Saturday, September 26, 2009


Please visit my NEW AND IMPROVED BLOG (and website) for future blog updates and entries!!!

I will no longer be updating at this site, go to the address below for all future entries:



Thursday, September 24, 2009

John Dee mini conference!

This is cute- a group of scholars gathered on Sunday to "rescue" the reputation of Dr. John Dee!

From the Guardian:

"A group of international scholars are meeting in Cambridge today to rescue the reputation of the last royal wizard, Dr John Dee, from the false charge of sorcery that has dogged him for 400 years – undoubtedly fuelled by his use of a crystal ball to communicate with angels, and collaboration with a conman who assured him the angels had suggested a spot of wife-swapping.

Dee is variously regarded as one of Europe's greatest scholars and scientific thinkers – and as the man who cast horoscopes for Queen Mary and her Spanish husband, Philip, suggested the most auspicious date for the coronation of Elizabeth I, and called up the wind that scattered the Armada. He may also have inspired Shakespeare's Prospero in The Tempest, and Ben Jonson's The Alchemist."

Read more

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Final Glimpse of the Mary Rose

From BBC News:

"Hundreds of people flocked to Portsmouth this weekend for a final glimpse of the Mary Rose before the Tudor warship goes under wraps for three years.

Currently the ancient hull of the Mary Rose is constantly sprayed with a water-based wax solution to prevent the timbers drying out and rotting away.

Eventually this process will end, and by 2011 a complex programme will begin to "dry out" her ancient beams and ensure they are preserved forever"

Read more and watch video

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How two lion statues came to Hampton Court

Interesting article about how these lion statues ended up at Hampton Court Palace

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phillipa Gregory book signing!

Last night was Phillipa Gregory's first stop on her US book tour for "The White Queen". She was at Boston University at the Tsai performance center and gave a presentation about her new book. She was wonderful! She was engaging, charming and had wonderful insight into Tudor history. She also did a Q & A in which the audience members can ask her any questions they wanted (and most people asked questions about her other books!) Then she did a book signing.

Her next book will be called "The Red Queen" and it will be about Margaret Beaufort, the Queen of the Lancaster house.

I really enjoy the Q & As because we Tudor nerds can ask her any questions we wanted to. Somebody asked her what she thought of the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl" and she made a joke about how she can't really complain since they gave her money for it and she spent it happily. In my opinion, I think she was trying to put in nice words that the movie didn't really do the book justice but also adding that a movie is only an hour and half long and her book is 500 pages. She did say she love the actors though. Haha.

Somebody else asked her what her opinion of Anne Boleyn was, and her response was that Anne was a very ambitious woman, but not a very nice or good person. Just "wicked" ambitious. My initial instinct was that I got offended because I loooove Anne Boleyn and admire her greatly, but I guess it makes sense that people generally don't rise to the top by being nice. It's like being the boss - you can't be too nice and a respected boss at the same time.

I asked her if she really thought Elizabeth had sex with Robert Dudley and she believed that Elizabeth did. I personally do NOT believe that is the case, but it is interesting to hear her opinion on it. Gregory said that there is a written record of Elizabeth half naked calling Robert out her window to have Robert come up to her room - Gregory thinks that, of course, anybody who does this must obviously be doing the deed with the man they love. And yes, I do agree with her that Elizabeth was madly in love with Robert Dudley. But I just don't believe Elizabeth would risk pregnancy for her throne.

A lot of women were there- I think I saw maybe one or two men. Figures!

I got two books signed- "The White Queen" and "The Other Boleyn Girl". I think "The Other Boleyn Girl" will always be one of my favorite books ever, along with The Queen's Fool. Gregory brought up how everyone LOVES Hannah Green, and I practically giggled in glee because I DO love that character.

I also took this event as a fabulous opportunity to promote my club -
Tudor History: Boston group on facebook! I wish I found out about it earlier so I could have made legitimate business cards to hand out, but of course, I ended up writing chicken scratch on a piece of paper, made 200 copies, and then handed it out to people that were there. I got yelled at by a staff member to stop soliciting and to sit down. But then after the event, I just stood outside with Ashlyn, another fellow Tudor nerd and member of the club, and we chatted up with other Tudor nerds about the group!

PLEASE JOIN if you love Tudor History and live in the Greater Boston area!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wiltshire history centre to celebrate the Tudor era

At the Wilshire History Center, visitors will be able to meet crew members of the Mary Rose, shoot arrows with a long bow and look at authentic Tudor documents!

It will take place on Saturday, September 26.

Some of the rarest documents include the marriage deed of Henry VIII to Jane Seymour and a signed letter from Elizabeth I about her cousin Mary Queen of Scots.

Read more

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Tudor-Tastic Blog site coming soon!

A new revamp to my TudorTastic main website and this blog will be coming within the next few weeks!

You will be accessing this page ( for my blog!!! Bookmark it now for the future!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mary of Scot's last letter on display!

Mary of Scot's last letter, the one she wrote 6 hours before her execution, is to be displayed for the first time in 30 years.

It will be shown at the National Library of Scotland later this month.

"The priceless letter was written on 8 February, 1587, to Henri III, King of France, the brother of her late husband Francois II. It shows her belief that she died a religious martyr and not for purely political reasons, as the English government alleged.

And although just hours from death, the letter reveals that she even thinks of her "unfortunate" servants and asks Henri to ensure their wages are paid."

It will only be displayed for SEVEN DAYS starting September 15th!!!

Read more

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Making Art in Tudor Britain

This is a great lecture on Making Art in Tudor Britain at Gresham College:

Making Art in Tudor Britain

You can listen to the lecture or read the transcript or/and lecture notes!


The title of this lecture was Making Art in Tudor Britain, but who thought they were making Art in sixteenth-century England and did the concept even exist? Most painters considered themselves artisans rather than artists and the idea of the single creative genius is not relevant to sixteenth-century Britain. Painting was certainly not the only or most dominant form of what we think of as art today. Painters were paid the same or even less than carpenters or saddlers (and much less than goldsmiths).

The majority of the surviving painted material from the Tudor period is in the form of painted panel portraits. Yet, we know from surviving documentary sources that Tudor artists were heavily engaged in other types of painting including the production of banners and set designs for ephemeral court events and decorative designs for interiors on plaster, wood and canvas, the vast majority of which no longer survives. Therefore portraiture represents most of the remaining material evidence for the production of painted imagery in this period.

