Sunday Short Takes

More entries for the “OMG I want to win the lottery and buy this place!” wishlist!

First up is Otley Hall in Suffolk, which was mostly built in the 16th century. You can see the listing at Savills here.

And next is Flemings Hall, also in Suffolk, which has parts dating back to the 14th century with 16th century additions. You can see the listing at Savills here.

In other news:

The Rex Factor podcast will soon be launching a Kickstarter for an animated show, which you can see a teaser trailer for here:

Rex Factor – The Animated Show Teaser Trailer from Tinmouse Animation Studio on Vimeo.

Sunday Short Takes

I had no intention of waiting a whole month into the new year to finally post a Sunday Short Takes, but that’s just kind of how things worked out! So here’s a round-up of Tudor history-related news that caught my eye from the very end of 2015 and the first month of 2016:

* Archaeologists believe Thames gold hoard may have come from Tudor hatExperts say 12 tiny pieces of gold recovered from the banks of the Thames may have come from a hat blown off the head of a high-status Tudor figure

* Explore Shakespeare

Sunday Short Takes

Of course, the big story this week was the newest round of results and discoveries from the continued testing of the skeleton of Richard III. I’ll recap all of that in a separate post since there is a lot of interesting information to talk about.

From the other news of the week:

* Tudors at sea: 8 ways to survive a voyage

* Rare 17th century map of Manchester found in John Rylands Library goes on show

* Tanner Ritchie Publishing is holding its annual holiday sale, a great time to grab some downloads of primary sources.

* A Code of Conduct for Historians – a thought-provoking article from Suzannah Lipscomb for History Today

* Death at St Paul’s – Richard Dale investigates the mysterious death of Richard Hunne in Lollards Tower at Old St Paul

Sunday Short Takes

Not nearly as many things this week, which is good because I’ve already spent too much time today checking links, adding graphics and social links to, and re-organizing the Links Directory section (which is hopefully in a more useful state now than when I started!)

* Historic glass windows go on display in Nonsuch Mansion

* Wolfson History Prizes (for books published in 2012) – Congrats to Susan Brigden for winning for her book Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest!

* Penry Williams obituary – His book Life in Tudor England was one of the first Tudor history books I ever bought

* A History of Classical Music – A series of posts with embedded Spotify playlists covering the history of classical music, starting with Medieval and Renaissance music. The link goes to the introductory post and they have up through late Renaissance right now. (Apologies to whomever I saw this link from – it was either on Twitter or a blog and I can’t remember now who it was. Sorry!)

Sunday Short Takes

Only a few things to post about this week, and only one of them is strictly Tudor history related!

First, I wanted to post something about this event now, instead of waiting for my monthly round-up, since it sounds like the tickets are going fast:

* BBC History Magazine events – Talking Tudor – This sounds like a wonderful event, I wish I could attend! Sometimes they record event talks and then put them out in their podcast feed, which I hope will be the case here. There is quite a line-up of speakers: Chris Skidmore, Thomas Penn, Robert Hutchinson, Anna Whitelock, Steven Gunn, and Suzannah Lipscomb.

The next thing is just an interesting page I stumbled across:

* English in Time – A series of articles about the history of the English language from the Oxford English Dictionary, with the promise of more on the way.

And finally, I’m sure most of you have already seen this, but it was too cute for me to resist!

* The 15th-Century Equivalent of Your Cat Walking on Your Keyboard

(Click to the article for a bigger view)

Sunday Short Takes

The Telegraph has posted its obituary for Eric Ives:

* Professor Eric IvesProfessor Eric Ives, who has died aged 81, was the author of the definitive biography of Anne Boleyn and a much-loved figure at the University of Birmingham, where he served as head of the Modern History faculty and pro-vice-chancellor.

And in other news:

* Morning glory: England

The King James Bible exhibit at the University of Texas at Austin

I can’t believe that I’m still catching up on things from the summer! Over on my personal blog I just posted about the trip I took for work out to McDonald Observatory in July and here is my write-up of an exhibit that I visited in June.

Regular readers of the blog will remember that I was pretty excited to see that the King James Bible exhibition previously at the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian at Oxford would be coming to the Harry Ransom Center at my university. You can see the Harry Ransom Center’s page for the exhibition here. I took a few photos with my cell phone camera and I decided to go ahead and post some even though they aren’t very good. Most of these are the pre-KJB items they had on display, since those are most related to Tudor history, although I included one neat English-made medieval Bible as well. I did include one photo of an original King James although there were many versions I didn’t photograph (including one of the infamous “Wicked Bible”). It was an amazing collection!

