All Things Tudor

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Hampton Court Palace

Today we had the honor of taking a private tour of Hampton Court Palace. My husband & I have been before but this was our first trip together. It’s been a magical day. Here are a few highlights.

The turret room in the Anne Boleyn quarters where she prayed for days knowing that Henry had grown tired of her.
Jane Seymour gave birth to Edward VI in the rooms on the top floor.
Selfie in the William & Mary wing of the palace.
The experience ended with tea & sconces in The Six at the King’s Arms Hotel.

What a dream come true!

Look for more pics of our trip very soon.

The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I

Rare surviving piece of dress once worn by Elizabeth I currently on display at Hampton Court Palace alongside world-famous Rainbow Portrait

Following a three-year conservation project by Historic Royal Palaces, the spectacular Bacton Altar Cloth is on display at Elizabeth I’s former home this autumn, united for the first time with the iconic portrait in which it may once have featured

An elegantly embroidered altar cloth which may once have been part of a dress worn by Queen Elizabeth I will is on display for the first time at Hampton Court Palace this October in an exhibition entitled The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I.  The ‘Bacton Altar Cloth’, discovered in a church in rural Herefordshire, is now considered to be one of the rarest survivals of Elizabethan dress in existence.  After undergoing extensive conservation work at Hampton Court Palace for the past two years, it is exhibited alongside a portrait of the ‘Virgin Queen’ featuring a dress of strikingly similar design.

The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I exhibition
(c)Historic Royal Palaces
David Jensen

The richly embroidered textile – named after the church in Bacton, Herefordshire where it was preserved for centuries – was identified by Historic Royal Palaces curator Eleri Lynn as being part of a high status sixteenth-century court dress back in 2016. The altar cloth has long been associated with Blanche Parry, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s most faithful servants who eventually became her Chief Gentlewoman of the Bedchamber, and who was born in Bacton. Records show that Elizabeth regularly gifted her discarded clothing to Parry as one of her closest confidantes, and for years there was speculation that the altar cloth may have a connection to the Queen. On examining the textile, Lynn – an expert in Tudor court dress – was able to identify previously unseen features, studying the seams of the fabric to confirm it had once formed part of a skirt. 

Following the exciting discovery, Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity that cares for Hampton Court Palace – agreed to commence a conservation programme to stabilise the fragile fabric in the palace’s world-class textile studio. Further examination of the cloth by experts has added weight to Lynn’s theory that it might once have belonged to the Tudor Queen.  Its creation from high-status silver chamblet silk, use of professional embroidery including real gold and silver thread, and distinct evidence of pattern-cutting all suggest that the item could have formed part of Elizabeth’s lavish wardrobe. The conservation team were also able to test the dyes within the fabric, discovering that it contained expensive Indigo and red dye sourced from Mexico – the kind of materials only available to a person a very high status.

Displayed alongside the altar cloth is the iconic Rainbow Portrait (c. 1600-1602), on loan from Hatfield House, which depicts Elizabeth I wearing a gown that bears a tantalising resemblance. On display for the first time ever at Hampton Court Palace, the portrait – attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger – was commissioned by Robert Cecil and is filled with symbolism including motifs of eyes and ears. Accompanying the painting will be a selection of rare domestic print books dating from the Tudor period, which would have provided inspiration for many of the embroidered motifs fashionable during Elizabeth’s reign – including those found on the Bacton Altar Cloth – brought together for the first time with other stunning embroidery work from the period. Unpacking the Virgin Queen’s now iconic style, the exhibition will explore the artistry and majesty of the Tudor wardrobe, Elizabeth’s inner-circle of women, how embroidery served as a way of female bonding at court, along with the fascinating world of secret symbols and Elizabethan codes. 

