Sunday Short Takes

Sad news to start this week’s round-up:

* Keith Michell, star of Six Wives of Henry VIII dies aged 89Keith Michell, star of The Six Wives of Henry VIII and artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, dies after long and celebrated career

And in other news:

* Full collection built by Dukes of Portland to go on show for first timeThe Portland Collection, built up over centuries, is to go on display at the new Harley Gallery – Among the pieces that will go on display is the Nicholas Hilliard coronation miniature of Elizabeth I.

And a few videos to close out this week:

* Royals, Rascals and Us: 500 years of Hampton Court Palace – a film about the history of Hampton Court Palace made from thousands of drawings by kids

* Society of Antiquaries lecture by Philippa Glanville on the Inventory of Henry VIII

Sunday Short Takes

Here are a few stories from the past couple of weeks that caught my eye:

* ‘Witchmarks’ discovered at the Tower of LondonRecent extensive conservation of the Queen’s House at the Tower of London has revealed something quite extraordinary… over 59 apotropaic symbols, or ‘witchmarks’ as they are commonly known. … The marks are thought to date back from around 1540 to the early 18th century.

* A magical glimpse into the Tudor imagination: Lost library of John Dee to be revealedTreasured books from the lost Library of Tudor polymath John Dee will be revealed in a special exhibition at the Royal College of Physicians Museum in January 2016

* Yours for £2.1m, 9th-century manor house that is fit for a king (or several)An historic Isle of Wight manor house previously owned by no less than eight British monarchs goes on the market

* Hidden portrait of Henry VIII’s only son, Edward VI, emerges in painting of boy king who died at 15A previously unknown portrait of Henry VIII’s only son, Edward VI, revealed by tree ring-dating to have been created shortly after the king’s death at the age of 15, has been discovered in the art collection of London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.

Upcoming Books and Events for November 2015


A few books from the past couple of months that were previously released in the UK will be out in November in the US:

Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend by Steven Gunn will be out November 19 in the US:

… as will Terry Breverton’s The Tudor Kitchen: What the Tudors Ate & Drank

And a few releases from October that I missed…

The First Book of Fashion: The Book of Clothes of Matthaeus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg edited by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward was released on October 22 in the UK and US.

And the interest in Jasper Tudor continues (yay!) with another addition to the growing number of works on him: Jasper: The Tudor Kingmaker by Sarah Elin Roberts, which was released at the end of October in the UK and will be out in December in the US.

And Stuff & Nonsense: Kings & Queens by Ian Baillie is a comic verse take on the lives of English Kings and Queens which came out at the end of October in both the UK and US.

Now, finally, on to the new releases for November!

Suzannah Lipscomb’s latest book, The King is Dead about the will of Henry VIII is out November 5 in the UK. I don’t see an official release in the US yet, but I’ll update when I find out more.

The illustrated 2nd edition of Barb Alexander’s The Tudor Tutor: Your Cheeky Guide to the Dynasty is out in a couple of days in the US and on November 19 in the UK.

Finally, Elizabeth Norton’s newest book The Temptation Of Elizabeth Tudor about Princess Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour is out November 5 in the UK and in January in the US.

Continuing Events

The National Portrait Gallery, London launched Simon Schama’s Face of Britain exhibition on September 16 and it will run through January 4, 2016. More information on the exhibition here

Sunday Short Takes

News has been a little light lately, but here are a few things that caught my eye:

* A brief history of witches by Suzannah LipscombBetween 1482 and 1782, thousands of people across Europe were accused of witchcraft and subsequently executed. But why were so many innocent people suspected of such a crime, and what would they have experienced?

* Erasmus Manuscript Saved for the Nation – From The British Library: We are delighted to announce that the British Library has acquired a unique manuscript containing the earliest known translation into English of any work by the great humanist scholar and reformer, Desiderius Erasmus (d. 1536).

* Inside Henry V’s secret chapel at Westminster AbbeyA hidden chapel built for King Henry V is opening to the public for the first time to mark the 600th Anniversary of the battle of Agincourt. – Since today is the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, I thought I would include this.

And finally…

A new podcast focussing on the Tudors has launched (with over 30 episodes ready to go!) called Rude Tudors. As you can probably guess from the name, it’s not for the kiddos. And you might recognize a website that gets a mention in one of the later episodes. :)

Upcoming Books and Events for October 2015

Quite a few books this month, including one I missed since I didn’t get around to a September round-up.