The captions below each photo are primarily taken from the information cards with each item, so I didn’t write them. I *hope* I managed to get the right info matched to the correct photo here, but there is a chance I didn’t. But given how cruddy the photos are I’m sure no one would be able to tell!

Banner outside the HRC. You can see the great fossiliferous limestone on the front of the building here too.

An English thirteenth-century manuscript Bible in Latin.

Champions of the English Bible: This was a large display board showing three excerpts from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs of persecution of three previous advocates of translating the Bible into English.

“The New Testament in English after the Greeke translation annexed wyth the translation of Erasmus in Latin” (Londini: Offincina Thomas Gaultieri, 1550)

William Tyndale (ca. 1494-1536) attended Oxford and Cambridge as a young man. He wanted to translate the Bible into English using Hebrew and Greek source texts, rather than the Latin Vulgate. When the bishop of London rebuffed Tyndate, he moved to Germany and proceeded on his own.

The first edition for Tyndale’s New Testament appeared in 1525. Tyndale introduced a number of phrases that the King James translators retained in the 1611 edition, including Matthew 9:2 “be of good cheer.”

“(Biblia?) the Byble: that is, the holy Scrypture of the Olde and New Testament, faythfully translated in Englyshe, and newly oversene & corrected” (Southwark: James Nycolson, 1537)

In 1535, shortly before William Tyndale’s death, his associate Miles Coverdale (ca. 1488-1569) completed and printed a translation of the Bible whlie exiled in Antwerp. A second edition was printed that same year in Southwark, England.

Coverdale relied heavily on Tyndale’s translation, but worked primarily from the Vulgate and from Martin Luther’s German translation. The King James translators retained many phrases from Coverdale includin “the valley of the shadowe of death” and “thou enoyntest my heade with oyle”.

Two volumes of the “Biblia Sacra Hebraice, Chaldaice, Graece, & Latine [known as the Polyglot Bible] (Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1569-1573)

Plantin’s Polyglot Bible is considered the most important typographical enterprise of the sixteenth century. The printer had to obtain permission form Philip II, the Holy Roman Emperor, which was a delicate matter in the midst of the Reformation. Plantin then had to create a brilliantly functional typographical design to incorporate the five languages.

“The Bible that is, the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament. Translated according to the Ebrewe and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages. With most profitable annotations vpon all the hard places, and other things of great importance as may appeare in the epistle to the reader. (London: Christopher Barker, 1576)

Protestant scholars fled to Geneva after Mary I’s ascendance to the throne in 1553. There they undertook a new English translation of the Bible, complete with extensive, heavily Calvinist interpretive notes.

The Geneva Bible (1560) introduced a number of features that would soon become standard in English printed Bibles, including the use of Roman type, numbered verses, and italics for English words not represented in the original texts. The Geneva Bible became incredibly popular among English speakers, as this 1576 English reprint attests, and is the translation most frequently quoted and paraphrased by William Shakespeare.

“The Bible. Translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and confermed with the best translations in diuers languages. With most profitable annotations vpon all the hard places, and other things of great importance, as may appeare in the epistle to the reader. And also a most profitable concordance for the readie finding out of any thing in the same conteined” (London: Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1588) also a “Geneva Bible”

“The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English, out of the authentical Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greeke and other editions in diuers languages; with arguments of bookes and chapters, annotations, and other necessarie helpes, for the better vnderstanding of the text, and specially for the discouerie of the corruptions of divers late transtlations, and for cleering the controversies in religion, of these daies; in the English College of Rhemes” (Rheimes: John Fogny, 1582)

In 1559, when the Protestant Elizabeth I (1533-1603) succeeded Mary, Catholic scholars went into exile in Flanders. The translators used the Latin Vulgate as their source text, rather than relying on previous English translations. Named for the two cities in which it was completed, the Douay-Rheims Bible (1582/1610) also contained extensive annotations, many rebutting those of the Geneva Bible.

Additional notes on these two bibles:

Geneva and Douay-Rheimes: A Battle of Annotations

The most populdar English Bible to precede the King James Bible was the Geneva Bible, prepared by English Protestant exiles during the reign of Catholic Queen Mary I. IN 1582, the Catholic Church published its first portion of an English Bible translation, the Rheims New Testament. Comparing annotations found in Revelation 17:1-6 shows how these Protestant and Catholic translations engaged each other. The Geneva Bible contends that the figure of the Whore of Babylon represents “the Antichrist, that is, the Pope”. The Rheims New Testament responds, “The Pope can not be Antichrist.”

