Happy New Year! I’ll have a proper post later with a wrap-up of last year and some things I want to accomplish in 2016 but for now – on to the round-up for January!
I’ll start out with a couple of books that have already been released in the UK and will be out later in January in the US:
Elizabeth Norton’s The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor: Elizabeth I, Thomas Seymour, and the Making of a Virgin Queen is out January 4 in the US –
Alison Weir’s latest Tudor biography is The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Margaret Douglas Countess of Lennox will be released January 12 in the US –
And in new books this month, Amy Licence’s Edward IV & Elizabeth Woodville: A True Romance will be released January 19 in the US and February 15 in the UK –
Peterborough Cathedral’s annual Katharine of Aragon Festival will be January 28 to 31 this year. I was so happy to finally get a chance to visit Peterborough in 2015 and maybe some year I’ll find myself there at the end of January so I can visit during the festival.
Our exhibition explores Dee through his personal library. On display for the first time are Dee’s mathematical, astronomical and alchemical texts, many elaborately annotated and illustrated by Dee’s own hand. Now held in the collections of the Royal College of Physicians, they reveal tantalising glimpses into the ‘conjuror’s mind’.
Even though I had a bunch of articles last weekend, I didn’t get around to doing a round-up post. So, here’s an extra big one!
Lots of Shakespeare news in the past couple of weeks, which I’m sure is just the beginning of the Bard frenzy we’ll see in the next few months leading up to the 400th anniversary of his death in April 2016.
First up – several articles about the recent discoveries in the dig at New Place in Stratford (I admit, I tried to sneak a peek when I was in the town in May but I couldn’t see much):
Wow, this month’s round-up really managed to sneak up on me! Where did November go??
All of this month’s books have already been released in the UK and are now coming out in the US or books that I missed in last month’s round up:
Jasper: The Tudor Kingmaker by Sarah Elin Roberts, which was released at the end of October in the UK and will be out December 19 in the US.
A collection of essays entitled The Shakespeare Circle edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells was released at the end of October in the UK and will be released at the end of December in the US. This collection focusses on the people that Shakespeare would have interacted with in his life and sounds like an interesting approach to Shakespeare biography.
And finally, Ruth Goodman’s How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life was released in early November in the UK and will be out in February 2016 in the US:
If you will allow me a little indulgence – I once again have a chance to highlight something that is actually taking place in my hometown! The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin will be launching Shakespeare in Print and Performance on December 21, 2015 and it will run through May 29, 2016. They haven’t published a dedicated page for the exhibition yet, but here’s the description from the Upcoming Exhibitions page:
Explore the legacy of William Shakespeare at the Harry Ransom Center. This exhibition provides insight into the origins of his works, the history of their publication and performance, the manner in which the texts have been studied on the page, and the plays interpreted on the stage. The Elizabethan world of Shakespeare and his contemporaries is presented through early printed books documenting his contemporary reputation, his textual sources, and his plays. Costume and set designs, promptbooks, and other ephemera showcase the variety of ways artists have translated his plays into performance.
I’ll definitely be stopping by (possibly more than once – one of the benefits of working at UT Austin!) and will take photos and do a blog post about the exhibition like I did with the King James Bible exhibit from a few years ago.
* The story that has lit up my alerts the most over the past week was about the discovery of a pipe in Shakespeare’s garden that tested positive for cannabis that created a lot of “Shakespeare was a pothead” headlines. Thankfully at least one article I came across took a more skeptical view of directly associating the find with the Bard himself: How the Web Got Suckered into Thinking Shakespeare Was a Stoner
I’m finally getting back into the groove of things after vacation!
* Where’s Wolsey? Hunt is on to find the remains of Cardinal Wolsey in Leicester – This isn’t really much of a new story since the topic has come up a few times since Richard III wad discovered, but it’s interesting that it has stayed in the news. I was originally planning to visit the abbey remains while I was in Leicester but I couldn’t really fit it into the schedule. Hey, if they find Wolsey and further develop the site, it would be a good excuse to visit the city again!
* Shakespeare Or Not Shakespeare, That Is The Question – The big ‘new image of Shakespeare found’ story broke while was on vacation (and, ironically, *in* Stratford-upon-Avon) so I didn’t have a chance to follow it closely. But I’ll say that from the quick glances I had at the stories, I was pretty skeptical. This article seems to be a good analysis of the whole thing.
I’m going to put some of the Richard III stories in a separate post later in the week since I already have several and there will be many, many more as the reinterment week progresses. So here’s the best of the rest!
Is it possible to accurately recreate a loaf of medieval bread? – A talk by Richard Fitch, the Historic Kitchen Interpretation Coordinator at Hampton Court Palace, at the 9th Experimental Archaeology Conference held in January 2015. And if you’re at all interesting in historical cooking at Hampton Court Palace, be sure to give Richard at follow on Twitter at @tudorcook.
