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 £26m car testing track is approvedCouncillors at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council have controversially given the green light to the 83 acre testing facility that intrudes into a portion of the historic registered battlefield.

* ‘Would we build on Passchendaele?’ Anger as car track at Bosworth approved

And in better Tudor archaeology news…

* Likely birthplace of Henry VII found in Pembroke CastleA dig in the castle’s grounds has uncovered the walls of a ‘showy’ late medieval house

* Trial trenching at Pembroke Castle – From the Castle Studies Trust, a funder of the dig.

And a few more stories of interest!

* Wherefore art thou? Exhibition celebrates Shakespeare’s Shoreditch originsA permanent exhibition is to be created in Shoreditch on the site of the London theatre where William Shakespeare perfected his trade as a playwright and actor.

* Palace where Henry VIII once slept is set to be saved from being turned into housingPlans are in place to hand over ownership of the historic Archbishops’s Palace in Otford to an independent conservation trust – saving it from housing developers.

* Glamping goes Tudor: historians to remake Henry VIII’s opulent tentA spectacular temporary palace designed to impress the king of France is to be reconstructed at Hampton Court

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’s Henry VIII portrait confirmed as original Tudor paintingA painting of Henry VIII belonging to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery has been confirmed as an original Tudor work.

* Dedication Is What You NeedSeemingly inconsequential, dedicating books to royalty was a vital part of Tudor publishing.

* How Americans Preserved British EnglishAmericans today pronounce some words more like Shakespeare than Brits do… but it’s in 18th-Century England where they’d really feel at home.

* Tulip Procession held at Bradgate Park to mark anniversary of Lady Jane Grey’s executionBradgate Park hosted the event, which is the first of several happening this year

* X-ray probe to save Mary Rose cannonballsResearchers are using powerful X-rays to look inside cannonballs found on the famous Tudor ship, the Mary Rose. They are trying to find a way of preserving the shot, which will corrode if it is put on display.

And finally –

Here’s another talk by Leanda de Lisle, this time on the Tudor family story. From the video description:

In June 1485, Richard III issued a warning. England faced an invader, ‘one Henry Tudor who usurps the title of this realm as every man knows’. So who was Henry Tudor? Leanda de Lisle tells his family story, and unravels the murder mystery of the lost princes in the Tower.

Sunday Short Takes

Time for another round-up! Finally got a few stories to post.

* Archaeology Week at the Mary Rose MuseumDuring the Festival of Archaeology 2017 the Mary Rose Museum welcome visitors to hear from archaeologists involved in the world’s largest underwater excavation and from the team working hard to preserve and display her in a unique and stunning museum. (Sorry I missed this for the monthly event round-up, but still got it posted before the actual event!)

* Lifting the lid on The Vyne – Conservation continues on the roof of The Vyne, and now you can watch the work with a new walkway and view platform. You can learn more about the project at the National Trust Website.

* We Wear Culture – Fashion through the ages has been added to the Google Culture Project. Right now there is one Elizabethan item featured on the launch page, which you can see here (be sure to zoom in all the way on the picture to see some of the details of the stitching).

And finally…

* TNT’s new series on William Shakespeare, simply entitled Will, debuted on July 10th in the US. Trailer below:

Sunday Short Takes

Welcome to the first round-up of 2017! I admit that I had a couple of things to post last week but I totally and completely forgot about it until about 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. So, here are a couple of weeks’ worth of stories!

* V&A returns Tudor bedroom to original Sizergh Castle settingLondon museum formally transfers grand oak-panelled room, for which it paid £1,000 in 1891, to National Trust site in Cumbria

* A Tudor Childhood – Excerpted from Tracy Borman’s The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty

* Queen Elizabeth I’s long-lost skirt to go on display after being found on a church altar in Herefordshire – The altar cloth that I posted about last May will go on display at Hampton Court Palace and will undergo an 18-month restoration.

* How ‘Sherlock of the library’ cracked the case of Shakespeare’s identity – Don’t be put off by the title, this isn’t a “so-and-so actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays” article. In fact, it’s rather the opposite!

* Lucy Worsley’s Secrets of the Six Wives, which has already aired in the UK, will be airing on PBS stations in the US next weekend (check your local listings for times)

And finally – a video to finish off the post this week:

* Tapestry re-hang at Hampton Court Palace – The most surprising thing in the video is the use of Velcro to hang the tapestries. I mean how they hang them now, not how the Tudors did. 😉

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 £40k raised for Pembroke’s Henry VII statuePlans to erect a statue of Henry VII in Pembrokeshire have moved a step forward.

* Theatre where Hamlet first performed given listed statusThe archaeological remains of two Elizabethan playhouses, one of which saw the first performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, have been given listed status. – More info from Historic England: Elizabethan Playhouses and Bear Baiting Arenas Given Protection

And finally –

* Elizabeth I’s Monarchy Classroom Resource from The National Archives – Fantastic collection of primary source documents related to Elizabeth’s life and reign compiled by Dr. Tracy Borman.

