Sunday Short Takes

LOTS of links this week! And I have two other draft posts on some other topics that I will be posting in the next few days.

* 1536 Act of Union is displayed for the first time ever – From 5 May 2011 to 27 July 2011, the 1536 ‘Act of Union’ between England and Wales will be on display at St Fagans: National History Museum, Cardiff.

* Leamington exhibition looks at Queen Elizabeth I favourite Robert Dudley – More information from the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum including Exhibition information and Events

* Tickets are now on sale for the grand opening of Stirling Castle Presents – a Palace Fit for a Queen in June. I’ve linked to a lot of previous coverage of the work that has been done to restore the apartments at Stirling back to their appearance under James V and Marie de Guise and I really wish I could be there for the opening!

* The program for this year’s Peterborough Festival has been posted and will include several things of interest to Tudor history fans, including a talk by Dr. David Starkey at Peterborough Cathedral, burial place of Catherine of Aragon

* Anne of Cleves house to reopen in Sussex – Nice BBC video about the house, which had been temporarily closed to do restoration on its roof, which was in danger of collapse

* Dr. Stephan Edwards of Some Grey Matter alerted me to a new book collecting all of Katherine Parr’s writings, both works and letters. One of the claims in the book is that Katherine wrote, in her own hand, Lady Jane Grey’s prayerbook, which you can find more about here at his site. You can also find more about the Mueller’s book at The University of Chicago Press page for the title, and the Amazon pre-order link is below (US store link only right now).

Sunday Short Takes

* Dr. Susan Bordo is writing at new book called “The Creation of Anne Boleyn” and wants to hear from Anne Boleyn fans, particularly women 20 years old and younger. She and her research assistant Natalie have started a Facebook group for discussion: The Creation of Anne Boleyn

* Dame Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) – Elizabeth Taylor, Mary I and Hans Eworth

* Lucy Worsley: ‘Lots of historians are sniffy about re-enactors’ – Interview with Lucy Worsley including information about her new series If Walls Could Talk

* Spotted at The Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide Blog – Lecture by Anna Whitelock “Woman, Warrior, Queen – Rethinking Mary I and Elizabeth I”

* Flythrough of the Mary Rose Museum in 2012

A Day at the Faire

I’ve mentioned on the blog in the past that I go to the Texas Renaissance Festival every year, and occasionally make a trip up to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Scarborough Faire, but this past weekend I visited the Sherwood Forest Faire that opened near Austin just last year. And for a faire only in its second year, I was pretty impressed with what they’ve accomplished already. And it was really nice to visit a faire that only required about a 30 minute car ride, as opposed to 2 to 3 hours!

I think it is a common staple of faires to have a Royal Mint where they do demonstrations and/or make custom coins and medallions, and this faire was no exception. I was just casually glancing through the available designs to have struck into a medallion when a familiar face caught my eye – Elizabeth I! I then noticed the Tudor rose design and decided I had to have one made. I opted for the bronze with antique patina (they dip it in sulfuric acid and then polish) and you can see the final product below. I’m still sorting through the 250 pictures I took (we had really good seats for the falconry show, so I snapped a lot of pics – I love digital cameras!) and I’ll tweet out a link when I get them all uploaded to my Flickr account.

Updated 4-03-11: Flickr set is now up here!

Midweek news round-up

Since I haven’t gotten around to a Sunday Short Takes for the last couple of weeks, here’s a midweek round-up:

* The new Fit for a King exhibit of 500 years of royal armour opens April 1 at The Tower of London. The exhibit will be on the top floor of the White Tower.

* The Anne Boleyn Files has started a calendar competition for photos of Tudor places they will be producing in 2012. Check out the details here!

* And also at the Anne Boleyn Files, a nice write-up of a lecture by David Starkey on Acton Court, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn – The Royal Progress of 1535, including information on how the property is still at risk even though it recently received Grade I status. There is a Facebook group to raise awareness.

* A neat video from the Dean of Westminster Abbey

* And finally a video overview of the renovations of Stirling Castle’s Renaissance Royal Palace that I’ve mentioned several times before on the blog.

