The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy BormanI do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do. Elizabeth I
The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.
These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind Bloody Marys phantom pregnancies. And they saw the crooked carcass beneath Elizabeth Is carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.
It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, and in the same way that she brilliantly illuminated the real Thomas Cromwell - The Private Life of the Tudors will reveal previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.
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How the Tudor dynasty shaped modern Britain
The Tudors are the most famous English royal dynasty, their name remaining at the forefront of European history thanks to films and television. The Tudors are also important for their actions as much as their reputations. They ruled England during the era when Western Europe moved from the medieval to the early modern, and they instituted changes in government administration, the relationship between crown and people, the image of the monarchy and the way people worshiped. They also oversaw a golden age of English writing and exploration. They represent both a golden age a term still in use as a recent film about Elizabeth I showed and an era of infamy, one of the most divisive families in Europe. The history of the Tudors can be traced back to the thirteenth century, but their rise to prominence began in the fifteenth.
Lady Jane Grey , arguably queen for 9 days in , descended from the House of Tudor in the female line. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses , which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct in the male line. Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, succeeded in presenting himself as a candidate not only for traditional Lancastrian supporters, but also for discontented supporters of their rival House of York , and he took the throne by right of conquest. Following his victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field 22 August , he reinforced his position in by fulfilling his vow to marry the English princess Elizabeth of York , daughter of Edward IV , thus symbolically uniting the former warring factions under the new dynasty. The Tudors extended their power beyond modern England, achieving the full union of England and the Principality of Wales in Laws in Wales Acts and , and successfully asserting English authority over the Kingdom of Ireland proclaimed by the Crown of Ireland Act
But how much do you know about this turbulent period? Here, historian Tracy Borman reveals five lesser-known Tudor facts When Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in , the vast majority of his subjects saw him as a usurper — and they were right. There were other claimants with stronger blood claims to the throne than his. Education was seen as something of a luxury for most Tudors, and it was usually the children of the rich who received anything approaching a decent schooling. Pages displaying the alphabet and religious material were attached to wooden boards and covered with a transparent sheet of cow horn hence the name.