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

Author, Playwright and Poet – Wendy J. Dunn

Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian author, playwright and poet who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of three Tudor novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel, and Falling Pomegranate Seeds: The Duty of Daughters – the first part of her Katherine of Aragon story.

While she continues to have a very close and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channeling Anne Boleyn and Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors – possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. Yes – Wendy’s ancestors knew the Wyatts and Boleyns personally.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is married and the mother of three sons and one daughter—named after a certain Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne. She is also the grandmother of an amazing grandson. He is not even three and already knows who Henry VIII is and that he had a lot of wives.

Wendy’s published Tudor novels:

Dear Heart, How Like You This?

A woman who sees her destiny as England’s Queen.
A King who destroys what he no longer wants.
A poet’s love that will never be forgotten.

A KING WHO WOULD NOT BE DENIED. A woman who would be queen. And a gentle poet forced to watch helplessly as his one true love slipped out of his arms forever. These are the elements in Wendy J. Dunn’s poignant novel, Dear Heart, How Like You This?
Dear Heart tells the story of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The novel is written in first person, from the point of view of Anne’s cousin, Sir Thomas Wyatt. Tom has secretly loved Anne his entire life, but has always been told he is not highly born enough to pursue her. He carefully masks his feelings, especially after Anne catches the eye of the king, and remains at Anne’s side as one of her staunchest friends and supporters. Then the unthinkable happens. After marrying Anne, the king tires of her and falsely accuses her of adultery. Imprisoned himself on the whim of the king’s arrogant brother-in-law, Tom watches helplessly as his true love and his closest friends go on trial for their lives…
Dear Heart is a novel that grips you before the end of the first sentence and doesn’t let go until the bitter end. In Dunn’s more than capable hands, Anne Boleyn comes to life, first as a whimsical child, then as a hurt and angry teenager, then as a woman both frightened and exhilarated by the dangerous game she is playing, and finally as a bruised-but not broken-victim of the king’s cruelty. Through Anne’s tumultuous life, her cousin Thomas is a spellbinding narrator, reporting the events around him with a reporter’s keen eye and a poet’s tender heart.

“Though framed as an account of arguably the most famous of Henry VIII’s six wives, DEAR HEART, HOW LIKE YOU THIS? is far more than another re-telling of a well-trodden tale. For entwined with the glamorous, ultimately tragic, story of Anne Boleyn’s life and death, is that of an inherently good man’s struggle with the evils of his time, and of the toll that is often exacted of those who finds themselves immersed in the sweeping tides of historical change.” – C. W. Gortner.

Book Depository

The Light in the Labyrinth

A Queen fights for her life.
A King denies his heart and soul.
A girl faces her true identity.
All things must come to an end—all things but love.

IN THE WINTER OF 1535, fourteen-year-old Kate Carey wants to escape her family home. She thinks her life will be so much better with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and the aunt she idolises. Little does Kate know that by going to attend Anne Boleyn she will discover love and a secret that will shake the very foundations of her identity. As an attendant to Anne Boleyn, Kate is swept up in events that see her witness her aunt’s darkest days. By the time winter ends, Kate will be changed forever.

“…The Light in the Labyrinth is quite the read – no matter the age of the reader. And yes, thanks to Kate, a new voice has been added to the well-known haunting melody – a voice that mellows and matures as the story evolves and yet retains a touch of bittersweet innocence right to the bloody, inevitable end.” – Anna Belfrage for The Review.

Book Depository

FALLING POMEGRANATE SEEDS: THE DUTY OF DAUGHTERS

Dońa Beatriz Galindo. 
Respected scholar. 
Tutor to royalty. 
Friend and advisor to Queen Isabel of Castile.

Beatriz is an uneasy witness to the Holy War of Queen Isabel and her husband, Ferdinand, King of Aragon. A Holy War seeing the Moors pushed out of territories ruled by them for centuries.

The road for women is a hard one. Beatriz must tutor the queen’s youngest child, Catalina, and equip her for a very different future life. She must teach her how to survive exile, an existence outside the protection of her mother. She must prepare Catalina to be England’s queen.

A tale of mothers and daughters, power, intrigue, death, love, and redemption, in the end, Falling Pomegranate Seeds sings a song of friendship and life.

A MASTERPIECE ~ Charlie Fenton, The Tudor Society.

Wendy J. Dunn is an exceptional voice for Tudor fiction, and has a deep understanding of the era. Her words ring true and touch the heart, plunging the reader into a fascinating, dangerous and emotionally touching new world ~ Barbara Gaskell Denvil.

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Henry VIII’s Wives Have Their Say

Try Me, Good King

Tudor ensemble comes to venues across the UK in York, Cambridge and London

Classical music ensemble Transposed are bringing Tudor history to life in concert this autumn. The concerts will take place in exclusively Tudor and Elizabethan buildings around the UK and will be performed in specially tailored Tudor dress. British Soprano Eleanor Penfold and Pianist Eleanor Kornas will launch their UK tour in York at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall on 24th October and Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate on 26th October.

