Sunday Short Takes

The Vatican Secret Archives exhibition that I have mentioned a few times previously is now open so there were several articles about some of the treasures that are now on display. Here are some:

* The Vatican’s Secret Archive: selected papal documents go on display in Italy

* Revealed: Signed by 81 noblemen, the threatening letter sent to a Pope ‘asking’ him to annul Henry VIII’s first marriage

* Vatican archive reveals nobles’ threat to papacy

* Mary Queen of Scots poignant letter months before her execution

* Official exhibition site page with more information on some of the documents

Last Thursday was St. David’s Day and the History Today twitter account linked to their index of articles on Wales. Some are available by subscription only, but others are free to read, including:

* The Welshness of the TudorsWithout their Welsh connections, the Tudors could never have made good their rags-to-riches ascent to the English throne, argues Peter R. Roberts.

* Welsh and English Princes of WalesIn this article, the complex relationship between England and the Principality is reflected, as D. Huw Owen traces the claimants of this title from 1245 to 1490, when Henry VII’s son, Arthur, was proclaimed Prince of Wales.

And here are some other interesting things that popped up last week:

* The National Trust discovers letters from Henry VIII and Jane Seymour

* ‘We be delivered a prince’: Letter informing Henry VIII of his longed-for son’s birth is found after 469 years in stately home – (same item as above, but I had to link to this so I could rant about the statement that it was “written in Old English” – NO IT WASN’T!!! It’s Early Modern English. Sorry – this is a big pet peeve of mine that I got from my professor for the History of the English Language class I took in college.)

* How Henry VII branded the TudorsWhat has gone down in history as ‘the wars of the roses’ was really nothing of the kind. Doctored manuscripts show how a wily Henry VII dusted off a royal emblem after the event (by Thomas Penn, author of The Winter King

* The BBC History Extra podcast for March 1 features Ian Mortimer discussing the sensations of Elizabethan England

* Dreamer or schemer? Step forward the real Anne BoleynBeguiling temptress or feisty schemer? Nearly 500 years on, Henry VIII’s second wife still divides opinion, as several new books and a stage show confirm. Either way, says historical novelist Vanora Bennett, she changed the course of history and still captivates today (warning: a video ad automatically started playing when I went to the page – I wish they wouldn’t do that!)

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