Sunday Short Takes

Welcome to this week’s news round-up! There probably won’t be one next week because I’ll be traveling for work, but I’ll save up any interesting stories that come along and do another round-up on the 19th.

* Terror in Elizabethan England – Podcast of Jessie Childs’ talk from the 2014 History Weekend

* James V’s lost tapestries recreated at Stirling CastleA 14-year project to recreate the lost tapestries of the Scottish king James V has been completed at Stirling Castle. Learn more at Historic Scotland.

* Preparing the Tower for the TudorsOnce again the Tower will play host to Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, and we will be inviting our visitors to take part in the preparations and celebrations for Anne’s coronation. Learn more at Historic Royal Palaces.

And finally…

I was over at the Harry Ransom Center over my lunch break to see the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland exhibition before it closes on Monday and I stopped by to see the Gutenberg Bible as usual and noticed that they had turned the page since my last visit. And that got me wondering how and when they turned the pages. Just my luck, that same day they posted about it on their blog! And now you can learn about it too – The Gutenberg Bible turns a new page

Upcoming Books and Events for July 2015


It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that I missed some releases last month (and a few months before!) so I’ll include those along with the new releases for July.

First up, Mary Tudor, England’s first Queen Regnant. Truth is the Daughter of Time by Gregory Slysz was released in the UK and the US back at the end of March.

Next up, Tracy Borman’s The Story of the Tower of London was released in April in the UK and will be out on July 7 in the US.

Ray Morris’ tale of the sinking of the Mary Rose entitled Out of the Blue was released on June 1 in both the US and UK.

Exploring English Castles by Edd Morris was released in the US back in April and is now out in the UK.

Although it’s technically before the Tudor period I wanted to mention The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Life in Medieval England 1050-1300 by Gillian Polack and Katrin Kania, which was released in early June in the UK and it will be out on August 19 in the US. Some of the content would certainly be useful for writing in any pre-Industrial Revolution era of English history, and, I’ll admit I wanted to include it because Gillian is an old friend. :)

Next up, prolific Tudor historian David Loades’ latest work The Seymours of Wolf Hall is out in the UK and will be released on August 19 in the US.

And finally, the 6th edition of Tudor Rebellions (part of the Seminar Studies line) by Anthony Fletcher and Diarmaid MacCulloch will be out on July 5 in the US and July 6 in the UK. I have several Tudor-era books from the Seminar Studies series (although not the one on rebellions – yet) and I’ve found them to be good compact references.

Continuing Events

After the successful run of the stage versions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, the productions have moved to Broadway in the US and opened March 20, 2015 and will run through July 5, 2015. You can learn more about the Broadway run, including ticket information at

Picture of the Week #337

Outside the medieval guildhall in Leicester. Photo May 2015.

The Guildhall was a pleasant surprise that I didn’t even know was there until I stumbled upon it after popping in to the cafe next to the Cathedral – it was just tucked in a short lane between the two. If you’re in Leicester, I definitely recommend you check it out! By the way, the press conference announcing the scientific results of the testing of Richard III’s skeleton was held in the main room of the guildhall.

Fire up your Tudor creativity!

In lieu of the regular news round-up, I thought I would highlight two Tudor-themed creative contests announced last week.

First up: the Tudor Ghost Story contest is back! – Head on over to On the Tudor Trail for all the details.

And second: The Anne Boleyn Files is once again soliciting photos for their Tudor Places Calendar! – Head over to Claire’s site for more information.

Best of luck to anyone who enters one or both of the competitions!

Picture of the Week #336

Interior in Harvard House, Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo May 2015.

Because New Place and Nash’s House are closed for redevelopment, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has opened Harvard House to compensate. Although I was sad to not get to visit the other two again it was nice to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Harvard House for the first time!

Sunday Short Takes

Sorry I haven’t had a round-up in the past few weeks… once again I’ve tried to squeeze too many things into the weekends and some things just didn’t get done. And I’m still working my way through all my vacation photos!

A new project from the University of Leicester archaeology might not have the same fanfare as their Richard III dig, but this one is also relevant to Tudor history interests. Here are a few articles about the project to investigate Bradgate Park, the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey:

* Archaeologists prepare to reveal the secrets of Bradgate Park

* Archaeologists say Lady Jane Grey birthplace is “as good as it gets” as six-week dig begins

* Archaeologists find a hoard of historical artifacts at Bradgate Park

And in more archaeology news:

* ‘Highly significant’ Spanish Armada cannons discovered off coast of Ireland

And finally…

This should probably go in the monthly books and events round-up, but since the event is pretty close I thought I would go ahead and highlight it here in the news round-up. If anyone gets a chance to attend I’d love a write-up!