Eleri Lynn, Collections Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, said “After three-years of painstaking conservation and research, we’re thrilled to finally be putting this exquisite object on display at Hampton Court Palace, Elizabeth’s former home. To have an item of Tudor dress with such a close link to Queen Elizabeth I is extraordinarily rare, and we are very excited to display the Bacton Altar Cloth next to the legendary Rainbow Portrait, with its prominent similarities to the fabric of the cloth itself.”  

The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I will run from October 12, 2019 until February 23, 2020 at Hampton Court Palace, on loan from St Faith’s Church, Bacton.  

For more information and images, please contact Sophie Lemagnen in the Historic Royal Palaces Press Office: sophie.lemagnen@hrp.org.uk/ 0203 166 6304

Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.  We help everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society, in some of the greatest palaces ever built. We raise all our own funds and depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, sponsors and volunteers. With the exception of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, these palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Historic Royal Palaces cares for Hillsborough Castle and Gardens under a separate contract with the Northern Ireland Office. Registered charity number 1068852. For more information visit www.hrp.org.uk

All information is shared courtesy of Hampton Court Palace and Historic Royal Palaces.


Special Announcement!

Please welcome Sarah Morris as she makes a very special EXCLUSIVE announcement for those who love all things Tudor History! In addition, she reveals more info on the 1535 progress made by Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn, which she and Natalie Grueninger are taking and we can join virtually.

So you might be wondering who is The Tudor Travel Guide? Hello! My name is Sarah Morris and online I am The Tudor Travel Guide. I live in England, in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside. I have been enthralled by the Tudors since I was a child, learning about them at school and spending many happy weekends and holidays touring historic properties with my parents. This was where my love of history began.

Anne Boleyn is my historical heroine: an intelligent and courageous woman who was well ahead of her time, in my opinion. I have long been fascinated by her, but unlike Henry VIII, my interest has never waned! In 2010, I began writing my first Tudor novel; Le Temps Viendra; a Novel of Anne Boleyn. This was published in 2012, followed closely thereafter by two non-fiction books; In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn and In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII, co-authored with Natalie Gruneninger. I was also featured in A Tale of Two Sisters on Yesterday TV, as the ‘Boleyn expert’, talking about the relationship between Anne and Mary Boleyn, and this year took part in the filming of a documentary about the life of Mary I for France2 called, Les Secrets D’Histoire. This is due to air later this year.

I created The Tudor Travel Guide back in March 2018. I am fascinated by Tudor places and this idea that when we stand in a place, or building, with strong ties to the Tudor era, it is only time, and not space, which separates us from those who have gone before. With The Tudor Travel Guide, my aim is to help people connect more deeply with the sixteenth century through recreating places as they would have looked at the time. By doing so, I find it helps the imagination recreate events and characters more vividly, bringing us even closer to the past.

Alongside the blog, (where new articles are usually added weekly), I run a monthly podcast called The Tudor Travel Show. I have such incredible fun making these shows, as I head out on the road to historic properties with strong ties to the Tudor era. Usually, with a local expert or guide on hand, we go exploring the location and its history to give you a real sense of being there yourself. Oh, and then there is the TTG newsdesk, where we bring you all the latest breaking sixteenth century news. Not sure how this works? Then you must tune in. Recording it is one of my favourite blogging to-dos of the month!

Quite often, when I am on location recording the podcast, I will take the opportunity to shoot an accompanying video. You can find these on my YouTube channel: The Tudor Travel Guide. So whether you prefer to read, listen or watch your Tudor history, there will be something for you to lose yourself in and enjoy.

How can you get more involved? Well, of course, you will find me on all the main social media channels (links below). I love to hear from people: comments, feedback and questions. It’s great to have emails arriving in my inbox giving me feedback and sharing thoughts on what folk are enjoying. I always respond to email, although things get a little hectic to say the least, so while it might not be immediate, you will get a reply, I promise!

