The Death of Hans Holbein

by Franny Moyle

What do we know of Holbein’s Death?

Leonardo da Vinci died in the Chateau de Clos Lucé, apparently in the arms of the French King, Francis I. However, the place and circumstances of Leonardo’s near contemporary Hans Holbein the Younger, beloved by Henry VIII, has eluded art historians. As Holbein’s most recent biographer, I found myself facing this puzzle and to my surprise, I discovered that a simple mistake has allowed crucial details about Holbein’s death, once in common currency, to vanish from history.

Hans Holbein spent the last decade of his life, from 1532 to 1543, living in London, painting the defining portraits of the Tudor court. A celebrity avant la lettre, he was honoured with the title of Henry VIII’s ‘King’s Painter’.

Records from 1541 locate Holbein paying taxes in the parish of St Andrew Undershaft, in Aldgate.  His will, dated two years later, cites his home in the same location. My research suggests the painter may have had a prestigious address there, shared by Sir Thomas Audley, Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor

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Hans Holbein the Younger, self portrait.

Audley has significant property interests in Aldgate. In 1533 he acquired Holy Trinity Priory there, and converted this former religious institution into a prestigious urban estate which became known as Cree-Church Mansion, so named after the nearby church St Katherine Cree. This gated community comprised not just Audley’s considerable dwelling, but leasehold residential properties, along with business premises. Audley enjoyed his London mansion until his death in 1544. Then, when the Fourth Duke of Norfolk married Audley’s daughter Margaret in 1558 the complex passed into his ownership and was called Duke’s Place thereafter.

Evidence of Holbein’s professional association with Audley lies in the miniature he painted of the Chancellor’s wife, Elizabeth, probably in 1538. Londoners have long believed that Holbein lived and died on Audley’s property at Cree-Church Mansion. This was noted as late as 1827, in the History & Antiquities of London. When I checked old maps, although the majority of the Mansion complex fell into the parish of St Katherine Cree, its westernmost flank fell into the parish of St Andrew Undershaft. So Holbein could indeed have been a parishioner of the latter, and part of the Cree-Church Mansion community, were he a leaseholder in Berry St.

So why has recent scholarship ignored this? George Vertue, the 18th century engraver who copied Holbein’s work, believed Holbein died in Cree-Church Mansion. But Vertue referred to it as it was known in his day– Duke’s Place. The art historian Horace Walpole therefore dismissed Vertue’s claim, on the basis that Duke’s Place dated to 1558, after Holbein’s death, and noting Holbein’s association with the Third Duke – whom he portrayed – not the Fourth. In his Holbein biography of 1867, Ralph Wornum repeated Vertue’s claim, and demolished it with the same arguments. With considerable oversight both Walpole and Wornum failed to grasp that Holbein could have lived in Duke’s Place in its earlier incarnation, when it was known as Cree-Church Mansion. But Wornum’s word was apparently the last, and thus the fascinating connection between Holbein and Audley’s building became lost.

If one mystery is solved, another remains. Why is there no gravestone commemorating the great Holbein? The answer is the plague. Shortly after Henry VIII married his sixth wife Catherine Parr, in July 1543, London was stricken. Aldgate was the epicentre of the epidemic. Plague pits were dug because local churches could not cope with individual burials. On October 7th 1543 Holbein wrote his will. On 29th November it was executed. Whether Holbein succumbed to the pestilence or not (and surely he did?), any burial at this moment would have been communal.

The pit for those who died in Cree Church Mansion was at St Katherine Cree. So was it here Holbein was laid to rest in the late Autumn of 1543? Though no record of Holbein’s burial survives, once again supporting evidence emerges if one looks hard enough. In 1668 Mayor Payne Fisher made a catalogue of tombs and inscriptions in London’s churches. In St Katherine Cree he noted one to ‘Hans Holben’, most likely part of a wider list of the plague dead. Perhaps made in haste, much like the burials, this inscription simply wore away? Maybe it was removed during church renovations in 1878?

Holbein’s death lacks the romance of Leonardo’s. He did not live a long life, nor die in a French chateau. He certainly did not enjoy the company of a king in his final hours. Holbein died at forty six, in the midst of plague ridden London. But he was perhaps in an English mansion, with the King’s Lord Chancellor looking on.

