There has been a fine crop of completely new and paperback re-publications this year in the Tudor and Stewart world – although, as usual, they are largely Tudor. One honourable exception to this Anglo-centrism is ‘Game of Queens’, by Sarah Gristwood, which considers a number of powerful women across Europe.
Queens and other women are always popular. Amongst new books this year, we have had Elizabeth Norton’s ‘Tudor Women’ which takes a look at all ranks of society; ‘Crown of Blood’, by Nicola Tallis which is a biography of Lady Jane Grey, and ‘Catherine of Aragon: An intimate life of Henry VIII’s true wife’, by Amy Licence. A different take on Henry VIII’s queens was the guide to the places they knew and lived in, by Natalie Grueninger and Dr Sarah Morris: ‘In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII.’
John Guy has produced the first new work on Elizabeth I for some time, concentrating on the early part of her reign in ‘Elizabeth, the Forgotten Years.’ There is also ‘Margaret Pole’, by Susan Higginbotham for those interested in the ending of the House of York.
First issues in paperback include Alison Weir’s ‘The Lost Tudor Princess: A life of Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox’ that rescues the surprisingly little known mother-in-law of Mary, Queen of Scots from obscurity and Elizabeth Norton’s ‘The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor’ about the questionable relationship between the Lady Elizabeth and her step-mother, Katherine Parr’s husband.
Turning to male protagonists, there seem to have been very few this year from our period. One is ‘Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s closest friend’, Steve Gunn’s detailed biography the Duke of Suffolk emerged in paperback. (Ed. perhaps Henry’s only friend – he executed all his others)
Amongst more general topics, Ruth Goodman’s ‘How to be a Tudor: A dawn to dusk description of everyday life’ is now in paperback, whilst Dr Tracy Borman’s: ‘Private Lives of the Tudors’ has been turned into a Channel 5 documentary.
Finally, one of our personal favourites of the year, is ‘Britain’s Tudor Maps’ the issue of the maps of John Speed, edited by Nigel Nicholson and Alastair Hawkyard.
Looking forward to next year, we think there may be a move into the seventeenth century – Dr Linda Porter with her Royal Renegades: The Children of Charles I, is an early starter, but we have heard rumours of others!