Although it doesn’t happen too much at the moment, I’d also be delighted to field more questions and read out feedback from listeners to the podcast. If you want to get really involved with the show, then The Tudor Travel Show’s Patron Programme might just be for you. Through sponsorship of the programme, The Tudor Travel Show will have a much greater chance of staying on the road. There are all sorts of levels of sponsorship starting at just $1 a month. However, if you wish to be a super-supporter, then at some of the higher levels of sponsorship you can influence the theme / content of a show, or even come on location while it is being recorded. That would be so much fun!

So, what’s coming up for you to enjoy? Well, regular blogs and podcasts. Themes over the next 3 months include Jane Seymour (we will be travelling to Wolfhall and hearing about the recent restoration of a fascinating painting of Jane at the National Portrait Gallery). We will also be touring Penshurst Place, and in December there will be a very special Christmas visit to Hever. I am SO looking forward to that! We will be recording both a podcast and video of the castle dressed for Christmas. If you haven’t seen Anne Boleyn’s childhood home at Christmas before, get ready for a real treat.

What else can you look forward to? In the very near future, I will be co-hosting a four-day virtual progress, based on the 1535 progress undertaken by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. My co-author of In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn and I will be filming four videos in which we explore six beautiful locations visited during the progress: Sudeley Castle, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester Abbey, Leonard Stanley Berkeley Castle and Thornbury Castle. Enrollment to join the progress is free, and you can sign up here. At the end of the progress, we hope to hold a live chat. It should be a great adventure. Learn all about these places as visited by Henry and Anne, and hear why this period was so historic. I hope you will join us!

Finally, I can exclusively announce that next year I will be holding another virtual gathering. This time it will be a virtual summit to celebrate the 500th anniversary of The Field of Cloth of Gold.

There are some fabulous speakers lined up, including several leading experts in their field. I can’t say too much more for now, but it will be held next May and again, sign up will be entirely free. Here’s the important bit: if you sign up to my mailing list, you will be sure to be among the first to hear confirmation of dates and how to register.

It might also be worth saying that for those of you planning a real Tudor-themed vacation, and want to visit places steeped in Tudor history, alongside the In the Footsteps books, I have written a series of digital, full-colour mini-guides. I started writing these last year and will continue adding to the series over time. At the moment, you can pick up guides for Hampton Court Palace, Sudeley Castle, Kenilworth Castle and Dover Castle. There are also weekend away guides for Kent and Suffolk that include three locations and a couple of accommodation recommendations, perfect if you are planning to visit either county. In fact, if you subscribe to the blog, you will receive the Kent mini-guide, featuring Hever Castle, Penshurst Place and Pashley Manor Garden as you free gift – a ‘thank-you’ for becoming part of the community. Any of the other guides can be purchased from The Tudor Travel Guide shop.

Finally, I recently started taking private bookings for tailored tours. So, if you want an extra-special experience and your personal guide while on your Tudor vacation, I am now able to accompany you to most places. Tours can be for single locations, or in conjunction with British History Tours, I can arrange longer tours, where your transport and accommodation are also arranged for you. All you need to do is turn up and enjoy, while I help you recreate these fabulous places and the events that took place there. If you are interested, you can contact me via sarah@thetudortravelguide.com to discuss your specific requirements. All tours are tailor-made and developed according to your specific interests.

How do I get connected? There are many ways in which to join The Tudor Travel Guide community…The most important thing is to subscribe to the blog here. I have created three fab freebies that will be delivered to your inbox by way of welcome. I hope you love them! Being part of the community also gives you unrestricted access to my password protected resource library, reserved just for members. 

If you are interested in my podcasts, you can catch up with all the episodes here, or via iTunes, Spotify or YouTube (just search for The Tudor Travel Show).

Here are other ways to get social!

Facebook 

Pinterest

Instagram

Twitter

Thanks so  much for taking the time to find out more about The Tudor Travel Guide. There are always new adventures to be had, and I’d love to virtually take you on the road with me as we learn about enchanting Tudor locations – and I very much hope that you will be inspired to plan your own Tudor adventure.

Happy Time Travelling!