The National Portrait Gallery has the largest public collection of Tudor paintings, with around 240 works currently catalogued as sixteenth-century (a fraction of what was produced but a significant proportion of what remains - up to 60 percent of production may have been lost). The vast majority of Tudor paintings are unsigned and a very large number are un-attributable, as it is extremely difficult to identify the names and specific oeuvres of artists. Even outstandingly accomplished sixteenth-century paintings are often difficult to link securely with painters.

Documentary sources concerning individual artists in this period are extremely limited, and even more so for those working outside the court environment. Consequently, many paintings become known as 'English school' or 'Anglo Netherlandish'. More optimistically some can be identified as 'Studio of' one of the very few known artists such as the émigré artists Hans Holbein, Hans Eworth and William Scrots, or the English painters George Gower or Nicholas Hilliard. The reality is that most surviving paintings are not by these well-known artists but a multitude of other un-identifiable painters. Occasionally it is possible to link un-attributed pictures as being made by the same artist or studio. Also some individual pictures sometimes have names attached to them through documentary sources such as inventories. (For example the National Portrait Gallery portrait of Mary I by Master John, NPG 428, and the portrait of William Shakespeare by John Taylor, NPG1).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

510 Year Old letter written by Henry VII

From the National Post:

British historians have unearthed a letter written 510 years ago by King Henry VII that sheds startling new light on Canadian history.

The letter reveals a previously unknown English expedition to this country in 1499 and may add the name of William Weston -- an obscure shipping merchant from the west England port of Bristol -- to the pantheon of early New World explorers.

Read more

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rare tiles unearthed at Surrey Palace

Rare Valencian tiles have been unearthed at Surrey Palace, a castle once belonging to Henry VII.

"A spokeswoman for the authority said: "The teams uncovered walls of the Palace of Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elizabeth, and evidence for earlier medieval buildings.

"The most exciting finds were rare Valencian tiles which were made in Valencia, Spain. They have only been found in a few other locations across the UK, according to the archaeologists working at the dig site.""

Read full article

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sodomy Laws: Henry VIII

Found this article about how Sodomy laws originated from Henry VIII's reign:

Henry VIII (1491-1547), the most handsome man in all of Christendom, tried for some years to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. A spectacular and violent struggle between the English monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church thus ensued, culminating in Henry VIII being excommunicated by the Pope in 1530. In 1531, Henry VIII became the supreme head of the Church of England. And in 1533, he married Anne Boleyn — never mind that he would have her beheaded three years later.

1533 was an interesting year, though, because it was then also that Henry saw to the passing of England's Buggery Act, amid all the political and religious intrigue. Up to 1533, there were no parliamentary laws outlawing homosexuality, except for what was contained in a few medieval commentaries on English common law, such as this one: "Those who have dealings with Jews or Jewesses, those who commit bestiality, and sodomists, are to be buried alive after legal proof that they were taken in the act, and public conviction."

Under Henry VIII, what was once the domain of ecclesiastical punishment became a parliamentary matter. Sodomy, or buggery as it was referred to then, became a capital offence. In fact, Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury, became the first person to be executed under the law in 1540, although it is interesting to note that Sir Walter was in fact implicated in an insurrection against the king.

To read more

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is this Mary Tudor?

This is the most interesting article from Times online: (I am copying and pasting because it's so fascinating!)

Is this Mary Tudor, England’s Catholic queen who has gone down in schoolroom history as Bloody Mary?

If it is, as some scholars believe, the painting could make a virtuous circle to delight the heart of a Home Counties Jesuit parish priest. “It could be a small miracle,” says Canon Timothy Russ. And the secrets it contains could also bear new witness to the torrid religious politics of the mid-16th century.

Canon Russ is prepared to sell the painting he inherited in order to rescue Sawston Hall, near Cambridge, the 16th-century home of the recusant Huddleston family, and turn it into a Catholic heritage centre and refuge.

After the death of her brother Edward VI in July 1553, Mary Tudor was pursued by Robert Dudley, son of the chief minister, the Duke of Northumberland. She took refuge at Sawston and was smuggled away as her pursuers closed in. Dudley burnt the house down and Mary promised to rebuild it for the Huddlestons, and she was true to her word.

After her death in 1558 Sawston became a safe house for persecuted Catholic priests. The family remained there until 1980 when Sawston Hall was left by Canon Russ’s great-uncle to a cousin and it was eventually sold to a developer whose plans foundered. It is now for sale at £5 million.

But the contents, including the portrait, had been left to Canon Russ. The painting, oil on panel, is an unsigned full-length portrait of a lady, in black and wearing no jewellery. Tests on the panel in the 1970s date it to the 1550s, and it has been attributed to William Scrots, the court painter who succeeded Holbein. It was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1956 and firmly ascribed as Mary I, but since then the identity has been doubted. Exhibited at the Tate in 1969-70 in an exhibition curated by Sir Roy Strong, the title was downgraded to Called Mary I, and by the Tate’s Destinies exhibition 1995 it had become A Lady in Black.

This year it was seen by Dr Tarnya Cooper, 16th-century curator at the National Portrait Gallery. “We concluded that while it is undoubtedly a very interesting and important painting, it cannot represent Mary I mainly because of facial dissimilarity with other authentic portraits of her. It is more likely to be a member of the nobility, possibly from within Princess Mary’s circle,” she said.

Sir Roy Strong, former director of the NPG and an authority on Tudor portraiture, is a patron of the charity set up to save Sawston. He said he has never been convinced that the portrait is of Mary, “and I have seen nothing to change my mind. The mid-16th century was a very dark time and it is extremely difficult to be certain.” But Professor Jack Scarisbrick, the Tudor and Catholic scholar, says it is too grand a portrait to be of anyone but royalty. “There was nobody outside the royal family important enough for such a lavish full-length painting — and if it is isn’t Mary, who is it? Nobody else fits the bill,” he said.

So convinced is Linda Porter, the author of a recent biography of Mary Tudor, of the sitter that she used the image on the cover of her book. “I’m certain it’s Mary,” she said. “It was quite fashionable in the last decades of the 20th century to question the identity of sitters in several well-known Tudor portraits, but some of this scepticism has now come full circle — the portrait of Katherine Howard that was questioned at this period is now thought to, indeed, be her. My own view is that family traditions are very often reliable. Plus which, to me at least, it looks like her.”

