One woman surprised her contemporaries by managing one of the most favorable annulment settlements of her time. She also remained in favor with her ex, was a fixture at his court, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. The other is the most-married Queen of England, was held captive at Snape castle, and was the first English Queen to publish a book.
Who are they?
They are the wives who survived marriage to Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr.
Join Royal Oak and historian and educator Carol Ann Lloyd to meet the only two wives of Henry VIII who had lives after their marriages to the King (technically, Katherine of Aragon lived after the annulment, but she claimed she was still married until she died).
We know these women as wives of Henry VIII, but there is much more to their story. They navigated the politics of 16th century court life, in England and abroad, to leave their mark on English history. Both women, in their own way, had a considerable impact not only on Henry VIII, but on his royal children as well.
Carol Ann Lloyd is a popular speaker who shares the stories of Shakespeare and English history. She is the former Manager of Visitor Education at Folger Shakespeare Library, where she gave workshops and tours about Shakespeare and Early Modern England.Carol Ann has presented programs at the Smithsonian, Folger Shakespeare Library, Agecroft Hall, and TEDx, among other venues. Ms. Lloyd is a member of the National Speakers Association
A man may think his life is only measured by battles fought for the king. Until he meets a woman worth fighting for.
Henry Wilmot. Cavalier. Seasoned soldier. Grieving widower. On the eve of battle he is sent by the king to requisition arms. What he did not expect was that the supplies were a gift from a feisty and attractive widow who was hiding her own Royalist beliefs in plain sight. Even more alarming was that his quest took him into the heart of an enemy Parliamentarian household. Will Henry survive the fight of his life? And will Nan remember him if he does?
A counterpoint is a melody played in conjunction with another, or an opposing viewpoint in an argument. Our lives are complex, and each one of us carries within us a counterpoint to another’s story.
Here is a counterpoint to Nan Wilmot, from Written in Their Stars.
On the eve of the battle of Edge Hill, Henry Wilmot is in a desperate race to acquire arms on behalf of the king. He enlists the help of Allen Apsley, who leads him to his cousin.
The foolish groom just ignored me before bending and feebly pushing the guns back into a pile. He was a weed of a man, the guns near as long as him. At that rate, we would be there all night.
I nudged him with my boot. “Don’t be so bloody stupid, you whoreson. Get out of the damned way. Now.”
The fellow snatched up a gun and pointed it at me. “And you don’t be so bloody rude.” In a swift motion, Allen seized the weapon and flung it to the ground—and then burst out laughing. I was still struggling to understand why a stripling whose voice had not even broken was on a mission like this.
Allen hugged the lad, knocking off his hat. The recruit laughed with a laugh that sent heat to my gut. And shook loose a wash of auburn curls.
“Dear God!” I exclaimed.
She swept me a look that would have stopped the Earl of Essex dead and saved us the trouble of fighting again that month.
“Where’s my brother?” she demanded of Apsley.
“With the advance cavalry, on his way to London.” He paused. “Ned’s perfectly safe, Nan. We meet up from here and ride together.”
She nodded in my direction. “Who’s this?”
“Henry Wilmot, at your service.” I swept my best bow. Somehow her attitude and the occasion demanded it.
“Should I know you, Mr. Wilmot?”
Again that arrogance. I just stared at her.
Apsley rushed to my rescue. “Colonel Wilmot is the king’s Commissioner General of the Horse. He leads the cavalry in his army, Nan. He is the most experienced military commander, second only to Prince Rupert.” He paused. “And more popular.”
She sniffed. “Let’s see if you can ride as well as you curse.” She turned to Apsley. “Give me a leg up, Allen. I’ll show you the shortcut across Ditchley Park. It’ll save you two hours on the track.”
This was too much. We did not need a woman slowing us down at this vital moment. “Can’t your men lead us? This is really no place for a lady.”
As Apsley cupped his hands and Lady Lee stepped up on her high horse—if it was even possible for her to climb any higher—her cloak swung open, revealing a pair of breeches and a man’s jacket, some kind of linen shirt and velvet waistcoat. None of which did anything to hide her figure nor her agility.
“Not what I had expected, Apsley,” I muttered under my breath. “Yet certainly more than I wished for.”
He grinned and quickly mounted, as did I. “Ride forward with Nan, Colonel, and I’ll bring up the rear to ensure the pack ponies don’t lag.” Cantering down the track, he left me at his cousin’s mercy.