Sarah

The Tudor Travel Guide


Tudor Jewelry

Danegeld Historic Jewellery

Please welcome Danegeld Historic Jewllery and the owner, George Easton to All Things Tudor. If this jewelry doesn’t tempt you, I don’t know…

The mission of Danegold is to accurately research and reproduce period metalwork. According to the owner, “I always try to make my pieces as close to the originals as possible using the techniques and materials of the time in question.”

Founded in 1997, Danegeld’s produce copies of historic metalwork focusing mainly on the dark age and medieval period. The products-jewelry and metalwork is available in all metals-from gold to pewter

They make replica jeweler from all periods of history but mainly the dark ages and medieval periods. “I am equally happy casting a bronze age axe in an open forge as i would be traditionally setting diamonds in a victorian necklace. I am a trained jeweller and have been working commercially in the trade for the last 16 years, producing jewellery and metalwork for collectors, film and TV production companies, museums and shops.
I have a strong interest in history and a keen eye for detail, having trained in graphic design and illustration prior to my jewellery career i am happy to be able to combine them all together to produce fine pieces of jewellery.”

Visit the website here: https://www.danegeld.co.uk

Holbein Pendant

George’s resume is impressive. Twenty one years working with precious metals, fourteen of which have been spent running Danegeld

In his own words, “I originally trained in illustration and design before specialising in jewellery. Combine this with my interest in history and you have a full research, design and production service. i have an extensive historical library and a passion for my subject.
Since finishing my studies i have worked with several companies and  most recently  producing costume jewellery for designers and high street stores; Vivienne Westwood, Agent Provocateur, Paul Smith, Ted Baker, British Museum and others. I have also worked on pieces for the Harry Potter films, several of my own pieces have also featured on TV and Film. Most recently I have supplied pieces for Killing EveVictoria and Abdul and Good Omens. The designs on the website cover the 1st century to the 20th century. Almost all the pieces are copies of actual jewellery finds from museums and the remainder are designs of the time from wood or stone placed  in a jewellery context.
All of my pieces are hand made in my workshop in Sussex, they are either hand forged or cast. Cast pieces are mostly moulded from metal master models, however sometimes it’s more practical to carve the masters from wax.
Commissions are always welcome, my interests and abilities cover every time period , so please don’t hesitate to ask for a quote on anything you may require, however out of period it may seem. “

You may contact him with any questions.

Please follow him on Facebook for all his latest news!

On This Day

October 8, 2019

Forwarded from my personal Facebook wall & posted last night.

One year ago tonight, our nightmare began & I was admitted to an ER-spending most of the month in hospitals. Along the way, I was told I had maybe 48 hours to live.
Luckily, I’ve never backed down from a challenge.
My husband has been beside me the entire time. We love you all & can’t thank you enough for your positivity & support. God & Emory Hospital worked a miracle-now I’m well enough to travel. We get to visit Paul’s fam & our friend’s next week & we can’t wait! Thanks again. We ❤️ you all.

Believe, always.

We appreciate everyone who has supported us. If you want more info, please check out the About Me section.

From the All Things Tudor writer

xoxo

Deb

Marie de Guise

by Amy Blakeway


For over half the sixteenth century Scotland was ruled by children. In an age when the monarch’s will was the axis upon which political life turned and his or her authority was the source of all justice, periods without an adult ruler, known as royal minorities, were dangerous times indeed. Of course, six-day olds or four year olds did not actually control the country, but the question of who should rule on their behalf was a fraught one – and the person who answered it rarely satisfied everyone. Contemporaries said that Regents ‘bore the person of the monarch’ – that is, they were the monarch for the time. This total control over royal power made their rule potentially dangerous.