There are, she says, distinct similarities in other verified portraits of the queen, such as the one by Antonio Moro of the 1550s, now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

But Canon Russ has identified more in the painting than the portrait. It is a puzzle picture, with secret messages in the background. The ruins, painted in blood red, behind the sitter could denote the Reformation destruction of Catholic churches and proscripton of priests; a head to her right showing a triple crown tumbling off it could be the rejection of the Pope; to her left, there appear to be several profiles, at least one of which could be Henry VIII; and at the foot of the column to her left appears what could be a baby in swaddling.

This, he and Professor Scarisbrick, who is also a patron of the Sawston appeal (with Cardinal Cormack Murphy O’Connor and the Archbishop of Canterbury), believe to be the crucial clue, representing the new-born Edward who superseded her in line to the throne.

The sitter could be in mourning for Edward’s mother, Jane Seymour, who died giving birth, explaining the lack of jewellery, of which Mary was fond. She dangles what seems to be a watch, the thief of time. However, this would date the painting to much earlier: Edward VI was born and his mother died in October 1537, when Mary had been seriously ill and only recently restored to her father’s favour.

Which, says Canon Russ, suggests another surprise: could it be by Holbein himself? He died in 1543 and his most famous puzzle painting is The Ambassadors of 1533, but the suggestion is rejected by Strong who says it is not in Holbein’s style.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The White Queen

The White Queen, the new book by Phillipa Gregory, comes out today!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More podcasts

Henry VIII talks at Hampton Court Palace - listen now!

Between May and October of this year...

A public lecture series hosted in the magnificent Great Hall, in association with History Today

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Henry VIII podcasts!

Listen to these podcasts about Henry VIII!

Topics including:

The fall of Anne Boleyn
Inner Life of Henry VIII
Henry's Great Bible
Field of Cloth and Gold
Henry's music and maps

Alison Weir, David Starkey, Phillipa Gregory are just a few people you can hear speak about these topics.

Go here:
Henry VIII Podcasts

Monday, August 10, 2009

Whoso List to Hunt by Thomas Wyatt

Found an article talking about the poem that Wyatt probably wrote about Anne Boleyn.

Whoso List to Hunt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,

But as for me, alas, I may no more;

The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,

I am of them that furthest come behind.

Yet may I by no means my wearied mind

Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore

Fainting I follow; I leave off therefore,

Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,

As well as I, may spend his time in vain.

And graven with diamonds in letters plain,

There is written her fair neck round about,

'Noli me tangere, for Caesar's I am,

And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.'

More info about Wyatt and this poem

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Save the oak tree!

I love "historic" trees! I love how British tree experts have identified the 4,500 of the oldest trees in the hunting forest of Savernake.

And why is this awesome? Because Henry VIII is said to have courted Jane Seymour under one of these trees. (Click on this image to read).

This is the very exciting tree, it's kinda gross looking: (but huge!)

This reminds me of the oak tree at Hatfield, where Princess Elizabeth is said to have received the news of her accession. The original oak tree is dead, but Queen Elizabeth II planted another one in its place. I took this photo after dragging my friend around the large acres of Hatfield trying to find this damn tree (she thought I was crazy):

But it was worth it, and I was a total dork and even said out loud, "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." Hahaha. Yay.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meet the Tudors at Donington le Heath Manor House

This Saturday and Sunday August 8th and 9th...

If you live in the UK.


Click here to read more

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Afghanistan needs a Henry VII

This is all very interesting.

Blogger Michael White writes,

"I'd wager that what the suffering Afghans need most is the Henry VII who won the Battle of Bosworth Field, a tough, tightfisted central ruler who could manage the warlords and promote such basics as trade, clean water, and (we've moved on since 1485) education for girls."

Read more here

The Anne Boleyn Experience!!!

From the Anne Boleyn files...

"The Anne Boleyn Experience 2010 is the ultimate Anne Boleyn event, being set in Anne Boleyn’s own home, rather than a hotel. It is also a luxury tour featuring beautiful rooms, interesting speakers and fantastic, top quality food. The fact that it is all-inclusive (except your initial transport to the meeting place in London) means that you don’t have to worry about buying meals and entrance tickets - we’ve handled it all for you."

If only I had more money...

Go here to read more

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Joely Richardson to play Catherine Parr

"Nip/Tuck" star Joely Richardson will be playing Catherine Parr in the fourth and last season of "The Tudors"!

Richardson is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave.

Read more here

The fourth season is currently being shot in Dublin and will air in 2010.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dry the Mary Rose!

Mary Rose is the only 16th century worship on display in the world, and currently, it needs to be sprayed "with a waxy solution to preserve its timbers."

But scientists are looking to find a way to dry it out to preserve it.

"Researchers are now working on developing a treatment for the wood to extract compounds within it where it was in contact with iron, such as bolts or artefacts like cannons. If they can do that then it will mean the ship will not have to be continually sprayed. "

Read more here

Monday, July 20, 2009

State Papers Online, part 2

State Papers, Part II is now avaliable here!

Key themes of Part II include:
  • Mary, Queen of Scots: captivity, trial and execution
  • French wars of Religion between Catholics and Huguenots (1562-98)
  • 1541 Act raising Ireland into a Kingdom annexed to the Crown of England
  • Henry VIII’s ‘rough wooing’ of Scotland
  • England’s defeat of Philip II of Spain’s Grand Armada in 1588
  • Beginning of 80-year war between Spain and the Netherlands in 1566
  • England's relations with the Barbary States, Denmark, Flanders, France, Genoa, Holy Roman Empire, German States, Hambery and Hanse Towns, Holland and Flanders, Italian State and Rome, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Savoy and Sardinia, Sicily and Naples, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Tuscany and Venice
  • Letters to and from the English agents in Scotland: the ambassadors Randolphe, Killigrew and the two Bowes, and the secretarial assistant Nicolson
  • Extents and valors of the possessions of dissolved religious houses in Ireland, and those attainted of high treason, including Gerald, Earl of Kildare (1540-1583).
I think it's only allowed for schools/institutions at this point, otherwise, I'd be all over it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mary Boleyn Book Out

Okay, I'm a little behind, but there is a new book on Mary Boleyn out!

Mary Boleyn: The true Story of Henry's mistress

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Historical Tweets

This is a riot!

Friday, July 10, 2009

On this day...