* Representing the Tudors: An interdisciplinary conference 10-11 July 2015Held at the University of South Wales, this conference brings together scholars working in a variety of fields to encourage dialogue between different perspectives and methodologies when engaging with the question of “representing the Tudors.”

Sunday Short Takes

Cowdenknowes Estate

I’m finally getting back into the groove of things after vacation!

* Where’s Wolsey? Hunt is on to find the remains of Cardinal Wolsey in Leicester – This isn’t really much of a new story since the topic has come up a few times since Richard III wad discovered, but it’s interesting that it has stayed in the news. I was originally planning to visit the abbey remains while I was in Leicester but I couldn’t really fit it into the schedule. Hey, if they find Wolsey and further develop the site, it would be a good excuse to visit the city again!

* Help save Shakespeare’s first theatreFunding of £7 million is required to excavate the eastern side and create a visitor centre for the Rose Playhouse.

* Stunning fairytale mansion where Mary Queen of Scots stayed just a year before she was forced off the throne goes on sale for £1.8million – Yes, another property to add to the wish list.

* Shakespeare Or Not Shakespeare, That Is The Question – The big ‘new image of Shakespeare found’ story broke while was on vacation (and, ironically, *in* Stratford-upon-Avon) so I didn’t have a chance to follow it closely. But I’ll say that from the quick glances I had at the stories, I was pretty skeptical. This article seems to be a good analysis of the whole thing.

* Micropasts – Photo Masking Mary Rose Objects – Help the Mary Rose Trust digitize their collection!

And a couple of fun videos to round out the week’s news:

Upcoming Books and Events for June 2015

Very short round-up this month (which is a good thing since I’m still digging out from under everything that accumulated while I was on vacation)!


Just one book this month, Elizabeth I and Her Circle by Susan Doran, which was released in March in the UK and is now out in the US.

Continuing Events

After the successful run of the stage versions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, the productions have moved to Broadway in the US and opened March 20, 2015 and will run through July 5, 2015. You can learn more about the Broadway run, including ticket information at

Picture of the Week #332

St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Photo May 2015.

Yes, you are reading that right – this photo was taken in May 2015! I got back on Monday and will probably spend the next year sorting and processing photos (this was the first trip to the UK that I’ve had the luxury of taking as many photos as I please since I didn’t have to develop *film*). I’ll be posting them here as a Picture of the Week, adding new photos to existing galleries, and finally adding some new places to the Places section. And I’ll post them to my Flickr galleries and post the links in the news round-ups as I progress.

Sunday Short Takes

Yes, it’s finally back! There just haven’t been a ton of stories lately, so I’ve let a few stack up and am finally doing a round-up.

* My favourite painting: Matthew Girling‘This ethereal image of Elizabeth is one of Hilliard’s most enigmatic. But, for me, it’s the depiction of the jewels, rubies and pearls that I find mesmerising.

* Westminster Abbey’s secrets in the attic to go on displayRestoration work will allow unprecedented access to rarely visited triforium – and to the many recondite artefacts it holds – I cannot wait to visit again once this is open!

* Scotland’s first statue of Mary, Queen of Scots, unveiled outside Linlithgow Palace

And for anyone planning a summer vacation in London:

* Your Ultimate Guide to Royal London – You can download a PDF version of the guide at the link

Finally, here’s a really neat video about the project to rebuild the staircase that leads up to the White Tower of the Tower of London, using medieval techniques:

From forest to fortress: the Tower of London White Tower staircase project

Upcoming Books and Events for May 2015


Starting out with a few books that were previously released in the UK and are now having their US release:

The Other Tudor Princess: Margaret Douglas, Henry VIII’s Niece and The Dublin King: The True Story of Lambert Simnel and the Princes in the Tower were released in January in the UK and are out May 1 in the US.

And Henry VIII’s Last Love: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Willoughby, Lady in Waiting to the Tudors (US title: Henry VIII’s Last Love: The Life of Katherine Willoughby) was released in March in the UK and will be out May 19 in the US.

And the one new release for the month is Women’s Voices in Tudor Wills, 1485–1603 by Susan E. James. This looks like a fascinating study but unfortunately it is ‘academically priced’ so I’ll be waiting until the university library gets it. It will be released at the end of May in both the UK and US.

Continuing Events

After the successful run of the stage versions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK, the productions have moved to Broadway in the US and opened March 20, 2015 and will run through July 5, 2015. You can learn more about the Broadway run, including ticket information at

Picture of the Week #329

The White Tower at the Tower of London. Photo May 1998.

You’ll no doubt notice that the White Tower isn’t looking very white in this picture! This photo was taken prior to the cleaning and conservation work that was done to restore it to the lovely light color hiding under decades of London pollution. You can see a photo of the restored tower and learn more about the conservation project at the Historic Royal Palaces website.