Franny Moyle is the author of 

The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein 

published by Head of Zeus.

Contents shared with special thanks to Aspects of History

Steve Veerapen, Writing, Scotland and Tudor History

Please welcome Steve Veerapen to All Things Tudor. Like most great relationships, we met on Twitter. He is from Glasgow, my husband’s home town, and it has been wonderful working with him. Recently, he took a few minutes to share insight into his fascinating career as a writer and historian.

What prompted you to choose to write about Mary Queen of Scots & Lord Darnley in your first book?

In my case, I was following the old strategy of ‘write what you know’. I’d been researching and teaching this period for years and it seemed fertile ground for trying fiction. Once I knew I wanted to write about Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley, the choice of characters dictated the period.

What is your approach to researching your novels? Has the process changed over the years?

A great question! My approach is generally to start with a setting or event and then narrow research down to books and articles which cover those days, weeks, or months in depth. I try to also dip into research material which covers lifestyles in the period more generally. I’ve always tried to approach researching fiction in the same way I approach nonfiction (though I can get away with more in the former!). Academic study really teaches you to narrow in when researching.

Which other historical novelists do you admire?

There are loads. My friend Marie Macpherson (who has worked wonders in bringing John Knox to life), E C Fremantle, Paul Walker, John Pilkington, Patricia Finney, Anna Castle. And of course my favourite author, Daphne du Maurier, was no mean historical novelist.

When first sketching out an idea for a novel, which comes first – the protagonist, plot or history?

Protagonist and broad plot usually come had in hand (sometimes one or the other skipping ahead) and history last. Once I know what’s going to happen and to whom, I fit it into specific historical contexts.

Do you have a daily routine as a writer?

I don’t have a daily routine per se, but when I have a book on the go, I tend to write every day for a few hours. Each book seems to bring its own routine!

If you could choose to meet any historical figure from your period, who would it be and why?

I think it would have to be Mary Queen of Scots. I’d love to find out exactly what she knew of her husband’s murder (and what she really looked like – for the same reason, I’d love to get a glimpse of Anne Boleyn!).

Find Steven’s works here:

UK

US

About Steven Veerapen

Steven Veerapen was born in Glasgow and raised in Paisley. Pursuing an interest in the sixteenth century, he was awarded a first-class Honours degree in English, focussing his dissertation on representations of Henry VIII’s six wives. He then received a Masters in Renaissance studies, and a Ph.D. investigating Elizabethan slander.

He writes historical fiction set in the early modern period, covering the reigns of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James VI and I; additionally, he has written nonfiction studies of Mary Queen of Scots’ relationship with her brother; Elizabeth I and her last favourite, the Earl of Essex; and an academic study of slander and sedition in the reign of Elizabeth.

He has also published a variety of academic articles in literary and historical journals and magazines and teaches English literature at the University of Strathclyde. Steven remains fascinated by the glamour and ghastliness of life in the 1500s and 1600s, and has a penchant for myths, mysteries and murders in an age in which the law was as slippery as those who defied it.

Steven’s latest work is The Queen’s Gold: A Christopher Marlowe Spy Thriller

England, 1585.

The Sparrowhawk, one of Drake’s lost treasure ships, is found wrecked in Devon. Rumours spread through England of its booty, including a mysterious treasure: El Sol Dorado.

Thomas Lewgar, the resentful roommate of aspiring playwright Christopher Marlowe, hears of the rumours. He discovers, too, that the boastful Marlowe is engaged in a web of espionage.

Intrigued and repelled by the irreverent Marlowe, Lewgar joins the poet in seeking the lost treasure. If they can find it, they will be richly rewarded by queen and court.

But they are not the only ones hunting the prize.

A crooked courtier, Henry Howton, has also heard the rumours. In the secret employ of the Spanish, he hopes to find the treasure himself – and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.

Racing their Spanish-backed enemy and his dangerous associates, Lewgar and Marlowe must discover the strange history of the ghostly wreck. Their journey will lead them into the rotting carcass of the Sparrowhawk, into the presence of sea-dogs Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh, and through the ravaged home of spiritualist Dr John Dee.

Betrayal, falsehood, and deceit lie in wait.