Sunday Short Takes

* All the King’s Fools: ‘Disability is deep in comedy’s DNA’ – Heritage entertainment develops historical accuracy at Hampton Court this week, as learning-disabled actors play Tudor jesters

* Milestone for work to save Astley Castle – Restoration work at a 13th century former stately home has reached a significant milestone with work ongoing to secure the building. (article with video) Previous story on the Astley Castle preservation here.

* Architect creates model of monarch’s palace after discovering material on banks of Thames

* The Great Hall of Framlingham Castle is on the market for £850 per month – (If anyone reading this site decides to rent it, you’re required to invite me for a visit!)

* The Mary Rose £2 coin that I mentioned last November is now in circulation in the UK. I ordered the coin pack, which is reasonably priced, and there are other collectible versions you can buy from the Royal Mint. More information is available at their website.

Sunday Short Takes

Lots of links piled up this week!

* Video: History comes alive at Katharine of Aragon festival – Some of the events from Peterborough Cathedral‘s Katharine of Aragon Festival

* Historic ‘graffiti’ etching found in church window pane – This caught my eye because it reminded me of the poem that Elizabeth is said to have scratched into a window in Woodstock while she was under house arrest in her sister’s reign

Many art-related things:

* The Changing Face of William Shakespeare – Exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York (with several related events scheduled during the run of the exhibition). And a related article from the BBC: Shakespeare portrait in New York

* Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco – Amazing historical fashions recreated in paper

* Henry’s 88 faces: Bridgewater State University art professor paints series of portraits transporting Britain’s infamous 16th-century monarch into the present – From Boston.com. More info from the Diehl Art Gallery blog

Some upcoming talks of interest:

* Twilight Talks at the Mary Rose Museum – Dr Suzannah Lipscomb discusses Henry VIII in March and writer Elizabeth Norton speaks on Catherine Parr in April

* The Whore and the Virgin: Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I by Alison Weir and Tracy Borman at Kensington Central Library

And to combine both of the categories above, some talks about art:

‘Lambert Barnard and his World’ – Talks and information on Barnard’s art in Chichester Cathedral (which is raising funds to conserve and study the works). The first talk has already occurred and you can download the text of the lecture at the link above.

And last, but certainly not least, video of Hope Walker’s talk “Exploring the London Stranger-Painters: Hans Eworth and His Contemporaries” at the National Portrait Gallery last December. Some of you might recognize Hope’s name as an occasional commenter on the blogs here at this site. Also, be sure to check out her site on Hans Eworth & The London Stranger Painters, which is the web aspect of her dissertation research.

Stirling Castle carvings finished


The Stirling Heads in place with some of the palace painters. Image from the Stirling Castle blog.

I’ve been linking to stories about the restoration of Stirling Castle’s Royal Palace to its 16th century appearance, including the recreation of the Stirling Heads for several years (see here, here and here), and I’m pleased to now link to several stories about the completion of the project!

Renaissance heads of Caesar and Henry VIII to return to Stirling Castle Royal Palace of James V – Culture 24

Kings and queens and classical heroes return to Stirling Castle – The Scotsman

Meticulous work comes to a head – The Edinburgh Evening News

Castle masterpiece work unveiled – The Galloway Gazette

Sunday Short Takes – Monday edition

Yeah, I was goofing off and watching DVDs that I received for Christmas and totally forgot to do yesterday’s blog post. 🙂

* A newly built Elizabethan house – an update on a story I first posted about back in November 2007

* The secrets of Parliament’s Victoria Tower uncovered – neat video from the BBC

* The BBC Tudors Collection coming in April – A box set of Shadow of the Tower, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Elizabeth R US Amazon pre-order link below for anyone who is interested:

Tudor Cooking and Escape from the Tower of London

I’m way late in posting these cooking videos, but I wanted to be sure to get them up before Christmas for the two or three of you who haven’t already seen them. I’m going to just post the links to the YouTube versions because I recommend watching them at a higher resolution if you have the bandwidth!