The Merchant Adventurers’ Hall is one of the ‘finest Medieval guild halls in the world’ and dates back as early as 1357. Just a stone’s throw from the York Minster stands York’s Holy Trinity on Goodramgate, where you can marvel at stained glass dating as far back at the 1470’s and be whisked back to Medieval times in magical candlelight.

On 1st November Transposed will perform at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge University, a beautiful and historic site founded by Henry VIII himself. Their final performance will be at the only remaining Elizabethan Church in London, Old Church in Stoke Newington, on 23rd November.

Try Me, Good King

The concert is centred around a powerful set of songs called Try Me, Good King by American composer Libby Larsen. Each song is a musical setting of words that were addressed to Henry VIII by his wives. The evening will feature a feast of fiery females including a haunting encounter with Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth.

Penfold has performed in the BBC Proms as well as the Paris Opera House. ‘This tour is a real celebration of music, Shakespearean theatre and the Tudor period’, said Penfold. ‘Performing within exclusively Tudor buildings in a tailor-made Tudor dress brings audiences the spectacle of the operatic stage or the Globe in completely unique settings’.

Penfold first discovered the song cycle Try Me, Good King during her time at the Royal College of Music in London. ‘I was completely blown away by the power of the work’, said Penfold. ‘The work breathes life into the letters and speeches of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard.  Far from the well known list, ‘divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,’ these songs give visceral energy and humanity to each woman’s testament and individual voice.’

Transposed was recently founded to celebrate the incredible spaces we have across the UK and the unique impact they have on performances of Classical music.

Costume Designer and recent graduate of Wimbledon College of Arts, Victoria Rodriguez, says she ‘grew up idolising historical feminist figures and being taught the power they had that’s been written out by men and forgotten over the centuries. I fell in love with the Tudors and specifically the female courtiers and wives of Henry VIII; how they flourished and fell during this iconic monarchy and I couldn’t help but find out more and more information to the point where my obsession took me into my career.’ The incredible costume design of Victoria Rodriguez and fellow Wimbledon College graduate Brontë McFadyean can been seen in the beautiful Tudor dress and specially designed headpieces worn by Penfold throughout the performance.

Having recently performed the notorious role of the Queen of the Night at Waterperry Opera Festival this summer, Penfold says ‘we can’t wait to bring audiences the thrill of a period drama with the passion and beauty of this Classical music’.

How to buy tickets

Tickets for the show cost £15 for adults, £12.50 for under 18, students and disabled audience members. They are now available to purchase online from www.transposed-ensemble.com/events via EventBrite or on the door. 

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Colouring History: Tudor Queens and Consorts

Delve into the dazzling—and dangerous—world of Tudor queens and consorts with this lavishly illustrated coloring book for grown-ups and young adults. Featuring an array of beautiful illustrations inspired by contemporary paintings and manuscripts, it’s sure to delight even the most discerning Tudor history buff and coloring aficionado. Written by Natalie Grueninger and illustrated by Kathryn Holeman, Tudor Queens and Consorts is the ultimate activity and gift book for every Tudor fan! This is my go-to gift for the Tudors history lovers in my life. The book is so well done. It’s an ideal birthday present or makes the perfect keepsake for any Tudor inspired event.

Anne Boleyn page

The 45 single-sided illustrations are printed on heavy, colorist-approved uncoated paper and can be colored with your favorite media (including watercolor) without any bleed-through to the next illustration.

Written by Natalie Grueninger and illustrated by Kathryn Holeman, Tudor Queens and Consorts is the ultimate activity and gift book for every Tudor fan! You can find it online with free US shipping and low flat-rate international shipping at KathrynHoleman.com. Kathryn will also be signing books at the inaugural TudorCon this October in Mannheim, Pennsylvania. For a closer look at Tudor Queens and Consorts, check out the Colouring Tudor History blog and follow along as Kathryn writes about the inspiration and process for each illustration.

Tudor florals

Natalie is a researcher, writer and educator, who lives in Australia with her husband and two children. She has authored and co-authored many books about the Tudors and runs the popular website, On the Tudor Trail. Most recently, her popular podcast Talking Tudors reached 100,000 downloads! Natalie found Kathryn in 2010 during an online search for a Tudor-loving illustrator. The two have been close friends ever since and enjoyed a two-week research adventure to York and Northeast England in 2017.

Kathryn grew up in New England and is now an illustrator based in the Philadelphia area. She also designs publications and marketing materials for community and non-profit organizations. Find the kshcreative link here. She first fell in love with Tudor history at age 16 after a visit to The Tower of London. The romance was rekindled later during the HBO series, The Tudors. Illustrating Tudor coloring books has been a dream come true!

Colouring History: Tudor Queens and Consorts is the second book in this series. Kathryn and Natalie’s first coloring book, Colouring History: The Tudors, was published in 2017 by The History Press and can be found internationally on Amazon and in Historic Royal Palace bookshops throughout the UK. 

Kathryn & Natalie

Find Natalie and Kathryn on social media!

Twitter: Natalie and Kathryn

Instagram: @themosthappy78 and @kathrynholeman and

Facebook @ColourTudorHistory

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