Lady Jane Grey was crowned Queen of England in 1553.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Henry VIII was just like me, says Prince Charles

This is kinda a hilarious article about how Prince Charles talks about how he and Henry VIII was similar - in the sense that they both cared about GOING GREEN! Saving trees! Whee!

"Towards the end of his reign, he also showed an interest in sustainability,' the Prince said.

'Perhaps it is not so well known that Henry instigated the very first piece of green legislation in this country.' "

Read more

This article amused me just because of the thought of the meak Prince Charles compared to our Henry VIII.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Big Question

....What would have happened if Henry VIII had obtained his divorce?

Great Article!


Wouldn't the reformation have happened anyway?

That was the myth peddled by the English establishment for centuries. The propaganda was that a corrupt and decaying Catholicism was replaced by a more morally pure and progressive Protestantism. But historians now challenge that view. They are led by Cambridge University's Eamon Duffy whose scholarly masterpiece, The Stripping of the Altars, was a meticulous study of the accounts, wills, primers, memoirs, rood screens, stained glass, joke-books and graffiti of the period.

New Phillipa Gregory novel out in August

Philipa Gregory will have a new novel out on August 18th.

It will be called The White Queen and it will be about Elizabeth Woodville and the War of the Roses.

Hmm...interesting. I will of course read it because it is another Tudor History book, even though I have been disappointed with her books in general. I really liked The Other Boleyn Girl (as did everyone else, ha) and I liked The Queen's Fool. But I think that's it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Anne Boleyn Portrait?

I love The Anne Boleyn Files website- I get constant updates from it- and recently the site was discussing a portrait of Anne that I've never seen before!!

Has anybody else seen this before?!

It is apparently on display at Ludlow castle. I think? Go to this forum to read about the discussion of the portrait, its' meaning, authenticity, date/painter, etc.

If anybody knows any info about it, please feel free to comment! I'd love to find out more about it.

Why have we never seen it before?!?

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Museum for the Mary Rose

A new high tech museum dedicated to the unseen treasures of the Mary Rose will be built at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard hopefully in time for the 2012 Olympic games.

"The Mary Rose was the pride of her day, being the first vessel capable of firing broadside. It went down in the Solent (strait of the English Channel) with more than 400 crewmen aboard, but the exact cause of the sinking has never been ascertained. This Tudor time capsule has been likened to Pompeii, and funds have now been granted that will provide a noble and pristine home for the spectacular warship and its treasures untold."

The Hull of the ship was salvaged in 1982 and has been on display ever since.

Construction will start in September 2009.

Read more:
Mary Rose Gets 21 Million for New Home
New Museum for Mary Rose

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tudor History Tours

Check out Tudor History Tours!

This site offers a variety of Tudor History related tours in the UK, with 5 day and 7 day packages.

What a wonderful idea and I totally would like to do it at some point, if I can find people to go with!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tudor River pageant

A Tudor River pageant took place this past Saturday, in celebration of the 500th anniversary weekend of Henry's coronation. It starts from the Tower of London and goes down the Thames and ends up at Hampton Court.

"As part of the Living Weekend of re-enactments planned in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces as part of the Mayor's Story of London festival, an elaborate flotilla of traditional oared skiffs will accompany 'Henry VIII' and 'Kateryn Parr' as they travel aboard the Royal Shallop Jubilant from the Tower of London to a party at Hampton Court Palace. "

Watch youtube video here!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Acton Court opens to public

A house where Henry VIII once stayed is now open to the public.

"The house offers rare examples of 16th century royal décor as the west wing was added in 1535 to welcome the king and his second wife Anne Boleyn.

It was lavishly decorated to show that the owners of Acton Court, the Poyntz family, were loyal to the king. Henry’s own en suite garderobe is still on public display."

Full Article

Monday, June 8, 2009

Metal Detector finds coin from Elizabeth era

Some 75 year old man, with his metal detector, found a sixpence coin from the era of Elizabeth's reign. It was found in a pasture in East Surrey.

Apparently it's not valued very high and the man is allowed to keep it.

Read more: Metal detector unearths 400-year-old sixpence in grazing land

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book of Common Prayer Marks its 460th Birthday!

Book of Common Prayer Celebrates its 460th birthday!

Info below is according to Virtueonline (such a random website),

"It wasn't until 1549, two years after Henry VIII's death, when Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, is believed to have written the Book of Common Prayer, the first complete liturgy for the English Church.

The historical work contains the calendar of daily morning and evening prayers as well as epistles and "gospelles" in the old English" style.

It includes the traditional Church of England instructions for the celebration of the "lordes Supper and Holy Communion through the yere, with proper Psalmes and Lessons, for diverse feastes and dayes."

I believe Edward VI started using it during his reign.

Monday, June 1, 2009

On this day...

On this day in 1533..

- Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, was crowned as queen consort.

On an unrelated note, here's an interesting article about Whitehall Palace. Briefly discusses Wolsey.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Review of The Boleyn Girl: the movie

I wrote this when The Other Boleyn Girl came out a while ago- just wanted to post it to my blog.

It was hard not to roll my eyes during The Other Boleyn Girl.

To be fair, the book wasn’t the most accurate portrayal either, so it’s going to be automatically convoluted when it’s a movie based of an already dramatize version of history. However, the book was so intriguing and had such an emotional depth to its characters that it was at least believable within its context. I definitely love the book.

The movie had too much of a soap opera feel; it just didn’t know when to draw the line between believable and over the top. To those who are unfamiliar with the history, I can see that the intense drama makes it exciting to watch, no doubt, especially when there are beautiful actors to look at.

The real history behind it is that Mary Boleyn was indeed Henry VIII’s mistress before his sister, Anne, caught his eye, refused to be his mistress, and started on an unknowingly 7-year road towards the English Reformation. Henry wanted an annulment from Catherine of Aragon so he can marry Anne. Politically, this situation was a nightmare, and of course, its consequences changed England’s future in all aspects. The movie completely bypasses the entire political struggle and chooses to focus on the three-way love triangle that didn’t even happen in real life. The book obviously was about the sisterly relationship as well, but it at least managed to give the reader a sense of danger with a situation that so drastically changed English history.

Natalie Portman’s Anne left me a little disheartened, as Anne Boleyn is one of my heroines. Her portrayal of Anne was similar to the book as they both shed negative light on Anne as a calculating and heartless sister who would do nothing to stop her ambition of the being Queen. Yet the book managed to show more reasonable motives for Anne’s actions while Natalie Portman’s acting made it seem like I was watching this week’s episode of Mean Girls: The Boleyn Sisters.

