Picture of the Week #581

Bedroom at the Shakespeare Birthplace. Photo May 2015

I think this is the bedroom that is traditionally said to be where Shakespeare was born. I chose this in honor of starting the Shakespeare 2020 Project where I’m joining William Shakespeare’s Star Wars author Ian Doescher’s reading of all the works of Shakespeare this year. I made an attempt to read and/or watch all of the plays between 2014 (450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth) and 2016 (400th anniversary of his death) but only made about 1/3 of the way. I’m trying again this year and, using Ian’s schedule, I think I’ll actually do it. Once I figured out that you really only need to read about one act a day, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting. I have the Shakespeare Pro app on my iPad and iPhone so I will have the plays handy most of the time!

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

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

How about a round-up of some now-very-outdated-news?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

Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for September 2016

New books

One book I missed from last month is Wendy J. Dunn’s Falling Pomegranate Seeds, a novel about Katherine of Aragon:

And out at the end of this month in the UK is Anne Boleyn in London by Lissa Chapman, which will be out early next year in the US:


The BBC History Magazine’s History Weekends return this fall with one in Winchester from October 7th to 9th and another in York from November 18th to 20th.

Exhibitions Ending This Month

Oxford’s Bodleian Library will run Shakespeare’s Dead from April 22 to September 4. This exhibition will examine the theme of Death in Shakespeare’s works. It “provides a unique take on the subject by exploring how Shakespeare used the anticipation of death, the moment of death and mourning the dead as contexts to bring characters to life. … Shakespeare’s Dead also looks at last words spoken, funerals and mourning as well as life after death, including ghosts and characters who come back to life.”

The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts opened April 15 and will run through September 6. The exhibition is a “Journey through 400 years of history

Upcoming Books and Continuing Exhibitions for June 2016

New Books

The Tudor Brandons: Mary and Charles – Henry VIII’s Nearest & Dearest by Sarah-Beth Watkins is due out June 1 in the UK and June 24 in the US:

And one new release I missed from last month:

Terry Breveton’s Henry VII: The Maligned Tudor King was released May 15 in the UK and will be out at the end of July in the US (possibly with the alternate title Henry VII: Destiny’s King):

And one book that came out in the UK a few months ago and now out in the US – Amy Licence’s Red Roses: Blanche of Gaunt to Margaret Beaufort:

There were a few other books I’ve been tracking that now have confusing (or non-existent) release dates that I decided to just leave off and will post when I get more definitive information.

Continuing Exhibitions

America’s Shakespeare opened on April 7 and will run through July 24 and is the second of three exhibitions they will put on, in addition to other events, during their year-long Wonder of Will celebrations.

The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts opened April 15 and will run through September 6. The exhibition is a “Journey through 400 years of history

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

Sunday Short Takes

There were a bunch of Shakespeare events last weekend for the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death (and 452nd anniversary of his birth), and here are a few related articles:

* William Shakespeare, Playwright and Poet, Is Dead at 52 – The New York Times obituary for Shakespeare

* Shakespeare’s ‘original classroom’ revealedThe original classroom where William Shakespeare is believed to have studied and seen his first plays opens to the public for the first time this weekend.

* BBC Shakespeare Lives – The main page for all of the Shakespeare celebrations of the BBC. It looks like at least some (maybe all?) of the videos on this site are viewable outside the UK – yay!

And in other news…

* Princely pleasures at Kenilworth: Robert Dudley’s three-week marriage proposal to Elizabeth I
Described as Elizabeth I

Sunday Short Takes

A terse round-up this week since I think a cold virus has finally managed to catch me… I’m really surprised it took this long given the exhaustion I’ve had over the past 8 months and the fact that I interact with college students, globe-trotting faculty and research scientists, the general public, and school-aged kids on a regular basis! I guess my immune system just didn’t have enough energy left to fight off this one.

* Conservation plan set to preserve Woking Palace’s future

* Shakespeare first folio discovered at stately home on Scottish island

* Shakespeare’s Buildings

* Conserving Shakespeare

Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for April 2016


One book I missed that came out in late March was Jerry Bortton’s This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World which was released March 24 in the UK and March 22 for an international edition (including the US):

And another was the second of Tony Riches’s Tudor Trilogy of historical fiction novels: Jasper, which was released on March 22 in the UK and US.