From The Historic Royal Palaces Official YouTube page:

* Ryschewys close and fryez: Tudor cook-along video

* Fylettys en Galentyne: Tudor cook-along video

* Tartes owt of Lente: Tudor cook-along video

And if you have an iPhone and happen to be visiting the Tower of London, you can play “Escape from the Tower of London”, which looks like it could be a lot of fun.

Sunday Short Takes

* 525th anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth event staged on ‘wrong site’ – Be sure to check out the photos of the battle re-enactment

* From the Vaults: ‘Anna Boleyn’ (1920) – A movie blogger’s entertaining review of a 90-year-old Tudor film

* Primary sources related to Elizabeth I, From the Elizabeth Files. This is the type of list that I’ve been wanting to put together but, as with so many things, it’s still on the ‘to do’ list.

Sunday Short Takes

* Bosworth Battlefield Anniversary Re-enactment at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park on August 21 and 22nd. Also, if you are descended from someone who fought at the Battle of Bosworth, the Centre wants to hear from you! Here’s an article about the search for descendants: Visitor Centre curators in search to locate descendants of men from the Battle of Bosworth, as well as this article with the headline that seems to imply they only want people from Richard III’s side, even though the article explains further: Did your ancestors fight for Richard III?
[Added August 9 – Here’s another article on this that I had to add. Apparently someone at BBC Leicester thinks “ancestor” and “descendant” are interchangeable terms: Search for ancestors of Battle of Bosworth soldiers]
[Updated August 10 – The BBC article has now been corrected.]

* An update on the development plans for Westminster Abbey that I blogged about back in 2009. Unfortunately they will not be going ahead with the plan to add a corona to the Abbey at this time but they will be finishing the new cafe and the plans to open the Triforium (which I’m really looking forward to seeing one day!).

* An interesting article from the Guardian about accuracy in historical fiction: The lying art of historical fiction

* Little Miss Sunnydale has posted a neat Mary I themed tour of London on her Mary Tudor: Renaissance Queen blog

* And finally, Philippa Gregory’s latest novel, The Red Queen came out last week in the US and will be out in a couple of weeks in the UK. It continues her look at the Wars of the Roses, this time from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort. I haven’t read any of Gregory’s books, but I’m tempted to pick this up since Margaret is one of my Tudor interests and I’m curious to see how she fares in the author’s hands, especially since she hasn’t been featured very often in fiction. Standard Amazon links below:

Sunday short takes

This is the first time in a few weeks I’ve had a few stories stack up so I could do a “short takes”!

* First up, from Foose, a review from the Spectator of G.W. Bernard’s book “Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions” (which I posted about back in February)

* More excavations at the site of The Theatre in Shoreditch (previously mentioned here and here) are going on this summer, and you can follow along at the Museum of London’s “Working Life of the Museum” blog (here’s a link to the first post on this year’s excavations)

* A 300-dish dessert banquet served to Elizabeth I in 1575 was recreated at Kenilworth Castle

* And finally, a few more laughs from Henry 8.0, A Tudor Holiday

Henry VIII’s wine fountain reconstructed at Hampton Court

(Images from the Hampton Court Facebook fan page. See the gallery for larger versions.)

And yes, you can sample it (in both red and white) for £3.50 on weekends and bank holidays starting May 1!

From The Independent:

The “fountain” is being installed in the main courtyard, the so called Base Court, and it is conceivable that a similar alcoholic facility stood there on special occasions in Henry VIII’s time. Last year, archaeologists excavating in Base Court discovered the foundations of what was probably a drinking fountain. But whether the installation was purely for water or occasionally for wine as well is unknown.

The excavation team, led by archaeologist Ben Ford of Oxford Archaeology, revealed that the original Base Court fountain was an octagonal structure, very similar in ground plan to the wine fountain in the Field of the Cloth of Gold painting, although substantially smaller.

At Ann Boleyn’s coronation, wine fountains were set up in Gracechurch Street, Cheapside and Fleet Street, and similar facilities were installed at Queen Elizabeth I’s coronation. In Oxford and Cambridge, the university colleges set up wine fountains when entertaining royalty.