Most historians look favorably upon Anne’s legacy and agree that Anne did not commit adultery and incest; rather, it was part of a political plot arranged by her enemies. The fact that she also produced no male heirs made her enemies case towards Anne that much stronger.

Very little is known about Mary Boleyn, which is probably why I took a liking to Scarlet Johansson’s gentle portrayal of the fair-hair sister, as it would be hard to screw up a role on a person we know so little about. In reality, her and Anne were not close at all; in fact, when Mary secretly married her second husband, William Stafford, Mary’s family disowned her since Stafford was below her social class. Mary made no attempt to contact her family during Anne’s downfall and lived out the rest of her life in the country with her husband and kids.

Eric Bana’s portrayal of Henry VIII was incredibly one-dimensional. He seemed like a man ruled solely by his penis and nothing else- and although it can be argued that the real Henry often lead with his desires, he also struggled with the political consequences of having no male heirs. In Henry’s defense, his father fought and won the War of the Roses that tore the country into civil war, which meant that without an heir for Henry, all that his father worked for would be lost.

The movie was only true to the book in its overall plotline, but the minor details that very much would give an honest feel of the Tudor period is completely missing in the movie. If you’re going to do a period movie, at least be true to the period. It’s more than just good-looking actors in 16th century costumes.

What makes me sad about this movie is that Hollywood felt the need to dress up an already fascinating history with hot actors, fake accents, brightly-colored costumes and melodramatic subplots and dialogue. Or is it trying to tell us that history otherwise is just not interesting enough for the modern day moviegoer?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alison Weir new books and tours!

My, my, this is exciting!

Alison Weir has a new non fiction book coming out in September, called The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn with a special event accompanying the release of her book at the Tower of London. There will be a tour that consists of walking along the same route Anne did on her arrest, followed by a presentation, booking signing and also heading to the Queen's lodgings and scaffold site.

I haven't read any of Weir's non fiction books, but I LOVE her fictional narratives.

And then in Spring 2010, Alison Weir will lead a tour that leaves from US to London that will cover several Tudor attractions and landmarks. I would totally go but I've been to most of those places already!

To read more, go here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wolf Hall

I still don't understand what Wolf Hall is about- it's a fiction but is it some sort of dramatized fictional book about Henry VIII getting a divorce from Catherine? Or what? Whose point of view is it from? Is it focused on Henry's divorce or the court? I'm a little confused.

Somebody tell me!

A review of the book

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anne Boleyn in Gossip Girl

I watched the end of Gossip Girl last night and Blair brought up Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I.

This is what she said:

"That's the thing. You need to be cool to be queen. Anne Boleyn thought only with her heart and she got her head chopped off. So her daughter Elizabeth made a vow never to marry a man. She married a country. Forget boys. Keep your eye on the prize, Jenny Humphrey."

All I can say is WTF. Blair is an idiot. DOES SHE NOT KNOW ANNE BOLEYN AT ALL?!?!?!?! Stupid damn writers of Gossip Girl. GET YOUR DAMN HISTORY RIGHT. It's so irritating because Anne Boleyn is probably the LAST PERSON EVER who thought "with her heart" - if she thought with her heart she probably would have just had sex with Henry from the beginning and became his mistress, BUT NOOOOO, she kept the King on his toes/desires for 7 damn years!!!! It is debatable whether she refused Henry's advances in order to gain more power or if she truly wanted to keep her dignity and not be the King's whore, but either way, she was pretty damn smart. If Blair thought she was the Queen of wiley charms, SHE NEEDS TO THINK AGAIN. ANNE BOLEYN IS THE QUEEN OF CLEVER, thank you very much.

Okay, that's my rant.

Happy Anne Boleyn Day!!!! Anne Boleyn was executed today in 1536.

Buy your own Anne Boleyn "B" necklace at this website! (And Tudor oil paintings as well!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thoughts about season 3 of The Tudors

I just want to say that I am really enjoying this season of The Tudors. I was catching up on the episodes and I just saw episodes 4, 5 and 6 of Season 3, and I must say - I was quite moved by all the episodes. This season is moving particularly fast because of all the events that happened post Anne Boleyn and it keeps me on my toes.

Anyways, things I am loving about this season: (SPOILERS TO COME)

1) Episode 4:

All the scenes surrounding Jane Seymour's pregnancy and the birth of Edward was incredibly moving. First of all, it was nice to see Henry so loving to somebody for once (whether it's just because she's pregnant or not is debatable) and have him be so kind and sweet to her is a bonus, since Henry seems to be going off his rocker for so many episodes. The scene where he touches Jane's belly and says "Edward, be strong" gave me GOOSEBUMPS, only because we all know how history turns out.

The music was SO beautiful with the scenes surrounding the pregnancy/Henry waiting for the birth and it highlighted the intense emotional aspect of Henry waiting so long and struggling so hard for a boy. I love the scene where he's praying for the birth of a son. The camera show was particularly beautiful too. I also love it when they finally announce to Henry he has a healthy son, and Henry's so shocked he just says, "I have a son?!" And he's so emotional with tears. FINALLY! All of us watching have been waiting too. Great great scene.

I was so moved by Henry's little speech to Jane at her deathbed about how he can't live without her, even though she "did everything you promised you would." I was moved; again, it's because Henry has shown so little emotion in terms of actually LOVING somebody in a while that I was touched that he cared about Jane that much. He said something about how he's her light in this dark world, and for a moment, I actually felt for his own internal struggle with being King.

Oh, just to add: I'm loving Mary Tudor, actually. She has always been a person in history I never cared much about, but I'm loving this young portrayal of her in the Tudors. The scene where the ambassador tells Mary about a possible suitor and how handsome he is, you can tell that she is trembling with DESIRE! Especially for her age at the time, she is getting past her prime marrying time. And the actress playing her is adorable and does a nice job of making Mary rather dignified.

2) Episode 5:

Following the death of Jane, Henry shuts himself up in seclusion and sees nobody but his Fool. I really enjoyed this episode because I really enjoyed THE FOOL, Will Somers. He was very candid and said things to Henry that normal courtiers would not be able to say, and made jokes about it all. I think Will said something about Anne Boleyn and how Henry has gotten rid of all his wives. And his relationship with Henry was really quirky and interesting and almost fatherly in some way. It was a really fascinating relationship/balance of power to watch, as Henry seems to be the weak one. Henry was also going crazy with his fantasy drawings of Nonsuch Palace.