Can they discover the lost treasure and unravel the mystery of El Sol Dorada before the Spanish?

Praise for Steven Veerapen:

A Dangerous Trade

‘A slow-burn character driven spy story that grips like a thumbscrew tightened by twist after twist towards the end – Le Carre transported to the 1560’s. Brilliant work, based in impressively wide research and the kind of competition that I and a good number of others could well do without!’ Peter Tonkin, author of The Ides

The Abbey Close (Book One of the Simon Danforth Mysteries)

‘The author balances gimlet-eyed research with narrative drive and clever reveals… Danforth is a strong yet torn central character… I look forward to reading the second book in the series.’ Richard Foreman, author of The First Crusade series

Blood Feud: Mary Queen of Scots and The Earl of Moray

‘Much-needed analysis of a sinister sibling rivalry.’ Marie Macpherson

Elizabeth and Essex: Power, Passion and Politics

‘A sensitive and lively account of one of the most politically significant relationships of the Elizabethan age.’ Lisa Hopkins

Assassination

‘Both a crime and spy thriller.’ Richard Foreman, author of The First Crusade series

‘From its tense beginning to satisfying end, Steven Veerapen skilfully weaves historical fact into a gripping tale, making a superb contribution to 17th century fiction.’ John Pilkington, author of The Ruffler’s Child

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram

Tracy Borman

Bestselling author and historian Tracy Borman took time to discuss her career, history obsession and her upcoming appearance at the Chalke Valley History Festival. Find out what dastardly deeds caught her attention while writing The Fallen Angel.

-How would you describe yourself in fifty words or less?

Author, historian and broadcaster whose obsession with the Tudors borders on the unhealthy.  I’m also joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces and Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust.

-Why do you love history?

I’ve always loved it and I think that’s innate, rather than something learned.  Apparently my paternal grandfather was a fellow history-lover so perhaps I get it from him, although sadly he died before I was born.  Thanks to my work for Historic Royal Palaces, I spend a lot of time in beautiful historical buildings, but for me what sets my passion for history alight is the research.  The thrill of getting my hands on original documents in The National Archives, the British Library and elsewhere is something that never diminishes, even after all these years of writing and researching.

-Can you think of one specific event that led to this?

I think the reason I’m a historian now is thanks to my ‘A’ level history teacher, who really encouraged my passion for the subject…and made me fall in love with the Tudors.  She also opened my eyes to the fact that history isn’t just about ‘facts’, dates and events; it’s about real people – human beings with emotions just like us.  That changed everything for me.

What drew you to Tudor and Stuart history?

See above.  Mrs Jones has a lot to answer for!  But I also became fascinated with the Stuarts when researching my non-fiction book, Witches: James I and the English Witch Hunts.  It was such a dark and turbulent period of our history, yet one that’s often overlooked.  That research inspired my fiction trilogy, The King’s Witch, The Devil’s Slave and The Fallen Angel.

-Do you have any favourite characters or persons from these eras that appeal to you? Any that you dislike?

My all-time historical heroine is Elizabeth I.  I admire her so much – her self-discipline, courage, shrewdness and the way she confounded expectations as a ‘weak and feeble woman’ ruling over a court and kingdom dominated by men.  Mary, Queen of Scots, on the other hand, deepened the prejudice against female rulers by being reckless, self-indulgent and entirely led by the heart.  The two women couldn’t have been more different – and I think you can tell who’s my favourite!  For the Stuart era, I was really drawn to Anne of Denmark, queen consort of James I.  I think there’s much more to her than meets the eye, particularly with regard to her clandestine links to the Catholic community and, possibly, even the Gunpowder Plotters – as I hint at in my novels.

-What led to your interest in the Duke of Buckingham & James I/VI?

It was the research I carried out for my non-fiction book, Witches.  The transition from the Tudor to the Stuart dynasty led to great uncertainty in England, which soon darkened into hostility towards the new king – and, ultimately, an attempt to blow him and his entire government to the skies.  James himself is an intriguing character – not easy to like, despite his intellectual gifts and wry sense of humour.  As for his favourite, Buckingham, he was an out and out villain – both in my novel, The Fallen Angel, and in real life.  But villains are so much more fun to write about than heroes so I’m grateful for all his dastardly deeds, even if his contemporaries didn’t quite feel the same.