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 TudorsFrom childhood imprisonment in Brittany to the violent execution of Richard III in a Leicestershire field, Henry Tudor’s passage to the throne was lengthy and labyrinthine. Chris Skidmore charts the origins of the Tudor dynasty…

* Cleaning This Portrait Could Change the Way Historians See ShakespeareThe only portrait of the Bard made while he was alive might be getting touch-ups

* Revealed: 500-year-old kiln could shed light on the construction of Henry VIII’s Tudor palace in EssexResearchers believe kiln was used when building Palace of Beaulieu

* Virtual Tudors – New website with 3D models of artifacts and more from the wreck of the Mary Rose

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:

Events

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 – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.”

The Visions of Utopia display opened in June in the Treasures of the British Library and will run through September 18, 2016.

Continuing Exhibitions

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.

Shakespeare Documented – 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.

Sunday Short Takes

Big story from a couple of weeks ago!

* Elizabeth I Armada portrait saved with help of 8,000 donorsA portrait of Elizabeth I has become public property, after an appeal helped raise £10.3m to buy it.

And a few other articles of interest:

* In Praise of the Go-BetweenArchives are one thing, the public another and connecting the two is one of a historian’s hardest challenges, as Suzannah Lipscomb knows from experience.

* ‘Irreplaceable’ Tudor window ‘stolen to order’ from chapelA stained glass window taken from a Tudor church was “stolen to order”, experts believe.

* Dundee student solves historic mystery of Lord DarnleyEmma Price, 23, has recreated the face of Henry Stuart, a.k.a. Lord Darnley, who was the second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, as part of her MSc Forensic Art and Facial Identification course at DJCAD.

* Shakespeare’s New Place to re-open in Stratford-on-AvonA splendid new oak and bronze gateway will open on the original threshold of Shakespeare’s New Place, inviting visitors to walk in the playwright’s footsteps, explore a dramatic new landscape and exhibition, and meet the man behind the famous works this weekend.

Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for July 2016

New Books

First up is J. Stephan Edwards with The Lady Jane Grey’s Prayer Book: British Library Harley Manuscript 2342, Fully Illustrated and Transcribed which will be released July 15. Pre-orders are available directly through the publisher. More information is available at the author’s website.

And the other new book this month is Sean Cunningham’s Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was which will be released July 15 in the UK and later in the fall in the US.

Other Books

Several books that have been previously released in the UK will be released in July in the US —

Insurrection: Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and the Pilgrimage of Grace by Susan Loughlin was released July 1 in the US after an April release in the UK:

Tracy Borman’s Private Lives of the Tudors came out in May in the UK and will be released July 19 in the US:

And one I missed from last month – an academic work edited by Sarah Duncan and Valerie Schutte titled The Birth of a Queen: Essays on the Quincentenary of Mary I:

Events

The Mary Rose Museum will be reopening on July 20 and for the first time visitors will get an unobstructed view of the ship.

New Exhibitions

The Visions of Utopia display opened in June in the Treasures of the British Library and will run through September 18, 2016.

Visit our free temporary display and discover one of the most influential books in Western literature – Thomas More’s Utopia. Marking the 500th anniversary of its publication, this unique display will look at the context in which More wrote the original Utopia and at different visions and meanings of Utopia up to the present day. Written during the reign of Henry VIII, the book was an instant best seller and has continued to inspire readers, writers and thinkers throughout the centuries.

See close up one of the world’s only surviving original editions of Utopia, an original diplomatic letter to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, signed by More and others and many other precious items.

Exhibitions ending this month

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.

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.

Continuing Exhibitions

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 – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.”

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.”

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.

Shakespeare Documented – 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.

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 – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.”

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.”

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.

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.

Shakespeare Documented – 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.

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’s Curtain Theatre unearthed at ShoreditchA 450-year-old children’s bird whistle is among artefacts unearthed by archaeologists excavating Shakespeare’s historic Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch.

And another interesting video – Excavating and preserving Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre – The Stage, Shoreditch:

And a few other stories that caught my eye:

* Tapestries back at Oxburgh Hall thanks to digital technology – I visited Oxburgh last year and highly recommend adding it to any Tudor-themed travel itinerary!

* Archaeologists could be close to finding the exact location of Henry VII’s birthplace at Pembroke Castle – Glimpses of what lies beneath the surface of the site were revealed in aerial photographs and are now being investigated

* London Charterhouse set to open to the public for the first timeIn partnership with the Museum of London, the Charterhouse will be creating a new museum within the Tudor mansion, as well as a Learning Centre and an exhibition space which will tell the story of Charterhouse and its role in key moments in English history.

* Tudormania: Why can’t we get over it?Our fixation with the sexy powerplays of the Tudor court shows no signs of fading. What is it about this 16th-century dynasty that still obsesses us?

