Tudor history goodies to cheer you up and keep you busy!

Here in Spain, we’re on lockdown. We’re well, everything is fine, but it’s just a bit weird, Suddenly, even though I usually work from home, run on my treadmill and don’t go out a huge amount, I’m desperate to leave the house. Oh well! Desperate times and all that…

I’m conscious of the fact that some people are finding lockdown and self-isolation difficult, so I’ve got some goodies for you. I do enjoy playing the Tudor history fairy!

  • The Anne Boleyn Files site – There are 11 years of articles on here and they’re all completely free so please do have a browse. There are also resources like our Primary Sources page.
  • The Anne Boleyn Files and YouTube Channel – A year and three months of “on this day in Tudor history” videos are there for you to enjoy, along with Teasel’s Tudor Trivia videos, the Questions about Anne Boleyn series, the Fall of Anne Boleyn countdown series, and lots more. All completely free. They should keep you going for quite a while.
  • The Tudor Society – I founded the Tudor Society back in 2014 as a way of bringing together history lovers from all over the world and giving them access to Tudor history experts. We have archives of expert talks, monthly magazines, weekly video talks, virtual tours of historic places, ebooks, resources, articles, quizzes, ebooks, articles and resources etc. going back to 2014. AND, there’s a 14-day free trial – click here, which can be cancelled before any payment is due if you find, for some reason, that it’s not for you. Browse for 14 days and enjoy.
  • 99p/99c books – Three of my books, The Anne Boleyn Collection III, The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown, and On This Day in Tudor History, are Kindle Countdown deals at the moment. They’re priced at 99p/99c on Amazon UK and Amazon.com from now until midnight on 25th March. Grab them while you can. You can find them on my Amazon author pages – click here to see it in your country. My other books are very cheap on kindle too, and if you don’t have a kindle, don’t worry, Amazon have a free kindle reading app for mobile devices, tablets and computers.
    George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat, written by me and Clare Cherry, will be available on kindle at 99p/99c from 21 March to 27 March.
  • MadeGlobal Books – All of my publisher MadeGlobal’s books are excellent value as kindle books and are available on the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. Why not sign up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited while you’re at home? It’s perfect for us bookworms! Authors include Toni Mount, Adrienne Dillard, Gareth Russell, Sean Poage, Seamus O’Caellaigh, Roland Hui, Debra Bayani, Sandra Vasoli, Derek Wilson, Clare Cherry, Loretta Goldeberg… Lots! See MadeGlobal’s website for the list of authors.
  • Free colourings – My publisher, MadeGlobal, has published four colouring books – The Life of Anne Boleyn Colouring Book (I wrote the text for that one), The Wars of the Roses Colouring Book, The Mary Queen of Scots Colouring Book, and The Tudor Colouring Book, and you can download and print out a colouring page from each of them by right clicking on the images of the pages below.
  • 50% off history courses – MedievalCourses.com have a special sale at the moment (from now until the end of 25 March) offering 50% off each and every one of their history courses. The courses are all completely online, with no set start or end dates, and include medieval courses, courses on Tudor times, Tudor women, Henry VIII’s six wives, Anne Boleyn, the Medicis, the Borgias, the Reformation, Richard III…. and all by experts in the field (Toni Mount, Samanthan Morris, Gareth Russell, and Yours Truly!). Lots to get stuck into! Simply go to https://medievalcourses.com/overview/, browse the courses and buy as many as you like. Use coupon code HAPPY at checkout to get 50% off from now until the end of 25th March. Everyone anywhere in the world can do them.

By the way, the videos I make for the Anne Boleyn Files and Tudor Society YouTube channel are also available as podcasts – click here.

And it’s also time to share the Tudor history love! There are lots of wonderful history resources from other historians and authors, including:

Apologies to anyone I’ve missed out, it wasn’t intentional! Please do add any resources you’ve found useful in the comments section below.

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25 thoughts on “Tudor history goodies to cheer you up and keep you busy!”
  1. Thank you Claire for these ‘Goodies”. I keep my latest crochet project in my Tudor Tote. Working from home and I have been listening to some Tudor Podcasts, I see some new ones to add to my list. I am in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area where all non-essentials are shut down! Not sure how they consider beauty salons and the liquor store non-essential! Only teasing, remember laugher is good medicine in adversity. Take care everyone.

  2. since i’m isolating at home, by choice, immersing myself in my favorite topic seems the way to go. Thanks for the links, etc

    Very unrelated thought, but you made my day, my week and maybe even my life when i read some comments of yours that contained (to me) very fair criticism of one of Alison Weir’s books. I’m never quite sure WHY she’s considered “the best” on all things Tudor, but i object. She doesn’t clear up ANY thing….. full of waffling, “it may have been thus” it could have been such” and my favorite : “almost certainly.” Count the “almost certainlys” in Lady in the Tower. I believe it could be 100. I lost count myself. I find this phrase to be quite disingenuous…….. constantly hedging : “well, the facts, almost certainly, could mean this…… Yes, well, what if they DON’T mean that ? A thousand pardons if you are not thrilled to read this, but i felt a burning desire, so to speak. Thanks again.