Speaking of crazy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers' acting is SPLENDID in this episode. In fact, I see vast improvement from season 1, and I think it's GREAT that although Jonathan isn't physically getting fatter as the real Henry was, he is able to act a lot of older and make us believe his youth has withered away along with his sanity.

3) Episode 6:

Good episode. I loved watching the whole search for a bride process. My curiosity is how are they going to explain to us viewers that Joss Stone isn't pretty?!?!?!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Anne Boleyn Day coming up

Next Tuesday is Anne Boleyn Day!!

"This special day has been created to commemorate the execution of Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and second wife to Henry VIII, on May 19 1536 after being found guilty of treason, adultery and incest. The aim of Anne Boleyn Day is to spread the message that Anne Boleyn is an inspiration for modern women and the most influential queen that England has known."

Read more here!

Thanks Claire! :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vatican letter on sale for $68,000

If you can spare $68,000, you can buy a copy of the letter in which Henry asked the Catholic church for an annulment from Catherine of Aragon.

"The Vatican has opened its Secret Archives, the repository of centuries worth of documents pertaining to the Holy See, to let the world get a closer look at a document presaging England’s split from the Church of Rome. Dated July 13, 1530 and addressed to Pope Clement VII, the letter asks for the annulment of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and includes the seals of dozens of peers of England who concurred with the request. A facsimile of the document will go on sale next month for about $68,000 from Venice-based publisher Scrinium, which plans a limited run of 199 copies."

Vatican Reveals Letter That Split England from Roman Church

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Joss Stone in the fourth and final season of The Tudors

According to Reuters, Joss Stone will not only appear in the current season of the Tudors, but also in the fourth and final season. (Waaa!)

Stone will be playing the role of Anne of Cleves, Henry's fourth wife.

This has been discussed many a times, but Joss Stone is too pretty to play Anne. I wonder how they're going to downplay her attractiveness.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bully or hero?

Henry VIII: Bully or Hero?

I defintely don't think Henry was a hero. Yes, he started the English Reformation and he represents this majestic monarch, but I think he was a spoiled selfish man who got everything he wanted and would do anything to get it. He was a fascinating figure in history and I love learning and reading about him, but a hero?

According to this article, the "heroic" aspects of Henry would be that he "marked the transition from a medieval state to a modern state. He founded the Church of England. He swaggered out and claimed a place for England on the European stage that it has held ever since, despite its size."

I don't know if that's heroic, but maybe it is for England's place in the world. I guess I only find things heroic if the intentions are for the good of everyone, not just for one person. Henry might have done that and as a result, it was good for the English people, but then again, he may did what he did for his own legacy.

But I love him nonetheless.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Mary Tudor book out

I don't think it's out in the US yet, but a new Mary Tudor book just came out this week in the UK.

Mary Tudor: England’s First Queen
By Anna Whitelock

Read review here

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Henry VIII: A Sports Fanatic

This is a very informative article about Henry's love for sports- it claims Henry loved sports more than women, but I disagree. But I'm also a woman.

"A decathlete before his time, Henry was adept at the javelin, dressage and double‑axe fighting, and was also a dab hand at archery. Reporting on the Yeoman of the Guard's annual competition in 1510, Edward Hall wrote: "His grace shotte as stronge and as greate a lengthe as anie of his garde." His second wife, Boleyn, was less talented – Henry's expenses claim to the Privy Purse reveals that on one deer hunt she succeeded only in shooting a cow. She was, however, better at bowls, making up a decent mixed-doubles pair with her husband, who was so keen on the sport that when he went to war with Emperor Maximilian he took his indoor-bowling shed (90ft by 8ft) with him so he could work on his game between battles."

Why King Henry VIII loved sport more than women

Monday, May 4, 2009

Robert Dudley's garden recreated

As a personal fan of Robert Dudley and his relationship with Elizabeth, I was thrilled to find this article about the recreation of the garden that Robert built in order to woo and make his final marriage plea to Elizabeth. It's located at Kenilworth Castle, just opened to the public for the first time this past Saturday.

"By 1575, Dudley decided to make one last plea to the Virgin Queen. He had the gardens of his home magnificently made over ready for her 19-day visit. He planned to stage a masquerade there in which an actor playing the "messenger of the gods" was to have bluntly told Elizabeth: "How necessarie were for worthy Queenes to wed, that know you wel whose life alwayes in learning hath beene led".

It was Robert Langam, a member of Dudley's staff, who described the garden in vivid detail in a thousand word letter that helped researchers put together this garden.

Read more:

Recreated, the Tudor garden where an ambitious earl wooed the Virgin Queen

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I love learning about how food was made in the Tudor period. Here's a great youtube video about the Hampton Court Palace kitchens and how food was cooked there.

"The kitchens of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace are the largest surviving Renaissance kitchens in Europe. Occupying nearly one third of the ground floor of the Palace, 36,000 square feet they have become internationally famous as the home of Tudor food."

Here's a great article
about what kinds of food Henry VIII served at his court:

Both Anne and Henry were great lovers of fruit, particularly cherries and strawberries. Henry is known to have liked quince marmalade and orange pies. In 1534 his household bought an orange strainer, a sign of how often zingy citrus – then a luxury – made its way into his diet. Damsons and grapes were brought from the gardens at Richmond Palace to Hampton Court. It was Henry who introduced apricots to Britain, planting espaliered trees at the garden of Nonsuch in Surrey. He loved artichokes, too, and employed a Flemish gardener to grow salad vegetables for his table."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Anne Boleyn hairstyle making a come back!

Anne Boleyn hairstyle is apparently making a comeback in the fashion industry. This Tudor hairstyle was part of London Fashion Week, so look for the large furry headband look coming your way soon. Haaa.

"Other Tudor-styles that are set to be massive in the beauty world next season include the loose chignon hairstyle, fixed in place with a pearl hair net and severe centre partings."