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’s great love, Robert Dudley came closer than any other suitor to making the queen his wife. Here, historian Elizabeth Goldring explores Dudley’s three-week marriage proposal at Kenilworth – his last-ditch attempt, after nearly 15 years of trying, to win the queen’s hand…

* The men who changed Henry VIII’s underpantsAs Dr Edward Dutton reveals, the Tudor path to power wasn’t making speeches in the Commons; it was changing Henry VIII’s underpants and wiping his bottom…

And finally, a video of a year in the life of the Hampton Court Gardens

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’s will and Shakespeare’s will: a new interpretation – from the UK National Archives, where the will is on display

* Virtual Historical Festival – Check the Timetable for more information on the authors taking part

* Wythenshawe Hall: Photos reveal damage to fire-hit Tudor mansion – follow-up to a sad story from a few weeks ago

* 360 Tour of the Tower of London with Dan Snow

Upcoming Books, Exhibitions, and Events for April 2016

Books

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 – from the first productions of Hamlet and The Tempest – to understand how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of theatre-goers.”


And finally, 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.”

Continuing 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.

Shakespeare Documented – 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.

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

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.

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.

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 modelAn interactive model of King Richard III’s grave, gives an archaeologist’s-eye view of the skeleton of one of England’s most vilified monarchs

* Visit Richard III’s Gravesite With This Bone Chilling 3D ModelThe ruler’s final resting spot is now publicly available for exploration online


Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.

And a little more on the scan of Shakespeare’s grave mentioned in last week’s round-up:

* Shakespeare’s skull ‘probably stolen’ from Stratford graveA hi-tech investigation of William Shakespeare’s grave has concluded his skull was probably stolen. The discovery gives credence to a news report in 1879, later dismissed as fiction, that trophy hunters took the skull from his shallow grave in 1794.

* Shakespeare’s skull may have been removed from grave, documentary findsIn 1879, an unconfirmed report in the press claimed that William Shakespeare’s skull was stolen from his shallow grave by trophy hunters 85 years earlier. Now, a high-tech radar investigation into the Bard’s grave suggests that the story is true.

And one other interesting article that I read last week:

* The first Muslims in EnglandFrom as far away as North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Muslims from various walks of life found themselves in London in the 16th Century working as diplomats, merchants, translators, musicians, servants and even prostitutes. – There is more about this in the March issue of BBC History Magazine which I recommend if you’re interested. Both articles were written by Jerry Brotton, author of the new book This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World which I’ll add to the next new books round-up!

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 onlineSir Thomas More script is only surviving copy of a play in the bard’s hand and is one of 300 texts being digitised in run-up to British Library exhibition

* Catholic painting covered over by Shakespeare’s dad discovered at Stratford’s GuidhallSt John the Baptist appeared from under a layer of paint and varnish at the Guildhall in Church Street, Stratford, currently being restored as a visitor attraction.

* Site of Shakespeare’s grand Stratford home to open to the publicIn July a grand bronze-studded oak door will swing open on the main street of Stratford-upon-Avon, inviting visitors into a house that was demolished more than 250 years ago – the mansion which Shakespeare bought in his home town when he had made his fortune on the London stage.

And in other news:

* Fire destroys roof of historic Wythenshawe Hall in ManchesterFire has badly damaged a 16th Century hall in Manchester destroying the roof and causing extensive damage to an upper floor.

* Export bar placed on painting of Henry VIII castleThe earliest depiction of Henry VIII’s “lost” palace in Surrey could leave the UK unless a buyer comes forward.

* Channel 5 To Show Major History Series Examining Henry VIII’s Wives – The series will be hosted by Suzannah Lipscomb and Dan Jones

* Secret Notes Hidden in 500-Year-Old BibleRecent analysis of the Latin Bible, which was published in 1535 by Henry VIII’s printer, has revealed fascinating English annotations made during the 16th-century Reformation.

* Digital history: Archbishops’ Registers go online for first timeUsers will be able to research a vast range of topics, from architecture, almsgiving, sin, buildings and transport, to church furnishings, weapons and war. – The site is available here: https://archbishopsregisters.york.ac.uk/

And finally…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a dream house or two, so here’s a whole list of Grade I-listed properties for sale! There are several there that I liked, but if I *had* to choose, my love of black and white timbers would make me pick this one:

The Old Rectory, Gawsworth, Cheshire.

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 £750m apartment block built on Shakespearean theatre – Wanna live above the remains of The Curtain? Thankfully you won’t have to live there to visit the remains though, since the plans include the development of a heritage center.

Upcoming Books and Events for February 2016

Books

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’s first folio online – Couldn’t resist linking to this since it is from my university! Also, you can download hi-res versions of each of the pages from the digitized version.

* Catholic worship returns to Henry VIII’s chapel for first time since 16th CenturyCardinal Vincent Nichols will join the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Charters, for a unique service of vespers as part of an initiative to celebrate the chapel’s musical heritage spanning both Catholic and protestant reigns.

* Heritage Lottery funding for IHR’s ‘Layers of London’ projectThe Institute of Historical Research has been awarded a first-stage pass and development funding of £103,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new interactive online resource tracing London’s history from the Roman period to the present day.

* Tudor stained glass portrait of young Henry VIII lovingly restored – Work that I previously mentioned here continues to preserve and restore the Tudor stained glass at The Vyne.