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How did you get interested in Tudor history in the first place?

I think I was actually born an Anglophile, since from my earliest days I can remember a fascination with England and the British Isles. Part of it no doubt comes from the fact that most of my ancestors originally came from Great Britain and Ireland.

My interest in Tudor History took off when I was in 8th grade. My American History teacher used to "threaten" us with a lesson on Henry and his wives. Well, one day, she followed through on her "threat" and spent that class period and the next talking about Henry and family. She showed us some of the famous paintings and quickly told us the tale of each of the six amazing women that Henry VIII took for his queens. I was hooked. I quickly went out and read Carolly Erickson's Great Harry and shortly after, The First Elizabeth.

When I got to high school the next year (1986, for those who are curious), I took World History for the first time. My teacher was great, but unfortunately didn't know much about the Tudors. (He once mistakenly called Mary Queen of Scots "Bloody Mary", which I corrected him on, of course <grin>.) But, when it came time for our research paper, he quickly signed off on my proposed topic: "The Changes of Religion in Tudor England" and encouraged my interests. (And I got an A+!)

Since then I continued to read many books on the subject of the Tudors although my career interests have mostly been science-related. I did take a Tudor History class in college, although I didn't count toward my astronomy degree! After finishing my degree in astronomy I have continued working in the field.

In 2001 I started taking classes at the university where I work, since full time staff members were granted a new benefit of one free course a semester. I have been flirting with the idea of getting a second degree, maybe even in history!