Read more:
Beauty Buzz: Anne Boleyn Hair

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Interesting facts about Henry VIII

What you didn't know about Henry VIII:



Henry VIII would have been at home in today’s recession, research from the British Library suggests. As a youngster, Henry spent £2.5 million on capturing a small town from France, Tournai, equivalent to about £5.6 billion today and he died in massive debt. Frittering the State coffers is just the tip of the iceberg. Using evidence from manuscripts, paintings and artefacts on display in a major new exhibition, Henry VIII, Man & Monarch, opening this week, a list of thirteen startling facts has been unearthed.

Henry the hoarder

* By the time he died, Henry owned 50 palaces, a royal record for England. These included Hampton Court, Whitehall Palace (where he died) and St. James’s Palace (where he lay in state).

* Foreshadowing modern day credit crunch and overspending, Henry was a monarch who died in massive debt.

* On display is the Post-mortem inventory of Henry VIII. It lists nearly 20,000 items, including the largest tapestry collection on record, seventy ships and 6,500 handguns.

Henry the lover

* Henry VIII was a happily married man. He was married to Katharine of Aragon for 20 years.

* Henry was a bit of a toy boy: Katherine was 7 years his senior when he married her aged 19 in 1509.

Henry the musician

* He was a keen composer, although he didn’t write Greensleeves as is widely reported, he did however write music such as ‘Pastime with Good Company’ which is on display.

* The music-loving monarch owned 78 recorders, 78 flutes, five sets of bagpipes and a virginal – a type of harpsichord.

Other Henry Facts

* By the end of his life, Henry’s waistline measured four-and-a-half feet round. He was 6ft 2 inches tall.

* He self-medicated – Henry’s prescription book shows methods for treating ulcers, some of them apparently devised by Henry himself. (ff. 43v-44): ‘An Oyntment devised by the kinges Majesty made at Westminster. And devised at Grenwich to take away inflammations and to cease payne and heale ulcers called gray plaster’.

* Henry was terrified of catching the plague, and spent most summers away from London to avoid it. His court painter Holbein was not so lucky, and succumbed to the so-called Black Death in 1543.

* The Bishop of Rochester’s cook, taking vengeance against an ungrateful master, added a toxic herb to a dish and two guests died. Henry ordered that the cook should be boiled alive in his own pot, rather than hanged, and this remained the standard punishment for poisoners for five years.

* As a child Henry had his own ‘whipping boy’ who was punished every time the young Prince did something wrong

* Henry had a remarkable memory and could remember the names of every single servant employed in the Royal households.

From the British Library's Press Release

Visit British Library's Man and the Monarch exhibition blog

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jane Seymour interview

Here is a TV Guide interview with Annabelle Wallis, the actress who plays Jane Seymour on "The Tudors."

Power, Sex and Tragedy: The Tudors' Queen Uncovers Court Life

Friday, April 24, 2009

Book Review: The Other Queen

"The Other Queen" should be called "The Other Piece of Crap" by Philippa Gregory.

Let's start by saying that nothing actually happens in this book. You spend 430 pages waiting with the characters of the book for something to happen. And then you wait some more. And oh- wait- an uprising might happen- score! Finally some action! Oh, wait- just kidding. Never mind. Back to waiting. The only reason I kept reading was because I thought the waiting was leading to something momentous. What a letdown.

This historical fiction by the author of "The Other Boleyn Girl" is about Mary, Queen of Scots and her captivity under the watchful eyes of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick. It is told from all three characters' perspectives, which is great, but incredibly repetitive. The book goes like this:

Mary: "Oh, I'm so pretty and vain and everyone loves me and desires me and one day I will be free from this captivity and rule both England and Scotland instead of my heretic cousin Elizabeth. P.S. Did I tell you I'm really hot?"

George: "I have such honor and dignity and I shall do my duty to serve Queen Elizabeth yet Mary of Scots is so sexy and I want her body. WHAT TO DO?!"

Bess: "I fuckin' hate you all for depleting my fortune because I love money."

The characters are all so one-dimensional and terribly unlikable, even as you're reading from their perspectives. Mary spends the whole book going on and on about how beautiful she is and how she can win any man to her desire, which is not only irritating but it is hard to believe. It would have been nice to see some of her vulnerable side. Obviously we'll never know what actually went on in Mary's head, but she was just a woman with normal insecurities and doubts. Especially all that she had been through- forced abdication, murder of her close advisor and her second husband, rape by her third husband (debatable), being forced to flee to England to her cousin's protection yet not really receiving it- all those were fascinating events that were not really in the book. It seems as if all the exciting events of Mary's life already happened and we only get a glimpse of it through reminiscing.

George Talbot and Bess' relationship was somewhat interesting because they were completely on opposite sides. Bess is clearly loyal to the Queen Elizabeth (and thus William Cecil), and George Talbot just looks like a stupid fool in love with Mary. George is such an idiot that it makes me want to slap him. I felt nothing for his love towards Mary because Mary didn't have any admirable qualities in the book so it makes George look really foolish to want her. I hate that it reinforces a very common male stereotype of a guy who just falls in love with a pretty face and forget everything else that matters.

Bess seems like a woman who would be really interesting to get to know if she wasn't solely talking about money every 5 seconds. Yes, Bess, we get that housing Mary is costing you all your fortune that you worked so hard to get- I get it and can sympathizes, but again, is that all there is to you?!? Boring.

I think it's time to stop writing, Phillipa Gregory. I have read "The Boleyn Inheritance" and "The Constant Princess" and it just seems like you've stopped being able to bring fascinating real people to life. All three of these books had the same theme of repetitiveness and one dimensional characters.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is this what Henry VIII really looked like?

Tudor author and historian Derek Wilson claims that the paintings we see and associate with Henry VIII - the strong magnificent King, with his feet apart and displaying a multitude of power- was all really just propaganda.

The painting was commissioned during a time when Henry needed the most ego boost. At age 45, Henry was getting old, no longer the active youth he use to be, with the ulcer on his leg hindering on his health and attitude. He was growing fat (as shown by the previous blog post regarding his armour). His reign had just suffered a political rebellion from the North containing thousands of his subjects who were unhappy with the dissolution of the monasteries- and worse, he still had no son to show for it all.

I agree with Wilson - it makes sense because we know that a lot of portraits painted at the time were for PR purposes, a prime example being marriage proposals. Anne of Cleves, as we know, looked nothing like her portrait painted for Henry and he was sorely disappointed and unsatisfied with the looks of his fourth wife when he finally met her.

Read more:
Was Hans Holbein's Henry VIII the best piece of propanda ever?

Jousting Accident of Henry VIII turned him into a different man?

