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