“Shall we go?” She shot me another glance. “Or are you concerned about keeping up with a woman in unknown territory?”
She urged her horse forward, her hair streaming behind like the mane of a wild filly.
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England, lives in California, and spends most of her time in the 17th Century. To inspire her writing, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and Castle Fonmon to the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…
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, as well as being related by marriage to Lady Jane Grey.
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 tragic death of Jane Seymour, and the short reign of young Catherine Howard. 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, 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.
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 Tudors. 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
Tudor History and Shakespearean expert, Carol Ann Lloyd has announce a new weekly podcast, British History: Royals, Rebels, and Romantics. It is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you find your podcasts.
Meet famous and infamous characters, walk with playwrights and peasants, and wander through castles and cathedrals. New episodes every Wednesday.
Have a question about British history, something you’ve always wanted to know? Just ask! Let’s explore history together.
Look for a free Zoom meeting on June 16th with Carol Ann. Send your questions to me at Deb@AllThingsTudor.com. I’ll forward them to Carol Ann, who so looks forward to these! Get this fun & informative event on your calendar today!
Carol Ann Lloyd (or Lloyd-Stanger) is a speaker and writer who shares the stories of history and Shakespeare to illuminate what’s possible in our lives today. She presents in-person and online programs across the country for the Smithsonian, Royal Oak Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute/George Mason University, Agecroft Hall, and more. Carol Ann presented a TEDx talk about Shakespeare in October 2017. She also offers programs for business audiences that demonstrate how Shakespeare and history offer practical strategies to increase skills in leadership, public speaking, customer service, and interpersonal communication. Carol Ann earned Master of Education degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Utah. The former Manager of Visitor Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library, she is also an Instructor for Language at Work. She is a member of the National Speakers Association.
Look for her as a featured speaker in October at Tudorcon 2020!
Reveal!⚡️ Tudor & Shakespearean expert -Carol AnnLloyd – will be speaking on a free Zoom call on May 19th at 10:30am Eastern time.👑She willlead us in honoring Queen Anne Boleyn🌹then share insight into her upcoming talks for the Royal Oak Foundation & Smithsonian.
Most importantly, she wants any questions you have about the era AND she has a special, secret announcement!
Carol Ann Lloyd (aka Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger) takes audiences on a journey to the past through lively, dynamic programs. Carol Ann speaks for several organizations all over the US, including Smithsonian, Royal Oak Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library, Agecroft Hall, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, and others.
The former Manager of Visitor of Education at Folger Shakespeare Library where she created and presented programs for visitors of all ages. Carol Ann has holds a Master’s degree…
The 15th century in England saw a series of battles among British noble families and royal relatives that ripped apart the fabric of English politics. As Henry VI was weak leader, two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet seized the opportunity for a bold and bloody familial power grab and, in doing so, reshaped the English monarchy. These tumultuous decades saw a rotating cast of kings, families divided, cousin against cousin, and fortunes made and lost.
Join Royal Oak as historian and educator Carol Ann Lloyd focuses on the key players in this tempestuous saga, including Henry VI, his wife Marguerite of Anjou, the father and son Duke of York team, the Kingmaker, Richard III, Margaret Beaufort and her relatives, and the first Tudor king. She also will explain how and why this time of civil war came to be known as the “Wars of the Roses.”
Henry VIII is one of the most famous monarchs to have ruled England.
Yet, what was life like for those that he ruled?
How were they impacted by the wars with France, his marital disasters and the religious Reformation that his chief ministers implemented?
The Age of Plunder does not dwell upon the lives of political and religious leaders such as Wolsey, Cromwell and Cranmer, but instead provides a vivid depiction of Tudor England from the perspective of those who tended the crops, sat at the looms and worked in the mines.
“The scholarship is as sound, the sympathy as warm and the judgments as pugnacious as ever.” New Statesman
“This is a provocative and stimulating book, packed with statistical information, but saved from indigestibility by well-chosen and unusual examples drawn from the author’s vast knowledge of local history.” The Agricultural History Review
In this book W. G. Hoskins reveals how inhabitants of early sixteenth century England were witnesses to the greatest act of plunder since the Norman Conquest, but this time by the native governing class.