-Tell us one thing you learned while writing The Fallen Angel that blew your mind.

I think it would have to be the fact that Buckingham may have had a hand in James I’s death.  Evidence has been uncovered recently that shows Buckingham had access to poisons and physicians who dealt in them.  He was certainly in close attendance on the king in his final weeks.  It may just be circumstantial – there were often rumours of poison surrounding royal deaths – but let’s just say the dastardly duke had the means.

-What’s your involvement with Chalke Valley History Festival?

I’m proud to be a patron of the festival and have taken part in it every year since 2015, when I postponed my honeymoon in order to be there!  It’s been wonderful to see it get bigger and better every year.  Come rain or shine (and there’s been plenty of both!) it’s the highlight of my events calendar. 

-When will you be appearing?

2pm on Thursday 24 June.

-How can we find you on social media?

Twitter

Instagram

Website 

Purchase your ticket here

About Tracy Borman…

Tracy Borman studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PHD in 1997. She went on to a successful career in heritage including working for the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Archives and English Heritage. She is now Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust and also joint Chief Curator for Historic Royal Palaces. She is a trustee of The Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust and The National Archives Foundation, as well as a Patron of Lavenham Library and a Honorary Patron of the Chalke Valley History Festival. She is the author of a number of highly acclaimed books, including Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant; Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England; Elizabeth’s Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen; and Witches: A Tale of Sorcery, Scandal and Seduction. She is also a regular broadcaster and public speaker, giving talks on her books across the UK and abroad.

About Chalke Valley History Festival

The aim is to excite, enthral and entertain about the past. All proceeds from the festival have, since 2012, been directed to the Chalke Valley History Trust, which promotes the understanding of history to all ages, but especially children.

The Chalke Valley History Festival began in June 2011 on a small scale and as a fundraiser for the local cricket club. Club stalwart and historian James Holland had the idea for a festival but it was James Heneage, founder and former CEO of Ottakar’s bookshops and now historical novelist, who suggested a festival dedicated to history.

It began with the help of a number of local volunteers, among whom Peter Bell and Rachel Holland played a big part in that first year and continue to do so today. Jane Pleydell-Bouverie came on board in autumn 2011 and has been at the heart of the festival ever since. The Daily Mail became the festival’s principal sponsor in 2013, and it now consists of a week of talks, discussions, debates, as well as extensive and immersive living history and historic air displays.

Since 2013, the festival has also incorporated the History Festival for Schools. ‘An understanding of the past is essential,’ says Co-Founder James Heneage, ‘without that, it is impossible to make sense of the present or prepare for the future.’

2017 saw the festival move to a new site of over 70 acres in Broad Chalke, but still in the heart of the beautiful Wiltshire Chalke Valley.

Church Bottom, Bury Lane, Broad Chalke,
Near Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5DP

Find out more and purchase tickets here!

Primary Sources with Dr Joanne Paul

Dr Joanne Paul is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex. Her work focuses on politics and culture of the Renaissance period, largely in England, and she has published on topics from Hobbes to Shakespeare, gender to temporality. Her first book, Thomas More (Polity, 2017) is an overview of More’s writing and ideas and her second, Counsel and Command in Early Modern English Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2020) traces the role of political counsel from the early Tudor period to the English Civil War.

She is currently working on a number of projects, including a history of the Dudley family, to be published with Michael Joseph (Penguin, 2022 )and two modern editions of sixteenth century texts: Anne Dowriche’s The French Historie and Thomas More’s Utopia.

Dr Paul has also shared her research more widely, appearing on a variety of television and radio programmes and featuring in magazine articles and podcasts.

She has recently launched her own podcast: Primary Sources: Conversations with History Makers, which can be found on all major streaming sites. She has recently spoken with historians Greg Jenner, Helen H. Carr, Hallie Rubenhold.

Today – May 21 – she is with Nathen Amin who wrote Tudor Wales, and a biography of the Beaufort family, The House of Beaufort. He also discusses how he wrote Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders.

Click here to access. This is a Viral History podcast.

Follow Dr Paul at these sites:

Twitter

Instagram

Website

Gone Medieval

Welcome Matt Lewis to All Things Tudor AND let’s find out more about his new podcast.