Yeah, I’m a little late getting this posted, but at least it’s still January!
Last year I wrote about the various goals that I had for 2014, both personal and for the site. I did okay on some, terrible on others, but I’m going to set goals for myself again in 2015 and hopefully keep a little better account of them. (You can read more about my personal goals for last year and what I have in store for 2015 over on my personal blog.)
On the Shakespeare Challenge, I only made it through one third of the plays, but I did manage to read all of the sonnets. A little trivia – if you read a sonnet a day starting on January 1 and in a non-leap year, you’ll finish them on June 3. I’m planning to continue this challenge and read another third this year and next, so I’ll have read all by the end of 2016. I originally started the challenge in honor of the Bard’s 450th birthday, but this way I’ll finish them by the 400th anniversary of his death.
On the rest of last year’s goals: I totally failed. I didn’t manage to post one single book review. So, this year I’m going to make another attempt at that. I’m going to aim for six reviews, although they may cover more than one book in each review since I have a few that would work nicely as pairs. I did manage to do a few behind-the-scenes things on my to-do list, but I didn’t get to any of the really big ones I was aiming for. So I’ll keep working on those as well.
One other thing to note for this year – by one way of counting (more on that in a minute) this is the 20th anniversary of this site. The reason I say “by one way of counting” is that the site has gone through several iterations, and this is the 20th anniversary of the first one. I think the first page about my Tudor History interests that I put on my personal website actually dates from late 1994, but I know that it was going strong by mid-1995 since that was when I started thinking about splitting it off into its own thing and when I started my current job full-time (and yes, I’m getting a 20 year plaque for that this year). It didn’t actually end up it’s own site until July 1997 (after the Elizabeth I pages were previously on GeoCities – remember that?? – in 1996, I think). So 2017 would be another 20 years milestone. This year is also the 15th anniversary of the site at TudorHistory.org domain, which I originally bought on July 9, 2000. I’ll probably do a full post on the history of the site later in the year and bore everyone with more details than anyone could possibly want.
And one final link for my follow needleworkers: I was looking through my latest issue of Cross Stitch & Needlework and saw they have a blackwork Tudor rose as one of the designs. And the cool thing is that they have the pattern as a free download on their website!
Since news is still slow coming off the holidays, I figured this was a good chance to blog a little about my goals for 2014. I know several people who are ditching the ‘resolutions’ for the new year and instead doing distinct, quantitative goals. So, here are a couple that are relevant to this site that I’m posting about to help keep me accountable. 🙂
The first is to write 10 book reviews. Authors and publishers have been so generous in sending me books over the years and I’ve been terrible about writing reviews for them. I figure that even though some of these books have been out for a while, better late than never!
The second is a Shakespeare challenge, since this April will be the 450th anniversary of his birth. I’m going to read, watch, or listen to all of Shakespeare’s works. I’m doing a sonnet a day and I’ve already watched two different versions of Much Ado About Nothing – the 2011 David Tennant/Catherine Tate stage one via Digital Theatre and the 2012 film version directed by Joss Whedon. Both were delightful! (I’ve seen the 1993 Kenneth Branagh version many times, so I’ll probably watch it again just for the heck of it.) I have a feeling that I’ll do the majority as movies and audiobooks, but I do have them all on my iPad for reading too.
The third goal is to check a few more things off my lengthy to-do list for the site, but that will have to remain a more vague and nebulous goal for now.
I’ll probably do a monthly accounting of the Shakespeare challenge, and of course the book reviews be posted as I get them written (I have to admit that the reviews will probably be the hardest of all my goals to meet, but I’m going to try!). And if you’re curious about all of my goals for the year, I’ve posted about them on my personal website.
A couple of books already out in the UK will be out later this month in the US:
Tarnya Coopers Citizen Portrait: Portrait Painting and the Urban Elite of Tudor and Jacobean England and Wales is due out on November 27th, although according to the Amazon.com page it is already in stock. Previous entry here.
And The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I by Stephen Alford is due out on November 13 in the US. Previous entry here.
Just one new event for this month’s round-up: October 11 will mark the 30th anniversary of the raising of Henry VIII’s ship the Mary Rose and there will be a boat trip and talk in Portsmouth to mark the day. More information is available at the Mary Rose website.
Since a lot of stuff piled up while I was traveling for work (and then recovering from a cold I brought back with me) there will be a lot of links today!
There were several articles about the discovery of medieval underwear in an Austrian castle last week. The items are of interest since they show that these types of undergarments are older than had been generally thought.
(okay, I have to nitpick on genealogical terminology again… Lady Jane Grey can’t have any “direct descendants” since she didn’t have children. My guess is that the young lady mentioned is a direct descendant of Jane’s sister Katherine, so she would be *related* to Jane, but not descended from her. That always bugs me!)