The Age of Plunder by W.G. Hoskins is a look at the economic state of the Henrican world of Tudor England. Unlike most books written about this monarch, it focuses on the lives the people in his kingdom. The stories of how Henry’s decisions effected his realm will catch your attention. The divide between privilege and poverty was obscene. The book is somewhat long, dry and academic and is aimed for a scholarly reader. If you are looking for a book about his wives and his court, this is not for you. However, if you want a book centered upon day-to-day life in the world of Henry VIII, and how his economy set the stage for his daughter Elizabeth I, eventually Great Britain and the ascent of the British Empire – the sociology of the era – then this book is for you. It is a book that can be utilised for reference and scholastic purposes, and for that reasons I rate it four stars.
Special thanks to Net Galley and the publish for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
This just in from Natalie Grueninger and On The Tudor Trail…
Over two exciting months, Natalie Grueninger will host weekly discussions on her podcast, Talking Tudors, with a number of leading experts & Boleyn historians. The rich array of topics will cover everything from Boleyn supporters at Henry VIII’s court to Thomas Cromwell’s role in Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Listeners will gain a fresh perspective on one of the most prominent and misunderstood families of the Tudor era, and come face to face with the people behind the famous family name.
In addition to the weekly episodes, there will also be giveaways and guest posts by some amazing historians/novelists: Tracy Borman, Adrienne Dillard, Wendy J. Dunn, Andy Demsky and Tamsin Lewis. As well as the podcasts and guest articles, illustrator Kathryn Holeman will present two fun Tudor drawing tutorials. But wait, there’s more… The brilliant Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, will answer your questions about Anne Boleyn!
Katheryn Howard, The Scandalous Queen: Review by Samantha Yorke
From the publisher: Bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir tells the tragic story of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, a nineteen-year-old beauty with a hidden past, in this fifth novel in the sweeping Six Tudor Queens series.
In the spring of 1540, Henry VIII, desperate to be rid of his queen, Anna of Kleve, first sets eyes on the enchanting Katheryn Howard. Although the king is now an ailing forty-nine-year-old measuring fifty-four inches around his waist, his amorous gaze lights upon the pretty teenager. Seated near him intentionally by her ambitious Catholic family, Katheryn readily succumbs to the courtship.
Henry is besotted with his bride. He tells the world she is a rose without a thorn, and extols her beauty and her virtue. Katherine delights in the pleasures of being queen and the power she has to do good to others. She comes to love the ailing, obese king and tolerate his nightly attentions. If she can bear him a son, her triumph will be complete. But Katheryn has a past of which Henry knows nothing, and which comes back increasingly to haunt her–even as she courts danger yet again.
There can be little doubt that Alison Weir has made an indelible mark on the public’s fascination with Tudor History. I was hesitant to take this ARC copy at first because I generally find the author’s fiction to be difficult to read. However, there are many good points to be taken from this fictional story of Katheryn Howard.
The book begins are the death of Katheryn Howard’s mother. From there we are taken on the journey of her short, tragic life. Ms. Weir shows us a young girl who is overlooked and passed first from relative to relative, then from man to man, all the while she merely yearns for a home and a place to be loved and belong.
She catches the eye of King Henry VIII. The reader will feel the anxiety that the young queen experiences, afraid that her past lovers will come to light. We share her joy as the King spoils her and she finally appears to delight in being cherished and adored.
Then, just as quickly as she ascended, Katheryn Howard is doomed by the shadows and whispers of her past. Weir vividly paints a sympathetic, doomed young girl trapped and caged in the trappings that she has grown to love as she finally felt secure in the world the King created for her.
Weaving a novel length story about a life that we know so little takes a great amount of skill and talent.
This book is not as long as most of Ms. Weir’s fiction, which will be a bonus for some readers who may find her rambling, extensive stories tedious. The book opens with brief family trees of the Tudors, Howards, Culpepers, and Derehams-which is impressive. Her devoted following will love this book, and I believe she will garner new appreciation for the sheer volume of research she did on the life and story of this poor pawn in the machinations of a tyrannical king. This is also an ideal book to get lost in for a few days. Due to these factors, I’m giving the book four stars.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review. Release date is May 12, 2020.
Interview with Laura Brennan, author of Elizabeth I: The Making of a Queen
Initially I wanted to be a news Journalist and report on wars and big historic world events, however after 2 years at University I discovered that maybe I was not the right fit and changed to a history course and the rest is well history! My grades improved and I spent 3 very happy years studying the past.