Matt Lewis is a writer and historian of the high and late medieval periods. His primary focus is the Wars of the Roses, but he has also written on The Anarchy, Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Henry III. Matt has appeared as a guest and a presenter on documentaries and is a contributor to several magazines, as well as recently being appointed Chair of the Richard III Society.

Matt is delighted to share with us that he is co-hosting a new podcast from History Hit devoted to the middle ages: #GoneMedieval. Dr Cat Jarman is covering the early medieval period and he has the high and late periods. They have some amazing guests and episodes coming up.

Subscribe and get an episode from each of them every week to feed your medieval fascination.

The first episode is half of a long chat between Matt and Nathen Amin – Author chatting about Henry Tudor. Matt says he knows the big question is whether or not it ended in a massive fight, but there’s some fascinating discussion about Nathen’s new book, Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders. Let’s go across the millennium and around the world to explore the middle ages. Look for more topics soon!

#GoneMedieval. Subscribe, listen, and join us! Join for Matt and I on Clubhouse, 2 June at 3pm/20.00 UK time as we debate Plantagenet v Tudors!

Until then, Use this link to find the podcast anywhere: https://podfollow.com/gone-medieval

Join Us!

Chalke Valley History Festival 2021

Join us.

Wednesday, May 18 at 3:00pm Eastern/20:00 UK time, I’m discussing Chalke Valley History Festival with James Holland & the All Things Tudor Club on Clubhouse. We’ll be chatting about Tudors & More!

Chalke Valley History Festival is the UK’s largest festival devoted just to history. The dates of the event are June 23-27, 2021. Look for it on social media using #CVHF #AmazingHistory on Instagram: @chalkevalleyhistoryfestival and Twitter: https://twitter.com/CVHISTORYFEST

Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations. The app can be accessed via iOS or Android.

Find our conversation & drop in at this link: https://joinclubhouse.com/event/MKDveLAN

Tudors & More

Chalke Valley History Festival 2021

It’s on!!!

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival 

Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th June 

One of the first major festivals to run this year! 

 

This year’s Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is like no other. A slightly  shortened version due to the pandemic, the organisers have none the less packed it with a more complete and wide-ranging programme than ever before. The full line up is now online and can be found at www.cvhf.org.uk.  

The festival promises to offer a full assault on the senses. Those attending will be  able to watch our greatest living playwright and learn how to build a Roman road. There will be a former Archbishop of Canterbury and political party leader alongside  some of the best-known and loved TV historians. There will be demonstrations from the Tudor kitchen, stone age flint-knapping and a Cold War-era armoured brigade headquarters. It will be possible to learn about the dark art of 19th century body snatching, how to make wattle and daub, and learn how to make a Tudor salve and  herbal cure. The head of the UK’s Armed Forces, the best-known shepherd in the  land, and the most eminent international human rights lawyer in the UK will all be speaking. There will be Sword School, a vintage fairground, some of the country’s  most brilliant, successful and eminent historians but also late-night storytelling  around the fire with Dan Snow and Michael Wood, and fast and furious fun with the History Tellers.  

And as with any English country festival, there will be food, glorious food – and  historical fast food too – as well as drink, camping, glamping and live music every  single day of the festival from 1920s flapper music to the ancient ballads of English  folk music. 

Those coming to the festival will be able to see history, touch history, taste history  and smell history too – and all in the stunning ancient downland of the Chalke Valley  – a place of immense history in its own right.  

Festival Chair, James Holland, says: “I’m really very excited about this year’s  festival. Despite the challenges of the last year we’ve been able to produce a really  inclusive and very wide-ranging programme that feels fresh, vibrant and fun. It will be  midsummer, lockdown will be over, and I can’t wait to unleash this historical  pageant.” 