Hugh Broughton’s “An epistle to the learned nobilitie of England”
(Middleburgh: Richard Schilders, 1597)

Hugh Broughton (1549-1612) was as famous for his intellect, particularly as a Hebrew scholar, as he was infamous for his cantakerous personality. In this book, he argues for a new translation of the Bible, given the inadequacy of the Bishops’ Bible, and claims to have the support of Queen Elizabeth. Although he wanted a new translation, when King James was finally publshed, Broughton wrote another tract strongly criticizing it.

“The Holy Bible: conteyning the Old Testament and the Newe. Authorised and appoynted to be read in churches” (Imprinted in London: By Robert Barker, 1602) a.k.a. “The Bishops’ Bible”

King James translators were given an unbound 1602 edition of the Bishops’ Bible as a base text. The Bishop’s Bible translators had used the Great Bible as the basis for their translation, but had also taken some non-canonical material including maps, woodcuts, and annotations from the more popular Geneva Bible. Though the Bishops’ Bible was the official starting text of the King James translators, only about four percent of the King James translation comes directly from content original to the Bishops’ Bible (as opposed to earlier English translations).

The First Edition of the King James Bible

“The Holy Bible, conteyning the Old Testament, and the New: newly translated out of originall tongues (London: Robert Barker, 1611)

Upcoming books and exhibitions

Just a couple of books to mention this time –

Claire Ridgway of The Anne Boleyn Files has released her second book, The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown. US and UK Amazon Kindle editions linked below:

And probably one of the most eagerly-anticipated historical fiction books this year, Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel is out on May 8 and May 10 in the US and UK respectively.

And here are a couple of videos of Hilary Mantel speaking about the book and Anne Boleyn:


Royal Devotion: Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer

This exhibit will be at the Lambeth Palace Library from May 1 to July 14. Below are a couple of recent news articles:

* Royalty

Upcoming books, talks and exhibitions

Updates to previous books that are already out in the UK – Suzannah Lipscomb‘s A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England will be out in hardback in the US on April 24th. It’s already available on Kindle in the US (and it’s already in my hands thanks to Suzannah and her publisher – review coming after I finish Winter King!). That same day A.N. Wilson’s The Elizabethans is due out in the US in hardback and Kindle.

Another title in Macmillan’s Queenship and Power series (click the link for all of the titles in the series) – Retha Warnicke’s Wicked Women of Tudor England is due on April 10 in the US and UK:

Just in time for Shakespeare birthday celebration time, I, Iago by Nicole Galland, a novel based on the famous character from Othello, is due out on April 24th in the US and UK:

Alison Weir will be giving a talk about her upcoming book A Dangerous Inheritance at the Mary Rose Museum on April 4th. Although the book isn’t due out for a few months, they will have copies on hand for her to sign. More details at the Mary Rose Museum website.


Sudeley Castle is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Katherine Parr for the next six months, starting April 1st when they open for the 2012 season. They also announced last week that the Duchess of Cornwall will be patron for the celebrations. Click on the logo for more information:

And finally:

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich will be presenting – Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames an exhibition that will run from April 27, 2012 to September 9, 2012.

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

Sunday Short Takes

* Claire Ridgway of The Anne Boleyn Files has published The Anne Boleyn Collection which includes the most popular articles from the site. I downloaded the US Kindle version for my iPad and the UK Kindle edition is available along with paperback editions.

* Several interesting stories about the Welsh port town of Tenby hit my news alerts this week, which was exciting! In my continuing research on Jasper Tudor and Henry VII’s early years, Tenby plays a role, as you will see from these news items:

* The tunnel of Tenby where Henry VII hid as a teenager – Photo gallery

* Why future Henry VII hid in a Tenby cellar in 1471 – Audio story from BBC news (warning: the audio auto-starts when you go to the page)

* New light shed on the history of Tenby and its 16th Century boom

* And from the Really-Interesting-Looking-Program-That-I’ll-Probably-Never-Be-Able-To-Legally-Watch-In-The-US Department, Helen Castor is doing a 3 part program for BBC 4 based on her book She Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizbeth. The trailer is embedded below:

She Wolves: England’s Early Queens from Matchlight on Vimeo.

Sunday Short Takes

* The BBC Radio 4 program Woman’s Hour talked about Margaret Tudor in the past week’s episode. You can listen to it here.