Two new books with UK releases this month (and later or unknown-at-this-time US releases):

First up is Insurrection: Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and the Pilgrimage of Grace by Susan Loughlin, which will be released on April 4 in the UK and in July in the US.

And the second is Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen by Josephine Wilkinson, which is out April 7 in the UK and on the Kindle in the US, but I don’t have a release date for the hardcover in the US yet.

New Events and Exhibitions

Believe it or not, I have one addition to this round-up that is isn’t Shakespeare related!

Westminster Abbey’s 500 Years of Wonder will celebrate the quincentennial of the completion of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel with some special events between April 21st and May 5 including a concert, services, and lectures.

And now, back to the Shakespeare events. 🙂

America’s Shakespeare will open on April 7 and run through July 24 and is the second of three exhibitions they will put on, in addition to other events, during their year-long Wonder of Will celebrations.

The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts opens April 15 and will run through September 6. The exhibition is a “Journey through 400 years of history

Sunday Short Takes

There were a couple of stories that really lit up my alerts this week, so I chose a couple of representative links. And I just realized that both of these graves were places I visited last year, so I’ve added a couple of photos.

Light projection showing the placement of Richard III’s skeleton in the grave.

* Armchair archaeologists can explore Richard III’s grave in online model – An interactive model of King Richard III

Sunday Short Takes

Sunday Short Takes Mega Edition! This is what happens when I actually have time to do things. (I took Spring Break off at work – although the fact that I was able to mostly use comp time accrued in the last month to take the *whole week* off tells you something…)

More interesting Shakespeare news:

* Shakespeare’s grave scanned in 400th anniversaryShakespeare’s grave in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford upon Avon has never been excavated, but a scan has been carried out to search below ground. The findings are expected to be revealed in the next few weeks.

* William Shakespeare’s handwritten plea for refugees to go online – Sir Thomas More script is only surviving copy of a play in the bard

Sunday Short Takes

The Sunday Short Takes have accidentally become a monthly thing of late, but that’s just the way it has worked out between lack of enough stories on a weekly basis and my recent work schedule. But I actually had a whole weekend and enough stories today, so here we go!

* The March issue of BBC History Magazine is a Tudor special – it’s on my iPad now just waiting for me to find enough time to read it!

* Getting Clean, the Tudor WayA historian attempts to follow Tudor hygiene with a daily regime of linen underwear. – Excerpted from How to Be a Tudor by Ruth Goodman – currently on my Audible wishlist 🙂

* Researchers seek Henry VII’s Pembroke Castle birthplaceDetails of the exact location of Henry VII’s birthplace at Pembroke Castle could be uncovered by researchers using geophysical techniques. – I’ll keep an eye out for their results!

* It’s curtain-up for

Upcoming Books and Events for February 2016


Ruth Goodman’s How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life was released in early November 2015 in the UK and will be out February 15 in the US:

And Amy Licence’s Edward IV & Elizabeth Woodville: A True Romance was released in January in the US and will be out February 15 in the UK:

New Exhibitions

I can’t hope to find all of the Shakespeare exhibitions being put on this year, so I’m mainly trying to get the big ones and a few I come across that are outside the UK. If you’re in the UK and want to keep up with special events occurring throughout the year, check out Shakespeare400.

Celebrating 400 years of William Shakespeare with an online exhibition documenting Shakespeare in his own time.
The partners in this exhibition include The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, The British Library, The Folger Shakespeare Library, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and The National Archives. The exhibition will continue to expand throughout the year.

Shakespeare, Life of an Icon opened January 20 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and will run through March 27. This is the first of three exhibitions they will put on, in addition to other events, during their year-long Wonder of Will celebrations.

By me William Shakespeare: A Life in Writing opens at the National Archives on February 3 and will run through May 29 and features Shakespeare’s will as the centerpiece of the exhibition.

Windsor Castle will host Shakespeare in the Royal Library from February 13 through January 1, 2017 and includes works of Shakespeare collected by the royal family, accounts of performances at Windsor Castle, and art by members of the royal family inspired by Shakespeare’s plays.

Continuing Exhibitions

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin launched Shakespeare in Print and Performance on December 21, 2015 and it will run through May 29, 2016.

Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee opened January 18 and will run through July 29, 2016 at the Royal College of Physicians in London.

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