I am currently residing in Berkshire very close to Windsor Castle however I am in the process of hopefully relocating soon with my small white cat Ophelia and far too many pairs of shoes.
My passion lies with travel (primarily within Europe particularly France and Italy) Shakespeare and renaissances art.
What got you into writing?
English and History were my favourite subjects at high school and although I loved history I did initially I wanted to be a journalist working for a broadsheet paper and radio however the university the course I enrolled on focused on tabloid journalism and TV and it really was not a fit with who I am and my principles. I changed direction, course and university and undertook a BA Hons in history and discovered I enjoyed retelling and explaining history in an approachable manner. I played with the idea of teaching after graduation and worked as a Teaching Assistant for a year but again decided that was not the right fit. It was while I was working an admin job, I undertook a part time MA in history and started writing on various subjects privately as an outlet of frustration. I wrote a now extinct blog for several years and it was through that typo plagued blog that I was found and asked on twitter, if I had any book ideas and indeed I did!
How did you choose the subject of Elizabeth I?
When I was doing my BA the subject of my dissertation looked at the relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I so I had a good knowledge of the subject, Mary is rather over romanticized but I always felt that Elizabeth got a raw deal. Halfway through writing my first book I pitched the idea of Elizabeth I: The making of a Queen to my publisher and they agreed.
What are the main things you love and hate about writing?
I think you need to be a bit of a sadist to be an author for there is a lot of pain involved! As a nonfiction writer I love the research and the hours in the archives and libraries. I love the thought process and when the words and what you want to say follows and you get several thousand words down in a sitting. However, when the writer’s block hits when you can’t get a paragraph to flow when you can not find the reference for the perfect quote to back up your point these are hard and often more frequent that the pleasures. But it is worth the effort when you finally hold the book in your hand. Then you swear you will never do that again and a few weeks or Months later you are sat at the laptop starting a new project with hope and excitement.
Who is the worse villain you have ever written about?
On the whole I agree with Alan Rickman’s view on Villains –“I don’t play Villains. I play interesting people.” The same can be said for may of history’s bad guys, they are just overly complicated characters with human faults – However in my first book on the Duke of Monmouth, the character of Titus Oates was truly an unsavoury character and he genuinely makes my skin crawl. He fabricated lies against Catholics to seek revenge after being caught doing unsavoury things as a teacher within a catholic school. The consequences of his lies ended in a 45 innocent Catholics losing their lives.
In this book, the more I read on Henry VIII the more I despised him, I had previously thought he was not exactly husband material but he was troubled, by the end of writing the first part of the book, I decided he was one of the worst characters of English history and needs to be remembered for his cruelty far more than his serial womanizing.
Are you an avid reader?
Yes, I am, but I am not the fastest reader. For pleasure love to read historical fiction. I do love the Dr Matthew Bartholomew series as well as the Thomas Chaloner novels by Susanna Gregory, I also enjoyed the Brother Cadfael books by Ellis Peters. I am currently reading The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel and during lockdown I have been reading it aloud to the cat. I also enjoy crime fiction and really enjoy Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano mysteries and the adventures and stories of Donna Leon’s Inspector Guido Brunetti novels.
Is history your favorite genre?
To write, nonfiction history is where I am most comfortable – I am in owe of anyone who can write good fiction, especially historical fiction.
To read as you saw above, I prefer to escape into historical fiction, with good characters and evidence of research and I prefer my protagonists to be fictional and the supporting characters to be historical fiction. Of course, all rules are made to be broken and I am greatly enjoying The mirror and the light, but Mantel’s attention to detail and excellent characterization means that those rules need not apply to this book. Also, as you can see, I also have a weakness for moral Italian police inspectors as well.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Depends on what part of the process I am at, how well the written session is going and how much caffeine I have consumed. Early in the optimistic stages of a project I like to have a little music on, I like to have the French radio station Chante France on in the background or film scores made up of instrumental/classical compositions can be lovely as I write. If I am having a bad writing day I need to work in quiet, but white notice like a washing machine, fan or tumble dryer in the background is fine but music especially music with vocals is a big no no.
What would Elizabeth say about you?
I would like to think that she approved of this independent fiery, well educated red head who has chosen to explain why she was a great queen. She would however probably say that my cleavage was inappropriate and that I should dance more often.
What advice do you have for beginner authors?
The hardest part is starting. Write too much the book is properly formed in the editing stages. Don’t give up–we all have our doubts!