Because of a preference for appointing the adult heir to the throne as regent, usually, regents were men: six out of eight in the sixteenth century. However, female regents could be appointed in their husband’s will, or if a monarch was living abroad and needed to delegate their power during their absence. This is what happened in 1554: Mary, Queen of Scots was living in France and, since she was betrothed to the French heir to the throne, would be for the foreseeable future. Claiming that (aged just over eleven) she was now an adult, Mary ordered that James Hamilton, earl of Arran should give up the regency to her mother, Marie de Guise. Since the scheme was really masterminded by the powerful Henri II of France, the Scots had little choice but to agree.

Marie de Guise followed in the footsteps of other Stewart wives and mothers in the previous century, such as Joan Beaufort, mother of James II, and Mary of Gueldres, mother of James III. Between 1513 and 1514 Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII of England’s big sister and the widow of James IV, was regent for her son James V – she lost power when her remarriage meant she passed into the legal control of her new husband. But Marie de Guise was different: all these regents were only ever temporary rulers, who would give power when their child came of age. As Mary would remain in France with her husband, Marie de Guise was a new kind of regent, a permanent ruler on behalf of a perpetually absent monarch.

Despite widespread anxiety about women rulers, a dowager queen was a sound choice as regent for the simple reason that she loved her children. Shakespeare didn’t write Richard III in a vacuum and the fear that an ambitious uncle would take a leaf from Richard III’s book, kill his nephew and steal the crown, was frequently voiced. By contrast, it was assumed a mother would protect her children – and female regents manipulated that rhetoric to their own advantage, perhaps never more skilfully than Catherine de Medici, regent for her young son Charles IX of France.

However, Queen Mothers were not only defined by their gender. Their nationality posed problems for their candidacy as a regent. Catherine de Medici was Italian. Margaret Tudor was English, and Marie de Guise herself was French. Could a foreign-born woman really have Scotland’s interests at heart? For Marie de Guise, the mixture of gender and nationality combined with the extra-flammable ingredient of religious tension in a lethal cocktail which eventually caused her downfall.

Ironically, given that Marie would end her life as the hated face of French power in Scotland, in France she would have been regarded as slightly foreign. Her father, Claude, Duke of Guise, was one of the Princes Étrangers (stranger Princes) at the French court – this title denoted membership of an independent sovereign dynasty. They were descendants of the independent Dukes of Lorraine, whose lands would only be incorporated into France in the eighteenth century.

Marie arrived in Scotland in 1538 to marry James V – it was the second marriage for both of them. He had previously been married to Madeline, the sickly daughter of Francois I. Marie had in fact attended their marriage in Paris, accompanied by her first husband, Louis, duc de Longueville.

As Queen consort she brought considerable cultural capital to Scotland, corresponding with relatives in France to arrange for craftsmen to come over and remodel the royal palaces, and securing technical know-how for the Scottish mining projects. References to her ‘chariot’ suggest she may have been the owner of the first, or at least one of the first, carriages in Scotland. She also fulfilled her main job as Queen consort: to get pregnant and produce, preferably male, children, although sadly two boys she had in 1540 and 1541 lived only a short time.

In other words, Marie de Guise was a model Queen consort, but there is no evidence to suggest that she sought political influence. After James V died in 1542 no-one suggested that his widow should become regent: Marie de Guise’s job was to bring up the new Queen.

This poses an interesting question: how did Guise move from an apparently apolitical royal spouse in 1542 to becoming regent and ruling Scotland?

The process had begun by 1544 when she and a group of the nobility dissatisfied with the regent Arran, proposed a scheme that she should share power with him. Unsurprisingly, he rejected this and for a few months Marie de Guise tried to head up an alternative government. However, this failed – even the English, with whom the Scots were at war, were reluctant to negotiate with her. She and Arran made it up by the autumn and seem to have managed a working relationship of sorts until she took power in 1554.