There's a great article in the Independent claiming that the jousting accident that caused Henry so much pain in his leg for the rest of his life, was also an incident that turned his entire personality around. According to the History Channel documentary, "Inside the body of Henry VIII", Henry might have also suffered from a brain injury when he fell.

"'We posit that his jousting accident of 1536 provides the explanation for his personality change from sporty, promising, generous young prince, to cruel, paranoid and vicious tyrant," Lucy Worsley [historian and chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces] says. "From that date the turnover of the wives really speeds up, and people begin to talk about him in quite a new and negative way. "After the accident he was unconscious for two hours; even five minutes of unconsciousness is considered to be a major trauma today." Henry may have suffered a brain injury, Dr Worsley says. "Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain can perfectly well result in personality change.'"

To read more:
The jousting incident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet the author of "The King's Rose!"

Tudor History fans of Boston: come meet the author of "The King's Rose", Alisa Libby.

When: Sunday, May 3, 2009
Time: 1-3pm
Where: Cafe L'Aroma, 85 Newbury Street, Boston, MA

If you haven't read the book, no worries! Feel free to come by and talk about Tudor history with fellow friends!

Though well aware of her cousin Anne Boleyn’s fate only four years earlier, 15-year-old Catherine Howard acquiesces with her ambitious, conniving relatives’ plans and marries King Henry VIII. He calls her “my rose without a thorn,” but she is well aware of the thorny secrets she conceals: no virgin when she and the king married, she later begins a sexual liaison at court, partly in a desperate effort to produce an heir. Soon, Catherine begins a downward spiral toward madness and despair. An author’s note separates historical fact from conjecture in this account of Catherine’s short years as Henry’s “rose.” Libby offers a convincing, sympathetic portrayal of a young woman who relinquishes her hopes of marrying for love and finds herself doomed by her choices and deceptions. Hardly an active heroine, Catherine falls into a trap early on and, in the end, has little left but her dignity. This one’s for historical-fiction fans who will appreciate this character study of Henry’s fifth wife.

Henry VIII on Twitter

My, my, isn't technology amazing. You can now be a part of Henry VIII's coronation, exactly the way it was done 500 years ago- on Twitter!

You can follow Henry VIII on twitter (here is his profile page) and he will update the events leading up to the coronation on June 24th. Wowzah!

According to Google Press, "It is believed to be the first time the website has been able to engage users in historical events from the first person perspective, and in real time over the actual period they took place, a spokesman for the charity said."

To read more:
Henry VIII's Coronation on Twitter

Henry VIII tapestry all lite up

Somehow scientists have "restored" a 500 year old tapestry by shining bright beams of light on it in order to display what the original colors would have been like.

According to the Telegraph, "High-definition projectors have now been used to beam two million pixels of different coloured light on to the tapestry"

It is on display at Hampton Court Palace.

Henry VIII's 500-year-old tapestry gets 21st century makeover

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Season Four of "The Tudors" will be its last

ALAS!!! "The Tudors" series will end in 2010. I'm incredibly bummed. My guess is that since this current season will feature wives Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves, season four in its last season will feature the 5th and 6th wives, Kathryn Howard and Catherine Parr? I guess it was too good to be true to think that they would continue the series into other monarchs like Edward and Mary and even Elizabeth. That would be quite a long ass show, I suppose.

Showtime Picks up Fourth and Final Season of "The Tudors"

An account of Anne's trial is now avaliable online

The National Archives is currently exhibiting an impressive online display of primary sources from Henry VIII's life. Documents pertaining to his political and personal life is right here for you to study for yourself. It's absolutely fabulous for those who cannot be there to see it for themselves.

This includes an account of Anne's trial in 1536, which includes accusations of her alleged incest with her brother, George Boleyn. Click here to read article.

The National Archives: Henry VIII

House of Tudor stamps/coins

With all this Henry VIII 500th anniversary hoopla going on, so many stamps and collectibles are popping up everywhere! I'll try and post as many as I can find:

You can get these two covers at Buckingham Covers.

This one below you can purchase for 15 pounds at Bletchley Park Post Office.

New stamp issue to mark House of Tudor anniversary - an article about the stamps, pictured below. Head over to The Royal Mail online website to purchase these stamps and a variety of stamp covers.

Not stamps, but coins! Tudor Coin Cover

Anne Boleyn exhibition opens

Blickling Hall, a former home of the Boleyn family, is having an exhibition that celebrates 100 years since "The Masque of Anne Boleyn" was performed. "The Masque of Anne Boleyn" was a play that reenacts the events of Anne's life that lead up to her marriage with Henry.

The exhibition has original scripts, programs and costumes worn by the actors on display.

Fascinating Anne Boleyn exhibition opens

Mamma's Boy

Starkey argues that Henry VIII was "emotionally dependent on woman" and that's why he was always falling in and out of love with women.

"Unlike most early modern princes the Tudor monarch was brought up in a feminine household and was almost certainly taught to write by his mother, analysis shows. This upbringing shaped Henry's "emotionally incontinent" personality, leading him to fall and love with – and marry – so many women, Starkey claims."

I guess that's one theory. Don't get me wrong, I love David Starkey, but at the same time, sometimes I think he is is full of shit.

I don't know if I buy this theory of his because if Catherine of Aragon just gave him a son, none of the other 5 wives would have happened. I doubt the whole reformation would have gone the way it did if he just had a baby boy to inherit the throne.

Henry VIII emotionally dependent on woman

So he's not just a cold-hearteded bastard who killed his wife

Well, not that I think Henry was always a cold-hearted bastard, but I do think he was a rather moody spoiled man who got everything his way. But I am always fascinated by his infatuation towards Anne because it went on for so many years, and I love reading his love letters to her.

He writes, "Henceforth my heart will be dedicated to you alone, and wishing that my body was so too."

Article below:

Henry VIII's love letter to Anne Boleyn reveals tender side

Henry VIII's armour reveals he was no small man

Research shows that Henry VIII started to swell in size as he got older.

His body, I mean.

A 52 inch waist!!

"It found that by the end of his reign the 6ft 1in Tudor king had a whopping 52in waist and 53in chest - enough to make him severely obese by modern standards."

Article below:
King Size! Henry VIII

Henry VIII's love letters to Anne Boleyn avaliable online

Henry VIII's love letters are avaliable to be viewed online!

It is avaliable at State Papers Online