to the royal court, via city commerce, local government, liberal education and numerous wedding bells, the Boleyns emerge as just one of many newly prosperous and ambitious families seeking to make the best of a changing world. As they struggle upwards, England is visited by famine, plague, revolt and civil war – but also opportunity.

Struggling peasants in dirt-floored cottages scratch a living on tiny scraps of land. More than half are swept away by plague while revolt soaks the south-east in blood, but hope lies in the teeming, timber-framed streets of London amongst ambitious merchants who speculate and scheme. Meagre rations become venison pasties and straw-filled mattresses, featherbeds, but some things remain the same. Disease has no respect for gold and silver; war takes sons whose lives have barely begun. While the Boleyns’ new-found wealth delivered power and status, they still lived in a violent world and life could be precarious, even for a queen.

From steady climb to bone-breaking fall, the Boleyns’ story is medieval life at its messy, prejudiced and unstable best.

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A Matter of Faith: : Henry VIII, the Days of the Phoenix by Judith Arnopp

Amazon Blurb: ‘Superbly inventive insight into the mind of one of our most famous monarchs’ - Deborah Swift: award winning author

Finally free of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII is now married to Anne Boleyn, and eagerly awaits the birth of his son. In a court still reeling from the royal divorce and amid growing resentment against church reform, Henry must negotiate widespread resentment toward Anne. But his lifelong dreams of a son to cement his Tudor bloodline are shattered when Anne is delivered of a daughter.

Burying his disappointment, Henry focuses on getting her with child again, but their marriage is volatile and, as Henry faces personal bereavement and discord at court, Anne’s enemies are gathering. When the queen miscarries of a son, and Henry suffers a life-threatening accident, his need for an heir becomes vital. Waiting in the wings is Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting, who offers the king respite from Anne’s fiery passions.

But, when Anne falls foul of her former ally, Thomas Cromwell, and the king is persuaded that Anne has made him a cuckold, Henry strikes out and the queen falls beneath the executioner’s sword, taking key players in Henry’s household with her.

Jane Seymour, stepping up to replace the fallen queen, quickly becomes pregnant. Delighted with his dull but fertile wife, Henry’s spirits rise even further when the prince is born safely. At last, Henry has all he desires, but even as he celebrates, fate is preparing to deliver one more staggering blow.

The virile young prince is now a damaged middle-aged man, disappointed in those around him but most of all in himself. As the king’s optimism diminishes, his intractability increases, and soon the wounded lion will begin to roar.

The story continues in Book Three: A Matter of Time, the Dying of the Light

“Riveting. This is Henry from beyond the grave in all his passionate complexity” Elizabeth St John - author of The Godmother’s Secret

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Eating with the Tudors: Food and Recipes by Brigitte Webster

Amazon Blurb: Dive right into this extensive collection of authentic Tudor recipes, from suckling pigs to pax cakes!

Eating with the Tudors is an extensive collection of authentic Tudor recipes that tell the story of a dramatically changing world in sixteenth-century England. This book highlights how religion, reformation and politics influenced what was served on a Tudor’s dining table from the very beginning of Henry VII’s reign to the final days of Elizabeth I’s rule.

Discover interesting little food snippets from Tudor society, carefully researched from household account books, manuscripts, letters, wills, diaries and varied works by Tudor physicians, herbalists and chronologists. Find out about the Tudor’s obsession with food and uncover which key ingredients were the most popular choice. Rediscover old Tudor favorites that once again are being celebrated in trendy restaurants and learn about the new, exotic food that excited and those foods that failed to meet the Elizabethan expectations.

Eating with the Tudors explains the whole concept of what a healthy balanced meal meant to the people of Tudor England and the significance and symbology of certain food and its availability throughout the year. Gain an insight into the world of Tudor food, its role to establish class, belonging and status and be tempted to re-create some iconic Tudor flavors and experience for yourself the many varied and delicious seasonal tastes that Tudor dishes have to offer. Spice up your culinary habits and step back in time to recreate a true Tudor feast by impressing your guests the Tudor way or prepare a New Year’s culinary gift fit for a Tudor monarch.

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Henry VIII’s Children: Legitimate and Illegitimate Sons and Daughters of the Tudor King by Caroline Angus

Amazon Blurb: Of the five Tudor monarchs, only one was ever born to rule. While much of King Henry VIII’s reign is centered on his reckless marriage choices, it was the foundations laid by Henry and Queen Katherine of Aragon that shaped the future of the crown. Among the suffering of five lost heirs, the royal couple placed all their hopes in the surviving Princess Mary. Her early life weaves a tale of promise, diplomacy, and pageantry never again seen in King Henry’s life, but a deep-rooted desire for a son, a legacy of his own scattered childhood, pushed Henry VIII to smother Mary’s chance to rule. An affair soon produced an unlikely heir in Henry Fitzroy, and while one child was pure royalty, the other illegitimate, the comparison of their childhoods would show a race to throne closer than many wished to admit.

King Henry’s cruelty saw his heirs’ fates pivot as wives came and went, and the birth Princess Elizabeth, saw long-term plans upended for short-term desires. With the death of one heir hidden from view, the birth of Prince Edward finally gave the realm an heir born to rule, but King Henry’s personal desires and paranoia left his heirs facing constant uncertainty for another decade until his death. Behind the narrative of Henry VIII’s wives, wars, reformation and ruthlessness, there were children, living lives of education among people who cared for them, surrounded by items in generous locations which symbolized their place in their father’s heart. They faced excitement, struggles, and isolation which would shape their own reigns. From the heights of a surviving princess destined and decreed to influence Europe, to illegitimate children scattered to the winds of fortune, the childhoods of Henry VIII’s heirs is one of ambition, destiny, heartache, and triumph.

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The Queen’s Frog Prince: The Courtship of Elizabeth I and the Duke of Anjou by David Lee

Amazon Blurb: Between the years 1579 and 1581, a courtship between Elizabeth I of England and François, Duke of Anjou took place. Though this courtship is often dismissed as a political tactic on Elizabeth’s part to create an Anglo-French alliance during the Wars of Religion, The Queen’s Frog Prince presents an alternative interpretation. In this book, David Lee pores over some of the surviving love letters exchanged between Elizabeth and Anjou, whom Elizabeth affectionately nicknamed “my frog.” Lee suggests that although the courtship suited Elizabeth I politically, it also blossomed into something much more complex, an affectionate bond, and that to understand Elizabeth I as a woman, she must first be seen for who she was beneath all the vainglory and iconography.

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