Books and Recordings

Delve into the world of Tudor Food and Drink with Terry Breverton’s The Tudor Kitchen: What the Tudors Ate & Drank, which is already out in the UK and will be out in the US in November.

Alison Weir’s latest Tudor biography is The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Margaret Douglas Countess of Lennox and is out at the beginning of October in the UK. The US version will be out either in late November or early January 2016 depending on which of my conflicting pieces of information is correct.

Next up is something I know some Tudor history fans have wanted to see for a while – Steven Gunn has updated his earlier (very hard to find!) biography of Charles Brandon with the new title Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend. The book is out in mid-October in the UK and mid-November in the US.

Finally, for the books this month, a collection of essays entitled The Shakespeare Circle edited by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells will be out at the end of October in the UK and late November in the US. This collection focusses on the people that Shakespeare would have interacted with in his life and sounds like an interesting approach to Shakespeare biography.

And for the first time in a while, I’ve added a musical recording to the round-up! Anne Boleyn’s Songbook recorded by Alamire was released in September in the UK and will be out in the US in October.


Just a reminder, the second of this fall’s BBC History Weekends is on October 15-18 in Malmesbury. More information is available here

And finally, the National Portrait Gallery, London launched Simon Schama’s Face of Britain exhibition on September 16 and it will run through January 4, 2016. More information on the exhibition here

Sunday Short Takes

Short round-up this week!

* Duke of Gloucester launches £500,000 Fotheringhay Church appealThe Duke visited the church on Wednesday, September 16, to kick-start the appeal to raise the cash to repair the roof and windows, as well as providing a water supply, heating and disabled access. – I was hoping to get to Fotheringhay on this year’s trip but I ended up unable to squeeze it in so it had to get moved to the ‘some future trip’ list. Maybe I’ll get to visit a newly-repaired church in a few years!

* Westminster Abbey lavatory block gives way to medieval burial findRemains of at least 50 people, all believed to date from 11th and early 12th century, discovered during demolition work to make space for new tower – These skeletons way pre-date the Tudor period, but I can’t pass up any interesting story related to Westminster Abbey!

* The stuff of the living pastHistorians try to produce as total a view of the past as possible. Yet does our concern with facts isolate us from how material culture influenced lived experience, asks Suzannah Lipscomb?

Sunday Short Takes

This first story really caught my eye and I will be extremely jealous of the people who get to do it!

* Westminster Abbey to open Henry V’s Chantry Chapel – Includes details for how to enter the ticket lottery

* Exciting find made by archaeologists at Bradgate Park digThe first season of the archaeological dig, organised by the University of Leicester, has ended and turned up trenchfuls of new Leicestershire history.

And finally, here is a story about the upcoming release of a performance of music from Anne Boleyn’s songbook, including videos of Alamire performing some of the music:

* Anne Boleyn put together a songbook – and now one choir is bringing it to lifeWhat was Anne Boleyn’s taste in music? Who were her favourite composers? And what would this music have originally sounded like? Conductor David Skinner has set himself the task of finding out.

Sunday Short Takes – catch-up edition

Hello all… so the Sunday posts have been a little quiet of late! Things have been very crazy for the past month or so, so I’ve been really trying to take the weekends off from *everything* (except laundry!) and just relax and recharge to tackle another work week. Things are sort of calming down (or, probably more accurately, I’m finally learning some new job duties well enough that they don’t take as much time and I’m not as stressed by them) so I hope to get back into a groove with Sunday posts when there is enough news to post about.

I missed the upcoming books and events for September post, so I’ll mention below a couple of things that would have been in that post. The rest will be in the October round-up.

* Tudor tunes: music at the courts of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James VI and I

* First 3D model of church where remains of Richard III laid were laid created by DMU

* Cod bones from Mary Rose reveal globalized fish trade in Tudor England

* Renovation of Tudor chapel at The Vyne begins – More information from the National Trust website: New technology saves exquisite Tudor stained glass

And a few items that would have been on the September books and events round-up:

* The Anne Boleyn Files Tudor Calendar 2016 Now Available

* BBC History Magazine’s York History Weekend 25th – 27th September 2015

* BBC History Magazine’s Malmesbury History Weekend 15th – 18th October 2015