Pretty neat date today in Tudor history!
The proof copy of my little book is on its way to me; very excited! To tide you (and me!) over, above is a peek at the front and back covers. (Cover art by Lisa Graves Design)
Well, it’s certainly gotten hot around here. There’s been a lot of bickering on history-related Facebook pages as of late regarding the Battle of Bosworth (as the 528th anniversary was last week), Richard III, Henry VII, “My dead king is better than your dead king,” and so on. Now Margaret Beaufort is feeling the wrath, and it’s related to the death of two little princes back around 1483.
The sons of Edward IV, the boys were imprisoned in the Tower of London and were occasionally seen on the grounds. Until they weren’t. Twelve-year-old Edward V and ten-year-old Richard, Duke of York were declared illegitimate, moved to the Tower, and Richard III was declared king. They were never seen again after the fall of 1483, believed to have been murdered in their beds. Bones discovered under stairs in the Tower in 1674 match the ages of the poor boys, and have been interred in Westminster Abbey, in the same room where Elizabeth I and Mary I lie.
This whodunnit has never been solved, but Henry VII and Richard III are the usual suspects. However, a certain fictional book series and its related television series have eerily coincided with a wave of accusations toward Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort. When I recently asked on my Facebook page for reasons that fingers might point at Margaret, some of the opinions on that thread (and the few threads just prior to it) were:
- “I think that crazy woman Margaret Beauford had them murdered”
- “Margaret was a little off the deep end”
- “Twisted woman, strong character fully concentrated on her only son becoming a king of England, nothing else to live for just her only son that’s why she seems capable of doing anything to full filing her lifetime dream”
- “She is the culprit”
- “I find her extreme piety really annoying.”
- “She was mad about getting henry to the throne her whole life she planned it”
- “I think Margaret Beaufort is a likely suspect, but I have not found documents to back that up.”
- “All I know is Margaret B. was vindictive b**** based on what I have read. …in today’s world when ppl talk about evil vindictive women …she would be #’s 1-100 on the list!”
- “I’ve read a couple books on Margaret and on line stuff. The woman was consumed with having her son on the throne…There was bitterness in her that ran to the core of her being. ..She became a religious nut case and based the rest of her life on Henry’s kingship. She would have any one killed to make Henry King.”
Whenever I asked about sources for these opinions, I got none. (Other than something along the lines of “I forgot.”)
I run a lighthearted and sometimes-irreverent Facebook page / blog / Twitter account / etc, but I have to be clear about something: My approach is still that of an educator. (The Tudor Tutor. See what I did there?) And most any teacher, I hope, will ask that you base your knowledge, opinions, etc on reliable information.
This may upset some of you, and in that case perhaps you are on the wrong page. Come to learn, come to share good information, come to laugh at the memes (which are created to help us remember the good information!). But please know that gossip is not what we do there.
And the bell doesn’t dismiss you; I dismiss you. =)
On Monday, 19th August, I finally was able to return to my beloved Hampton Court Palace during the tail end of my trip to London! So I thought I’d share some of that day with you. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.) Off we go!
We arrived 20 minutes before opening on a Monday, so it was blissfully peaceful as we entered and for about the first hour or so. I’m someone who moves heaven and earth to do things on off times, and the payoff is great. Before the main gate opened, we meandered around the main courtyard, where the recreation of the Tudor wine fountain sits. There are also concrete recreations of ye olde partyers enjoying some wine or having a bit of a lie-down…
as well as feeling quite ill from the festivities.
Interesting! We took some photos of the courtyard and the exterior and then went directly to the Young Henry VIII exhibit. One room holds the gorgeous painting of The Field of the Cloth of Gold, and it is here that I recognized our friends and activities from the main courtyard:
So that explains it! This exhibit also introduces us to Young, Fit Henry and his Regal and Polished Queen, Catherine of Aragon. One of the most striking visual elements of this exhibit is a York/Lancaster family tree that adorns one wall:
But I don’t want to give away the entire exhibit for you … Go and see it!
No trip to Hampton Court is complete without time spent in the impressive Great Hall, bedecked with antlers and tapestries…
and impressive stained glass and fan-vaulting…
And look, there’s Anne Boleyn wafting by a tapestry!
The palace is buzzing with costumed actors, who really lend to the atmosphere of the place. Henry and Wife #2 were kind enough to pose for a photo before continuing with their hallway bickering:
No photos are allowed in the gorgeous Chapel Royal, so this photographic tour now moves to the Secrets of the Bedchamber exhibit. No photos allowed inside this exhibit either, but here’s one from the entrance, reflecting the awesome Queen’s Staircase (and the photographer!)
Now into the gardens on this gorgeous day we go…
and a peek at the Tudor kitchens…
Then a gander at the ceiling in Anne Boleyn’s Gateway, where the intricate design holds the pesky entwined “A” and “H” that got away from Henry VIII’s efforts to destroy any reminders of his saucy second wife:
before heading back to Waterloo Station and grabbing a quick lunch from Marks and Spencer Simply Food to nosh on back in the City, with this lovely view:
(Hint: Lady Diana Spencer was here in a very poufy dress!)
Finally, another Tudor-y part to my day as Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb was kind enough to carve some time out of her day to meet me for coffee. Not only is she a brilliant historian, she is a super-nice person to chat with! (You’re following her on Facebook and Twitter, aren’t you?)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sojourn, and keep your eyes peeled for additional posts about this recent trip to My Favourite City!
After having united the houses of York and Lancaster, Henry VII slapped this spiffy sticker onto the backside of his horse –
Wouldn’t you like one too? (Or a t-shirt or mug?) Of course you would! You can get them at my new Cafe Press shop right here.