* All Singing, All Dancing – “Sexually explicit jigs were a major part of the attraction of the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Restoration stage, as Lucie Skeaping explains.”

* Nonsuch Palace Gallery to open its doors – This is the gallery that has the model of Nonsuch Palace that I posted about previously

* The February issue of the BBC History magazine has an article on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs that sounds interesting.

In a follow-up to this round-up from two years ago, Greenwich has now been officially made a Royal Borough.

* Greenwich celebrates royal borough honour

* What makes Greenwich a ‘royal’ borough?

Sunday Short Takes

* Mary I: England’s Catholic Queen – Q&A with author Dr John Edwards at the BBC History Magazine book club

* Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings – Series on BBC Four

* Revealed: The handwritten prayer book love notes sent by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn before they married – (Related to above) Amazing hand-written love notes in the margin of a prayer book between a lovesick Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, as he wooed her, are to be revealed in a new BBC television series.

* Also on BBC Four – A Renaissance Education: The Schooling of Thomas More’s Daughter

* Vatican throws light on history as it opens secret archives – This the exhibition I mentioned in a round-up last year

* Defiance and fear of Mary Queen of Scots revealed in letter to Vatican sent months before execution (Related to above)

And coming in just under the wire as I was getting ready to post this:

* Henry VIII had a secret daughter who should have taken English throne before Elizabeth I, historian claims – Interesting claims, but color me skeptical

Sunday Short Takes

* The Middle Ages in colour – A lovely BBC video in honor of the opening of the British Library’s Royal Manuscripts exhibition that I blogged about previously

* FiveBooks Interviews > Thomas Penn on Henry VII – Another great interview from The Browser (and thankfully I already have three of the books he recommended, so I didn’t have to add too many things to my wishlist)

* Volunteers for the 2012 Season – Sudeley Castle is looking for help with some upcoming projects including the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Katherine Parr’s birth

* Rare tankard finally returns to Glastonbury Abbey – “A rare carved oak tankard, said to have been saved from King Henry VIII

Sunday Short Takes

Since I didn’t do a round-up last week, I didn’t get around to posting about the discovery of Sir Francis Drake’s final fleet and the possible resting place of Drake himself. Here are a few of the many news stories that ran about the discovery:

* Sir Francis Drake’s final fleet ‘discovered off the coast of Panama’

Sir Francis Drake’s body ‘close to being found off Panama’

Wrecks that promise to unlock the mystery of Francis Drake’s final resting place

And a few other news items that caught my eye last week:

* Brierfield treasure hunter finds Tudor ring

* Britain’s oldest family business opened when Henry VIII ruled

And finally, visited the Making History exhibition at the McMullen Museum at Boston College (I mentioned it in a previous Sunday short takes) and recorded an interview with the museum’s director. Tudor history fans will recognize the portrait in the background!

Upcoming exhibitions and books

Here’s the round-up of some of the upcoming books and exhibitions for late October through November. Again, there are probably things I’ve missed but the Tudors are just too popular!


* I have conflicting information on a new work on Catherine of Aragon by Patrick Williams… some have it out this past week, but it looks like June 1 of next year is the official release date. If anyone knows more, please let me know.

* A new work by Eric Ives entitled The Reformation Experience is out November 18 in the UK and August 1, 2012 in the US:

* Philip of Spain, King of England: The Forgotten Sovereign by Harry Kelsey will be released November 30 in the UK and January 31, 2012 in the US. I’m looking forward to this one since I don’t know a whole lot about Philip’s time as King consort to Mary I.


* As I posted about yesterday, the British Library’s Royal Manuscripts exhibition opens November 11 and runs through March 13, 2012. Among the works exhibited will be Henry VIII’s Psalter and the Hours of Elizabeth the Queen (a work owned by, but not created for, Elizabeth of York).

British Library’s Royal Manuscripts exhibition

The British Library’s next major exhibition Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination opens November 11, 2011 and runs through March 13, 2012.

I was originally planning to just mention this in my next round-up of upcoming books and exhibitions, but since I had collected several links about it, I thought it deserved a post of its own.

Although the opening is a few weeks away, the British Library has already been posting about the exhibition for a few months on their Digitised Manuscripts blog and have added a bunch of images to their Facebook page. They also have launched an app for tablets and smart phones with some information and zoomable images from the exhibition. I bought the iPad version and it’s lovely! And, if you’re in the area, they will have a two-day conference on December 12 and 13.

If anyone makes it to the exhibition or conference and does a write-up, let me know!