Upcoming Books and Exhibitions for June 2019


Here’s a book that I missed last month, but I had to include it because I’m so happy to see more work on Thomas Harriot, an overlooked scientist from the early era of modern astronomy. As some of you might recall, I have a degree in astronomy and I’m also very interested in the history of science and Thomas Harriot has been a pet interest of mine for a while after I came across his early sunspot drawings (in fact, he was probably the first person to observe them with a telescope). Early astronomers did a variety of things to observe the sun without burning their retinas and one method Harriot employed was observing the sun at sunrise through the mist over the Thames. So romantic! (This is where I put on my solar astronomer hat and say “don’t look directly at the sun without specialty equipment that is certified as safe for looking at the sun!”)

Thomas Harriot: A Life in Science by Robyn Arianrhod was released in early May in the US and at the end of May in the UK.

Continuing Exhibition

The Many Faces of Tudor England opened at The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth (England) on March 18 and will run through the of the year. Admission to the exhibit is including with the admission to the museum.

Sunday Short Takes

Hey, look – a Sunday Short Takes! It’s not like there has been a lack of Tudor news lately, but I have been lacking in time to sit down a write up a post about them.

A lot of the big news of late has been archaeology related and this first story managed to run it’s whole course before I had a chance to write about it.

* Campaigners lose 2nd Battle of Bosworth as

Sunday Short Takes

Yes, really, a Sunday Short Takes!! I finally had a confluence of enough stuff to post and time to actually post it.

First up – a couple of competitions are back this year!

* Tudor Ghost Story Competition at On the Tudor Trail

* Tudor Calendar Competition from The Anne Boleyn Files

Next – a few other things!

* Talking Tudors – Natalie at On the Tudor Trail has started a podcast!

* Tudor shipwreck discovered by local group on Kent beach

* Royal Mail will release stamps featuring Hampton Court Palace

And finally…

The first trailer for the Mary Queen of Scots movie starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie has been released:

(Thankfully I’m pretty good at disconnecting my amateur historian brain when watching historical fiction on TV or the big screen.)

Sunday Short Takes

Long overdue! Some of these date back over a month, but in my defense, most of February was a blur so it feels like we just went from January straight to March.

* The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries to open on 11th June – A date has been announced for the opening of Westminster Abbey’s new galleries up in the medieval Triforium. I can’t wait to visit this (someday)!

* Blanche Parry’s life at the side of Queen Elizabeth IBlanche Parry is one of history’s most influential Welsh women, yet few know the name and only a handful know her story.

* Victoria Art Gallery

Sunday Short Takes

Welcome to 2018! I have some stuff from the end of 2017 – and a few new things – that didn’t get posted in my very lazy break from work.

* Westminster Abbey’s attics yield a treasure trove of stained glass

* Hull’s Henry VIII blockhouse dig ‘bit of a gem’

* She opened her own doors: ASU history professor retires from pioneering career – Article about historian Retha Warnicke upon her retirement from Arizona State University

And finally – the program on Lady Jane Grey that I mentioned back in August is now scheduled to air on BBC 4 on January 9, 10, and 11.

More info: Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3 and a trailer –

Sunday Short Takes

Just a couple of things, mostly related to stuff I posted in the Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for October 2017 last weekend:

* Miranda Kaufmann has a website related to her new book Black Tudors, including brief bios of Ten Black Tudors who are featured in the book, and details on her book tour throughout England.

* The Mary Rose lit up my news alerts last week – first with stories saying that it is in danger of collapse and then more of a clarification saying that it wasn’t in danger of collapse, but that it is in need of a new support system. Next week is the 35th anniversary of the raising of the ship and there are still tickets available for the Anniversary Lectures next weekend.

* And finally, I received an email that the score to the movie Lady Jane has been released. I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but I remember that it a lovely score. One thing that a lot of people might not know about me is that I’m a life-long film score buff and it’s always great to see old scores released even many, many years after the movie came out. You can learn more about this release and listen to sample tracks here. Links to purchase through my Amazon affiliates below:

Sunday Short Takes

Finally time for another round-up!

* The huge dig by The Deep revealing Hull’s Royal secrets – including King Henry VIII’s fortress – Warning – autoplay video (but otherwise very interesting!)

* 10 Minute Tudors: Leanda de Lisle – A new podcast from historian and author Leanda de Lisle (link goes to iTunes)

* Inside the Tudor court – A great post from the British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts blog featuring images from four recently digitized account books of Henry VII and Henry VIII (links to the manuscripts are at the bottom of the post)

* Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, and the Ashbourne Charter of 1585 – Nice discussion by Suzannah Lipscomb of the iconography in an Elizabethan charter and the few examples we have of Elizabeth I remembering her mother, Anne Boleyn.

Sunday Short Takes

Feels weird doing this while part of my state drowns but other than some small donations there isn’t a whole lot I can do at this point until the rain stops here and elsewhere (and it looks like that won’t happen until the end of the week). So, while I continue to try to distract myself, here’s a news round-up!

The big announcement of the last couple of weeks was the discovery of more parts of the old Palace at Greenwich. Here’s a sample of the news coverage:

* Discovery of old Greenwich Palace sheds light on Tudor life

* Greenwich Palace: Archaeologists discover ruined remains of Henry VIII

Sunday Short Takes

Mix of stuff this week!