Even when Guise was part of Arran’s regime, the fact she controlled a third of the crown lands posed problems for the regent. Crown revenues were reduced, and a rival source of patronage had the potential to eat away at his support. However, she enjoyed the trust of the King of France and in fighting the ongoing war against the English French support was crucial. This increased after 1548 when the Treaty of Haddington between France and Scotland promised French support for the war effort and arranged for Mary’s marriage to the Dauphin, Francois. This treaty meant that Mary would be absent from Scotland on a permanent basis and so created the circumstances which eventually developed into Guise becoming regent.

Many historians identify Marie de Guise’s visit to France from August 1550 until November 1551 as another key moment in her gradual ascent to the regency. Accompanied by many Scottish nobles, Guise certainly played a central role in French court life during this period and negotiated continued French support for Scotland. What is less clear, however, is whether these negotiations included discussion of the possibility that she herself would become regent, and, if so, whether Guise herself arrived in France ready to discuss this, or whether it emerged during the conversations.

Once she arrived back in Scotland, however, it was only the rapidly changing international situation in late 1553 which made the possibility of Guise becoming regent a reality. Mary Tudor’s accession to the throne of England meant the strengthening of France’s great rivals, the Hapsburgs, Mary Tudor’s maternal relations and the family from whom she sought a husband. Scotland needed to be bound more securely to France and following months of intense negotiations Arran agreed to resign the regency.

Mary’s enemies would later claim that she subverted the ceremony which appointed her regent by wearing the crown which belonged to her daughter – and that to make matters worse it was the French king’s representative who placed it on her head. Her arch-rival John Knox remarked that seeing Marie crowned in this way was ‘as seemly a sight (if men had eyes) as to place a saddle on the back of an unruly cow’. But, there is no corroborative evidence for this story and the only authors who mention it were not in Edinburgh when Guise became regent. It’s far more likely that this was either a fabrication or a wilful manipulation of the fact that the crown was moved from in front of Arran to Guise to symbolise the transfer of power. This story was designed to signal Guise’s dangerous ambition and so that she was dangerously unsuitable to rule.

Nevertheless, for the six years of her regency, she took her duties as regent seriously. For example, she held numerous justice ayres – peripatetic justice courts which moved around Scotland – this was particularly significant because dispensing justice was understood to be one of the key aspects of being a good ruler.

Even so, by 1555 the reality of an absentee Queen and a French regent who appointed French advisers to key posts was beginning to bite home. Parliament passed an act complaining that many Scots had been ‘speiking aganis the quenis grace [Marie de Guise] and sawing evill brute anent [spreading evil rumours about] the Maist Christin King of Frances subjectis send in this realme for the commoun weill’ and laying down heavy penalties for those who opposed it. In October 1557 the nobility refused Guise’s orders to invade England – they claimed that this was not in the best interests of Scotland, but only an attempt to please the French. John Knox reported that Guise was furious, but other evidence shows she and the nobility did manage to rebuild relations and remained on friendly terms for another year. When they did desert her, and explained to the public in Scotland and potential allies abroad why they were resisting their lawfully appointed regent, the nobles cited their religious concerns but, more importantly, their fear of French rule overturning Scottish laws and an eventual French conquest of Scotland.
Was there any truth in this? Marie always denied it. However, she had appointed trusted French officials to major roles in Scotland. She also at times viewed Scotland as a country which needed to be changed, and once wrote to her brother ‘God knows…what a life I lead. It is no small matter to bring a young nation to a state of perfection’.

From September 1558 onwards the growing Protestant party in Scotland became increasingly vocal. But it was only in May 1559 when this spilled over into violent rebellion against the regent – and even after this, it took many months of temporary compromise for key nobles to desert Guise. John Knox’s History of the Reformation in Scotland is one of the most important sources we have for this period. However, the fact he was absent from Scotland for much of Guise’s regency, combined with his obvious self-interest in the events he discussed, also makes it one of the most problematic. His attitude to Marie de Guise can only be described as venomous. For instance, he claimed that Marie de Guise persuaded the reformers to agree to Mary’s marriage to the Dauphin. Once they had agreed, she ‘began to spew furthe and disclose the latent venom of her dowble harte’. When the Archbishop of St Andrews executed the reformer Walter Milne, Knox said that Guise ‘as a woman born to dissemble and deceave’ was so persuasive in claiming that she had no foreknowledge of the execution that the Protestants, ‘suspecting nothing that the Queen consented to the foirnamed murder’ continued to seek out her support.