The stellar list of historians and speakers at this year’s festival include: Tracy Borman, Sir Vince Cable, General Sir Nick Carter, Diana Cavendish, Niall FergusonAnne Glenconner, Sir Max Hastings, Charlie Higson, Tom Holland, Katja Hoyer, Cat Jarman, Hermione Lee, Professor Margaret Macmillan, Rana Mitter, Al Murray, Jim Naughtie, Neil Oliver, James Rebanks, Dominic Sandbrook, Dan Snow, Sir Tom Stoppard, Rowan Williams, Marina Wheeler and Michael Wood

Due to government guidelines, there may be restrictions on the number of tickets for sale at the festival this year. The festival strongly advises those wishing to attend to  book tickets early to avoid disappointment. All of the Outdoor Programme will be  available on a single daily ticket (with add-ons for Sword School and fairground  rides), and at a price that has been kept deliberately low and which promises  astonishing value for money awhile tented events will require an individual ticket, as  was the case in the past. Tented ticket prices will, however, also include access to  the Outdoor Programme. 

This year, there will be no Chalke Valley History Festival for Schools, although the  festival is producing a programme of curriculum-based films, ready for the start of the  academic year this September, and which will be entirely free for all teachers, pupils  and schools. A special and separate online portal will be created for this. 

All profits from the festival are ploughed back into the Chalke Valley History Trust,  which operates to promote the enjoyment and better understanding of history for all  ages but especially to school children. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Wednesday 19th May

Tickets will be released two days earlier (Monday 17th) May to the Friends membership

Talks given by incredible historians, taken from the past ten years of the festival, can  now be heard on the Chalke Valley History Festival podcast. Entitled #ChalkeTalk, the podcasts are released three times a week. 

For further information, please contact Alex Hippisley-Cox on mobile 07921  127077 or email her at alex@ahipcoxpr.co.uk  

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will take place at Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5DS.  

For more details about the Festival, and to see the full programme, please visit  www.cvhf.org.uk

Follow all the news on Twitter at @CVHISTORYFEST & on Facebook and Instagram. 

Image by Russell Emm 

The Tudors in Love

Why did Henry VIII marry 6 times?

Why did Elizabeth I’s courtiers hail her as a goddess come to earth?

Feast your eyes on the cover of The Tudors in Love: The Courtly Code Behind the Last Medieval Dynasty from bestselling historian Sarah Gristwood.

Alison Weir says, “The Tudors in Love is a masterclass in marshalling a vast canon of research into a riveting, pacy page-turner. Sarah takes us on a virtuoso romp through the loves and tropes of medieval and Tudor royalty, seen from the novel angle of courtly love.”

Coming September 2021. Pre-order info available soon!

Shared courtesy of the author.

Not Just The Tudors

Announcing Not Just the Tudors

All Things Tudor is happy to let you know about the latest podcast announcement from History Hit and renowned historian Suzannah Lipscomb….Not Just the Tudors


In the podcast Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks about everything from the Aztecs to witches, Velázquez to Shakespeare, Mughal India to the Mayflower. Not, in other words, just the Tudors, but most definitely also the Tudors. Each episode Suzannah is joined by historians and experts to reveal incredible stories about one of the most fascinating periods in history.

Description

In Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks about everything from the Aztecs to witches, Velázquez to Shakespeare, Mughal India to the Mayflower. Not, in other words, just the Tudors, but most definitely also the Tudors!

In every episode, Suzannah is joined by historians and experts to delve into the incredible stories about one of history’s most fascinating periods. 

About Professor Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah Lipscomb is an historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning professor of history at the University of Roehampton.

Subjects she has covered on TV include Elizabeth I, the Great Fire of London and witch hunts. Suzannah is a regular panelist on the BBC quiz show, Insert Name Here with Sue Perkins.

Suzannah presented the award-winning podcast series for Historic England, Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places and the podcast series History’s Lost Speeches for Audible.

She is author of The Voices of Nîmes: Women, Sex, and Marriage in Reformation LanguedocWitchcraftThe King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIIIA Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England, and 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII. She writes a regular column for History Today, and her articles have appeared in The GuardianThe Daily TelegraphThe Sunday TelegraphThe TimesThe Daily MailBBC History Magazine, and the Times Literary Supplement.

History Hit

History Hit has been producing high quality podcasts for history fans for more than five years. During that time Dan Snow’s History Hit has become the UK’s most listened to podcast with more than 3.5 million downloads a month. Other shows include The Ancients and Warfare.

Release Schedule

Watch the Trailer here

First four eps drop on Thursday 29th April and then twice weekly.