* Sad news to start with: Robert Hardy, star of Harry Potter and All Creatures Great & Small, dies aged 91 – Although most of the articles I saw focused on his recent work in the Harry Potter films, Tudor history fans will probably also know him from his portrayal of Robert Dudley in the BBC Elizabeth R series.

* And speaking of Harry Potter: Merlin’s beard! Harry Potter’s childhood home in Godric’s Hollow is on the marketThis is one of the most historically significant houses in the area, owned from the 14th to the 17th centuries by the de Veres, the richest family in the country after the monarch. – I really wanted to make it to Lavenham when I was in England in 2015 but I just couldn’t fit it in. Another for the “reasons to go again” list!

* Next up – more digging in Leicester!: Archaeologists are set to carry out a dig at Leicester’s Abbey Park – here’s why – The dig is concentrating on discovering more about medieval life at the abbey, but I’m secretly hoping they find the burial of Cardinal Wolsey, who died there while traveling to London. Abbey Park was another place that I had originally hoped to visit when I was in England two years ago but I ended up spending more time at the cathedral and Richard III visitor center than I originally planned so I skipped the Abbey Park to give more time for my visit that afternoon to the Bosworth Battlefield.

* Big announcement – The Tudor Summit 2017 is coming in just a few weeks! I wish I could participate this year but the timing didn’t work out. Hopefully my schedule will actually allow me to join in on in the future!

Join 16th century historians and bloggers at The Tudor Summit 2017 happening online on September 3 and 4!

The Tudor Summit is a two day online event bringing together Tudor history enthusiasts from all over the world to connect with each other, and listen to interviews and lectures from some of the leading Tudor History historians, bloggers, and podcasters. With lecture topics ranging from Tudor portraiture, fashion, and music; to Henry VIII’s wives, and the Princess Mary’s relationships with them, it will be a jam packed and engaging agenda!

The event will be broadcast live on September 3 and 4, starting at 4pm UK time, and registration is free to attend live!

For more information, please visit:

* The Society of Antiquaries put up a neat video about the volume of the Inventory of Henry VIII from their collections:

* And finally, enjoy a flyover of a digital reconstruction of Edinburgh from 1544

Edinburgh 1544 – Location Compilation from Smart History on Vimeo.

Sunday Short Takes – Saturday edition

I wanted to get this final round-up of 2016 actually *in* 2016, hence the Saturday post. A lot of stories piled up in the final weeks of 2016 that I never got around to posting, so this is going to be a long one!

* Pembroke Castle study uncovers possible Henry VII birthplace

* Through foreign eyes: the forgotten ambassadors to the Tudor court

* V&A acquires earliest picture of Henry VIII

Sunday Short Takes

How about a round-up of some now-very-outdated-news? 🙂

I’ve skipped the “Marlowe as Shakespeare Co-author” news stories since you couldn’t swing a dead poet without hitting those, so here are a few other things from the past month and a half (UGH) that might have slipped past people that I thought were interesting.

* Human bones mystery uncovered at Anglesey churchThe bones were discovered during a project to clean and restore a rare alabaster stone tomb at St Gredifael’s Church near Menai Bridge. The tomb at Penmynydd is of Goronwy Tudur and his wife Myfanwy – part of Tudor family dynasty. – I visited the tomb myself back in 2000 so I was pleased to see that the it continues to be cared for. This was also the church where the stained glass window honoring the Tudor dynasty was smashed by vandals and then later restored.

* More than

Sunday Short Takes

Good grief, I didn’t expect a month to go by before I got a chance to do one of these again… To say that things have been busy lately would be a wild understatement. The good news is that I’ve earned a fair amount of comp time but the bad news is that I have no idea when I will ever be able to use it!

But enough whinging from me – on to the news round-up!

* The Tudor London Tube Map – This one has already been going around social media for a while now, but it was so clever (and useful for planning a Tudor-themed trip to London) that I had to post it.

* Lost in the Great Fire: which London buildings disappeared in the 1666 blaze? – A look at some of the reasons that many Tudor (and earlier) buildings of London aren’t around to see anymore.

* Bosworth: the dawn of the Tudors – From childhood imprisonment in Brittany to the violent execution of Richard III in a Leicestershire field, Henry Tudor

Sunday Short Takes

Time for a Sunday Short Takes!

* Dynastic Rivalry and Digital Reconstruction at Bradgate House – Interesting work on the reconstruction of Bradgate House for a new visitors center at Bradgate Park.

* Tudor Calendar Photography CompetitionThe Anne Boleyn Files is hosting a calendar photo competition again this year, so pick out your best Tudor-related photos!

* Tudor women: what was life like? – Elizabeth Norton writes about the life of women in all levels of Tudor society

* Tour Westminster Abbey on Google Street View

Sunday Short Takes

A number of big stories lit up my news alerts this week so I guess I couldn’t procrastinate my way though another Sunday without doing a wrap-up! And I’m actually healthy again, which helps a lot. 🙂

This was probably the biggest story that came through:

* Altar cloth kept in rural Herefordshire church confirmed as Tudor cloth linked to Queen Elizabeth I

* And a great video from Historic Royal Palaces – The Bacton Altar Cloth:

Followed by this:

* Archaeologists blow the whistle on Shakespeare