The newly installed Tudor-style wine facility at Hampton Court is 4.3 metres high and can hold up to 320 litres.

“We’ve used original Tudor images of wine fountains and Hampton Court’s wealth of surviving architectural detail to recreate something truly unique,” said the Historic Royal Palaces historian in charge of the project, Dr Kent Rawlinson, curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court.

The wine is being imported from the same area King Henry got most of his wine: Gascony. Certainly Henry’s court had a taste for the stuff. The monarch had up to 15,000 gallons of wine in his cellar at Hampton Court at any one time. It must have been a substantial item in the royal accounts because in Tudor times, ordinary wine was, in relative terms, around three and a half times more expensive than it is now

Full article

And an article from the Daily Mail with lots of good photos

And more information from the Historic Royal Palaces website

The Plimoth Jacket revealed!


Photo: Ed Nute

I first blogged about this project back in October 2007 and have been following the progress ever since (now at the Thistle Threads blog after the original project funding ran out). The project recreated an embroidered lady’s jacket from just after the Elizabethan period. You may remember a similar jacket in the Victoria and Albert Museum that I featured as a Picture of the Week back in July.

Scroll back through the last few posts at the Thistle Threads blog for more photos of the jacket from the big reveal. The photos in candlelight are particularly captivating.

Catching up!

Sorry for the slow posting on this blog for the last week or so. Things have been busy, as you might have guessed!

* The celebrations that I blogged about back in February took place this weekend. Here is an article with some photos and I’ve embedded a You Tube video of the pageant passing Blackfriars Pier:

* Just a reminder that the Royal Mint has some special commemorative coins out this year for the Henry 500 celebrations. I posted about them back in December, but here is the link to the page on the Royal Mint website. (I have several of their less-expensive collectible coins, including the one for Henry, so if you’re in to those kinds of things I’d recommend them.)

* BBC 4 is showing the program Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? with Jonathan Foyle about cultural artifacts from the reign of Henry VIII.

* And finally (thanks to Kathy for sending this one in!) The Forme of Cury, a medieval cookbook, has been digitized and put online by the John Rylands Library in Manchester. Here is the BBC article and here is a link to the Rylands Medieval Collection at the library.

Follow Henry VIII on Twitter

From a press release found via Google news:

The Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London, will send its followers updates on the events in the run-up to Henry VIII’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 24 – exactly 500 years after they happened.

It is believed to be the first time the website has been able to engage users in historical events from the first person perspective, and in real time over the actual period they took place, a spokesman for the charity said.

Full article

And here is the Twitter profile page for Henry/HRP

And some of you may have already seen over in the sidebar that I’m on Twitter too, although I’ll warn people now that I mostly post about science, tech and everyday life stuff, not much Tudor history. But if you’re interested – here’s my profile.

A few quick links

Still trying to clear out the back log…

I follow Cooking the Books (an unofficial blog of the kitchens at Hampton Court, which would be of interest to anyone interested in Tudor food) and I just had to feature a link to this Flickr photoset with pictures of a snowy Hampton Court. So beautiful!!

And since I’m still not completely thinking clearly, I totally forgot to link to my guest blog post at Executed Today for February 13 on Kathryn Howard. I wish I had more time and concentration to make it longer and work in more primary sources, but I was trying to put it together while I was still sick. So if there are any egregious errors, blame it on the cold medicine. 🙂

And from The Edinburgh News, a short article about an upcoming celebration at Linlithgow Palace that will feature the marriage of Margaret Tudor and James IV of Scotland.
Information on the event from Historic Scotland

Christmas Greetings from Henry VIII (and me!)

Check out the Historic Royal Palaces’ YouTube Channel for more videos
(Tip of the Tudor flat cap to Tim for the link)

And from me, a repeat of last year’s Christmas image (sorry, I didn’t get a chance to make a new one this year!). I’m not traveling this year so I won’t be taking any lengthy breaks from the site or blogs during my time off.


(click for a larger view)

No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, all the best from me to you!