Sunday Short Takes

Sorry I didn’t get around to doing one of these last weekend (which was the long Memorial Day holiday here in the US).

* The June issue of BBC History magazine is out and features a cover article about Elizabeth I by Anna Whitelock titled “Saving the Virgin Queen”. I decided to subscribe to the digital edition on my iPad but I’m still a month behind on reading the issues!

* Tudor Gresham Ship wreck moves to National Diving CentreThe wreck of an Elizabethan merchant ship has been transported to a new home in Leicestershire after being raised from a Portsmouth lake.

And finally, the article (well, one version of it at least – there were many re-workings of it in various news outlets) that lit up Twitter last week:

* ‘Tudor era’ is misleading myth, says Oxford historian

One observation I had, especially after @NasimT pointed to an earlier article by the same historian, is that it is odd how some topics suddenly become “news”. In my profession (astronomy/astrophysics for those who don’t already know) I’ve seen this same phenomenon happen as well. A reporter stumbles across something that they think will cause a buzz (even years-old research), will write a story, and all of a sudden it is everywhere! My other observation was that I could see the point Prof. Davies is making, but I don’t know that it would be “misleading” to call it the Tudor Era. We call the era before them “The Wars of the Roses” even though the participants didn’t call it that and the name came along centuries later. As Suzannah Lipscomb (@sixteenthCgirl) pointed out on Twitter, the Plantagenets didn’t call their era by their name either, so why make a point about the Tudors? I also haven’t seen an alternative label offered. We already note the individual reigns when we’re speaking more specifically, and often books about the whole era include the dates 1485-1603 in their titles or subtitles. Oh well, it was an interesting article and got a lot of people talking, which I guess was the point! 🙂

And one final off-topic note, while I’m thinking about it – if you’re in an area that the Transit of Venus on June 5/6 is visible please make an effort to see it! I’ll be hosting one part of the public outreach viewing at UT. Any central Texas readers, please stop by! (More info here)

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