Knox’s need to justify the rebellion which he encouraged against Marie de Guise lead him to portray her as a dangerous villain, a French, Catholic, Woman, driven by ambition, which led her to bribe, deceive and corrupt those she encountered. It’s impossible to know which of these concerns prompted her subjects to rise against her in rebellion, but, it’s clear that by 1559 the exercise of power had transformed this once conforming Queen consort into a very dangerous woman indeed.

Amy Blakeway is a lecturer in History at the University of Kent. She is interested in the power and politics of sixteenth-century Scotland and the author of ‘Regency in Sixteenth-Century Scotland’. She currently lives in Canterbury but comes to Edinburgh whenever she can.

Article courtesy of the Dangerous Women Project, University of Edinburgh. Please contact Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson with any questions.

Support the Dangerous Women Project!

Original listing here

Feature image: Attributed to Corneille de Lyon (1500/1510–1575) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Janet Wertman

By day, Janet Wertman is a freelance grantwriter for impactful nonprofits. By night, she indulges a passion for the Tudor era she has harbored since she was *cough* eight years old and her parents let her stay up late to watch The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.  Janet Wertman is the author of Jane the Quene and The Path to Somerset – the first two books in her Seymour Saga trilogy (the third book, The Boy King, is expected in 2020). She also runs a blog (www.janetwertman.com) where she posts interesting takes on the Tudors, and hosts a radio show, Author Notes, on the Tudor Radio Network where she talks about writing the Tudors and everything that entails.

Jane the Quene

England. 1535. Jane Seymour is 27 years old and increasingly desperate for the marriage that will provide her a real place in the world. Meanwhile, King Henry VIII is 45 and increasingly desperate for a son that will secure his legacy. He left his first wife, a princess of Spain, changing his country’s religion in the process, to marry Anne Boleyn — but she too has failed to deliver the promised heir. As Henry begins to fear he is cursed, Jane’s honesty and innocence conjure redemption.

Thomas Cromwell, an ambitious clerk with his own agenda, sees in Jane the perfect vehicle to calm the political unrest that threatens the country. He engineers the plot that ends with Jane becoming the King’s third wife. 

Jane believes herself virtuous and her actions justified, but early miscarriages shake her confidence and hopes. How can a woman who has done nothing wrong herself deal with the guilt of how she unseated her predecessor?

Reviews:

Finalist, 2016 Novel of the Year – Underground Book Reviews

Semi-Finalist, 2017 M.M. Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction

Readers’ Award, Chill With a Book; Honoree, BRAG Medallion


“Wertman describes the pageantry, gowns, and architecture of pre-Elizabethan England; presents an ample cast of nobles and ladies-in-waiting; and exposes the tense religious turmoil and malicious political machinations of the Tudor court, led by dastardly Thomas Cromwell.This enticing, historically accurate story lends immediacy to the events.”  – Publishers Weekly 
“A touching and insightful reading experience.” – Historical Novel Society

“[A] thoughtful depiction of Jane Seymour…gives readers a compelling story.” – Nancy Bilyeau, Author of The Crown, The Chalice and The Tapestry, an award-winning Tudor-mystery trilogy published by Simon and Schuster.

The Path to Somerset

After the tragic romance of Jane the Quene, the second book in The Seymour Saga trilogy, The Path to Somerset, takes a dark turn through an era in which King Henry VIII descends into cynicism, suspicion and fits of madness – and in which mistakes mean death. 

