Sir Francis Bryan

Sir Francis Bryan was Henry VIII’s most notorious ambassador and one of his closest companions. Bryan was a man of many talents; jouster, poet, rake and hell-raiser, gambler, soldier, sailor and diplomat. He served his king throughout his life and unlike many of the other men who served Henry VIII, Bryan kept his head and outlived his sovereign. This book tells the story of his life from coming to court at a young age through all his diplomatic duties to his final years in Ireland. 

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Bio: Sarah-Beth Watkins’ life-long love of history and writing has seen her publish articles in magazines and online, and she is fast establishing herself as one of the world’s most eminent figures in the field of Tudor and Stuart biographical expertise with books such as Lady Katherine Knolly and The Tudor Brandons. Sarah-Beth also tutors creative writing and journalism. 

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A Banquet at the Old Hall: an Invitation to Participate in Historic Cooking 

Brigitte Webster is a culinary historian with a teaching degree in history & cookery. Four years ago she finally followed her dream of sharing Tudor history with like-minded people and swapped the classroom for her home, which she spent sixteen years into turning into a private Tudor heaven. There she welcomes small groups to experience Tudor history through material culture and actual home-made Tudor food in an all authentic Tudor residence.

Brigitte has devoted the last four years to the re-creation of late medieval-circa 1700 recipes from England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain. Each re-created dish was photographed and given to visitors to taste. Some recipes had modern measurements and cooking instructions added.

When Brigitte began to share her re-creations on social media, she noticed that there was a genuine demand for recipes. People started asking for a cook book. Finally, popular Tudor Janet Wertman, author of The Seymour Saga who, while visiting Brigitte and experiencing her food, encouraged Brigitte to collate recipes into a book.

A Banquet at the Old Hall is a hardback, limited edition recipe collection by Brigitte and invites Tudor history fans to participate in 16th century cooking. Hopefully it will inspire readers to create the recipes and in doing so, connect with people from the past as well as Brigitte and family at the Old Hall! The book features 21 recipes, each one showing a picture of the finished dish, and also gives the reader an insight in what the banqueting course entailed. Some recipes have their original text displayed to help the reader appreciate the challenges in following an 16th century recipe which regularly assumes certain steps. Each modernized recipe also gives the details of the original source.

According to Brigitte, “With this book, it is hoped that even total beginners and not very keen cooks are tempted to re-create a little bit of Tudor history for the forthcoming festivities.”

Brigitte also offers Tudor cooking classes on days and weekends, and is always happy to give advice from a distance for those who get a bit stuck in the depth of Tudor recipes.

At the moment she is busy translating an exciting 16th century royal Austrian recipe collection into English and further recipe books are in the pipe line. For the autumn of 2020, YouTube Tudor cookery clips are planned.

The cook books are only available directly from Brigitte at brigittewebster@tudorexperience.com and retail at $50 plus shipping. Each book is signed and can include any message of your choice.

If you are interested in staying at the Old Hall for a Tudor cooking experience or a Tudor History vacation, you may get in touch via the website:

www.tudorexperience.com

Shadow of Persephone: The Story of Catherine Howard

February 1542
A young woman awaits her execution in the Tower of London, sent to death on the orders of her husband, Henry VIII.

Daughter of the nobility, cousin to a fallen Queen, Catherine Howard rose from the cluttered ranks of courtiers at the court of Henry VIII to become the King’s fifth wife. But hers is a tale that starts long before the crown was placed on her head. A tale of tragedy and challenges, predators and prey; the story of a young girl growing up in a perilous time, facing dangers untold.

The fifth wife of Henry VIII would end her life on the block, like her cousin Anne Boleyn… But where did her story begin?

Shadow of Persephone is Book One in the series The Story of Catherine Howard, by G. Lawrence (Gemma Lawrence)

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