The podcast is available here

https://play.acast.com/s/not-just-the-tudors 

and on all usual podcast platforms.

Enjoy!

Content shared courtesy of the History Hit team.

John of Gaunt

The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster 

TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES BEST BOOK OF 2021 

The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.’ Dan Jones 

Son of Edward III, brother to the Black Prince, father to Henry IV and the sire of all the Tudors. Always close to the English throne, John of Gaunt left a complex legacy. Too rich, too powerful, too haughty… did he have his eye on his nephew’s throne? Why was he such a focus of hate in the Peasants’ Revolt? In examining the life of a pivotal medieval figure, Helen Carr paints a revealing portrait of a man who held the levers of power on the English and European stage, passionately upheld chivalric values, pressed for the Bible to be translated into English, patronised the arts, ran huge risks to pursue the woman he loved… and, according to Shakespeare, gave the most beautiful of all speeches on England.

Review

‘In Shakespeare’s Richard II, John of Gaunt gives the “this scepter’d isle… this England” speech. This vivid history brings to life his princely ambitions and passion.’ — The Times, Best Books of 2021 

‘Helen Carr has captured the drama of [John of Gaunt’s] life and the tensions inherent in it in a compelling portrait. In so doing, she reminds us of the contradictions of a period remote from our own, not just in time but in values and beliefs too… Carr has brought to life one of the major figures of medieval England.’ — Linda Porter, Literary Review 

‘ The Red Prince is not…just a book of battles and wars. Carr’s John of Gaunt is a man who loved as passionately as he fought… Carr’s sensitive use of contemporary sources paints a poignant deathbed scene… in The Red Prince it is the towering figure of John of Gaunt, a thoroughly European Englishman, who takes centre stage and it’s a stirring and memorable performance.’ — Leanda de Lisle, The Times 

‘Helen Carr is a really exciting new talent in the world of history writing, whose work strikes a perfect balance between lucidity and scholarship. Her debut, The Red Prince, is a beautifully nuanced portrait of an oft misunderstood man.’ — Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire 

‘Superb, gripping and fascinating, here is John of Gaunt and a cast of kings, killers and queens brought blazingly, sensitively and swashbucklingly to life. An outstanding debut.’ — Simon Sebag Montefiore 

‘A long overdue reappraisal of one of medieval England’s greatest but most enigmatic figures. The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.’ — Dan Jones, author of the Plantagenets and The Hollow Crown 

‘Helen Carr is one of the most exciting and talented young historians out there. She has a passion for medieval history which is infectious and is always energetic and engaging, whether on the printed page or the screen.’ — Dan Snow 

‘Deploying vivid and compelling prose alongside her considerable scholarship, Helen Carr fully succeeds in restoring John of Gaunt to his rightful place – in the first rank of medieval princes. This is an excellent book, that brings the fourteenth century back to life through a thoughtful parade of intriguing characters – none more fascinating than John of Gaunt himself.’ — Charles Spencer, bestselling author of Blenheim and Killers of the King 

‘John of Gaunt is a name to conjure with – an English duke who sought to become a king in Spain, a complicated, controversial man to whom, as ‘time-honour’d Lancaster’, Shakespeare gives one of his greatest speeches. Helen Carr puts him centre stage:The Red Prince is the rattling good story of a life lived on an epic scale, told with care, insight and humanity.’ — Helen Castor, author of She-Wolves and Joan of Arc 

‘Helen Carr tells the gripping story of John of Gaunt’s dramatic and controversial career, from the wars he waged across Europe to the political intrigue and rebellion he faced at home, and above all the way in which his life was marked by profound love, and loss. This is an engaging and moving portrait of one of the leading figures of the Hundred Years War.’ — Sophie Thérèse Ambler, author of The Song of Simon de Montfort

About the Author

Helen is a medieval historian, writer and documentary history producer. She has produced history documentaries for leading channels such as the BBC, CNN and Sky, and worked in radio for BBC Radio 4’s weekly programme In Our Time. Helen is a regular features writer for BBC History Magazine and has contributed to the New Statesman and History Extra. She is now studying for a PhD in medieval history and runs her own podcast, Hidden Histories, available on iTunes. Follow her on Twitter @HelenhCarr

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