Edward Seymour’s future is uncertain. Although his sister Jane bore Henry the son he’d sought for twenty years, when she died in childbirth, Henry’s good nature died with her. Now the fiercely ambitious Edward must carve a difficult path through Henry’s shifting principles and wives. Challenged at every turn by his nemesis, Bishop Stephen Gardiner, Edward must embrace ruthlessness in order to safeguard not only his own future but England’s as well. 

This is the account of Henry’s tumultuous reign, as seen through the eyes of two opponents whose fierce disagreements over religion and common decency fuel epic struggles for the soul of the nation. And for power. 

Reviews:

“The way this story is told truly makes history come to life” and “I highly recommend ordering this book!”  – Tudors Dynasty

“The novel’s sweeping historic detail and bewitching blend of rivalries and romances will dazzle devotees of Tudor England.” – Publishers Weekly


“Author Wertman masterfully weaves the political intrigue of the Tudor court…The narrative is engaging, and characters come to life on the page…Highly recommended.”
Historical Novel Society

“Machinations behind the scenes are shown here with some exceptional dialogue. Wertman brings these people to life.” – The Freelance History Writer Notes and Reviews


“Janet Wertman does a fantastic job navigating this complex political landscape to show Edward Seymour in a new light. This may be my first time reading a book by Janet Wertman, but this will not be my last.” – Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

Amazon purchase links:

Jane the Quene

The Path to Somerset

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Katherine – Tudor Duchess

New from Tony Riches, Author of the best-selling Tudor Trilogy

Available in eBook and paperback from Amazon UK and Amazon US

(Audiobook edition coming in 2020)

Katherine-Tudor Duchess by Tony Riches
Now Available!

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward.

When her father dies, Katherine becomes the ward of Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, Katherine marries Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. After the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the death of Jane Seymour, Katherine and Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England.

When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform. Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends, but when Edward dies his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen. Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Author Bio

Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess and Brandon – Tudor Knight. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

What is Tudorcon?

Tudorcon is three days of learning, feasting, music, and food held in Manheim PA from October 18 – 20. It will be held in a newly restored winery next to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, bringing together Tudor history enthusiasts with authors, bloggers, and podcasters.

Tudorcon is the brainchild of Heather Teysko of the Renaissance English History Podcast. She has been podcasting since 2009, making her show among the longest continuously running independent Tudor history podcasts. As she says, one afternoon she thought… I’d really like to go to a Tudorcon. Why doesn’t one exist? After consulting with her audience, she decided to make her dream a reality. The inaugural Tudorcon will be held from 18-20 October 2019.

The mission of Tudorcon is to build friendships with other Tudor friends and those who share a passion for Tudor history. This is the very first year of this event so become a part of it!

Can’t attend? No worries, get a digital ticket.

More info here!

Twitter

Facebook

Tickets

SPEAKERS

Engage with leading bloggers, podcasters, and authors on Tudor England.

Heather Teysko  

The Renaissance English History Podcast 

Samantha Bullat

Samantha Bullat 

clothing historian, Jamestown & Yorktown Federation

Christine Morgan

Untitled History Project

Janet Wertman

Janet Wertman

Author, Jane the Queen

Cassidy Cash

That Shakespeare Life

Tiffaney J Williams

Tiffaney J Williams

Performance of Power: Art and Music in the Tudor Court

Carol Ann Lloyd 

TheTudors by the Numbers (watch her Ted Talk on Shakespeare as a change maker) 

Brigitte Webster

Brigitte Webster 

Tudor and 17th Century Experience

Tammy Shrovelton

Tammy Shovelton Early Modern Historian The Relationships that Made a Queen

Tara Mulligan queenly verses: the poetry exchanges between Elizabeth Tudor and Mary Queen of Scots

Michael Radi

Micahel Radi With a very special live performance of the songs of his new musical, The King’s Legacy 

Logan Laudenslager

Logan Laudenslager A very special live performance of Libby Larsen’s Try Me Good King

Entertainment from Pastimes  

Enterainment from Greg Ramsey, the Woomaster