April 1, 2012 |
If you've been eagerly awaiting the new season of "Game of Thrones," which starts Sunday on HBO, Thomas Penn's "Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England" (Simon & Schuster: 448 pp., $30) offered an ideal way to bide your time (if you weren't already busy rereading parts of George R.R. Martin's saga). Compared with the maneuvering of Starks, Lannisters and other houses in Martin's epic, Penn's book presents readers with the world of realpolitik as it was played out in the earliest years of the Tudor dynasty.
May 29, 2011 |
Katherine Parr Complete Works and Correspondence Edited by Janel Mueller University of Chicago Press: 648 pp., $65 One of the difficulties of studying Tudor and medieval women is the silence they have left. Medieval people did not write nearly as much as historians would wish, and medieval women hardly wrote at all. This is why a scholarly edition of Katherine Parr's "Complete Works and Correspondence," edited by Janel Mueller, is such a joy. Here we have one of Henry VIII's queens — the one who survived him — in her own words, making laws as regent of England, writing confessional prayers or short childish notes as a little girl: Uncle, when you do on this look, I pray you remember who wrote this in your book.
December 14, 2010 |
Henry VIII, infamous husband to six wives, had a gargantuan appetite. Stuffed swans, blackbirds baked in a pie or the more usual roasted haunch of venison all appeared on the royal table. Now the recently restored Tudor kitchens in one of Henry’s favorite palaces, Hampton Court, southwest of London , is offering free online cooking lessons , recipes and historical tidbits about a 500-year-old cuisine. Three of Henry’s favorite dishes are featured: ryschewys close and fryez (sweet and spicy Christmas dumplings)
October 10, 2010 |
You should talk about "Carlos. " Directed by Olivier Assayas, the 51/2-hour film (Don't worry, it'll air as a three-part miniseries) about the terrorist Carlos the Jackal will air on the Sundance Channel. The film stars Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez ("The Bourne Ultimatum") as Carlos, who was linked to a series of bombings, attacks and kidnappings in the 1970s and '80s. And, hey, it's slightly more thought-provoking than watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta. " (Monday)
July 11, 2010 |
Anne Boleyn Fatal Attractions G.W. Bernard Yale University Press: 238 pp., $30 This is a disturbing book for the reader of Tudor history, as it carefully analyzes and then demolishes many of the statements that we are accustomed to taking as facts about the life of Anne Boleyn. Indeed, any student of any history will feel the earth shake slightly as G.W. Bernard boldly states the open secret: that most of the written record is hopelessly biased, based on gossip and speculation, that witnesses lie and that historians seek their own version of events.
HOME & GARDEN
February 6, 2010 |
Remember Sir Thomas More in HBO's "The Tudors"? The good guy who had his head chopped off by Henry VIII for challenging the king's will? This scholar wrote a philosophical tale about an island called Utopia, far from England, where a fair and equitable society lived without poverty, the tyranny of a standing army and rebarbative lawyers. At times of optimistic faith in social progress, Americans have turned to the Utopian writings of More and others. Henry Thoreau, the Quakers and the Shakers were enlightened thinkers who built houses and towns as models of a perfected world.