    1. Yes, she does waffle you are correct but she is interesting and I actually find she makes people think and debate if nothing else. She is not the only one. Amy Licence is just the same. She takes two pages to say “the castle was in a beautiful valley” or something else which can be said in a sentence . I am all in for speculation but when people use 20 to 30 may bes on one page instead of we don’t have information, then you wonder why write a book without information in the first place.

      Another problem is referencing with Alison Weir, you have to be careful as they can be obscure.

      1. I think the lady should stick to fiction. It feels like the whole Mary Boleyn book is nothing but speculation. What Weir can do is amass dry information : John doe received such and such title in the year dot, so and so had 10 children, half of whom died, etc But i never feel like she’s compelling. She draws conclusions and then castigates other people for drawing conclusions. At this point, if i look at her work (probably never again) i get it from the library.> I am not paying for 150 “almost certainlys”. If you don’t know, pray, say that. Don’t deceptively lead people to believe that something is true. We weren’t there. WE DO NOT KNOW. This is by way of saying that the information i get here seems much more reliable and interesting, so i’m a big fan.

        1. I’m sure you’ve read in earlier posts here tihat we feel the same way. There’s nothing wrong with writing historical fiction but label it as such and please stop calling yourself an historian. If you do decide to write history don’t just rattle off ‘facts’, cite your sources! This rant is directed at many authors who just confuse real history with rumor and innuendo. I absolutely agree with you Renee, what info Claire gives us is backed up and I love this site. My interest in this era started about 1986 when my wife to be had me watch ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’. Over the decades I read a lot which at the time I didn’t know was wrong then somehow I ran across this site about 5yrs ago and have been hooked and steered in the right direction. Along with Claire there’s also Christine, BQ and everyone else who posts here that I always learn something from.

  3. You’re very generous Claire, thank you so much. I have all of your books but since I’m stuck at home I have time to check out the Tudor Society in depth.

  4. Hi to Claire, BQ, Christine & Michael and all – about to pile into ‘history resources’ and your podcasts Wow, so here we all are in 2020 and Henry’s worst nightmare is upon us .. open borders and right to roam. A Superbug’s Field Day!
    I attended Sainsbury’s “Hour for the elderly and vulnerable” today – I have to add here ‘looking as young and lovely as make up could make me for the trip’. One or two passing thoughts remembered Thomas Cromwell and the swift shocking loss of his wife and children. Also have watched a documentary on Donald Thrump and Henry VIII which was rather interesting.
    Am loth to admit – even to old friends like you – that I have woken up at 4am (the worry worry hour) thinking about my loved ones and how vulnerable they are and it has gifted me insight into the fraught world that Henry & Anne knew only too well. So to each and every one of you I say, take care, god care of yourselves and your own and your friends and above all, be kind to one another.

    1. Hi Globerose, nice to here from you. Be sure to take care of yourself or you’re not going to be any good to those you care about.

      1. Thanks Claire, great links and many goodies, keeping us busy for weeks, so kind of you.

        Hello Globerose, nice to see you again. Hope you are keeping well. I watched the documentary on Trump and Henry Viii. History Repeating Itself. It’s one of those things were they chose certain aspects of both of their lives to look for similarities but they could find just as many things which they don’t have in common. Having said that they both were second sons and never intended to succeed to their empires, they were both surrounded by women, but not great with them, although to be fair Henry had a much more positive attitude to them than Trump, they married more than one mistress and they were both able to dispose of people who served them with impunity. Henry Viii was married to his first wife far longer than any of his others and his falling out with her had nothing to do with her leading the nation to victory over the Scots. That was utter nonsense, the usual nonsense in many documentaries. Henry Viii turned on Katherine of Aragon because he needed a son and heir and after eighteen years of marriage she wasn’t able to provide him with one not because she upstaged his military achievements ten years earlier. Henry was still in love with Katherine and took her letter well in 1513 and was proud of his wife. Trump apparently had very different ideas about his.

        The contrast was still interesting though because after 20 odd years of being a congenial and reasonable monarch, Henry by stages and through a number of accidents and other factors turned into Donald Trump, sorry into a more power hungry and oppressive man and King. They certainly had similar egos and Trump thinks of himself as a King. Do you remember when he first arrived in power and signed a load of Executive Orders and seemed to think that’s all he had to do to get legislation passed? Henry had the same idea only he made himself head of the Church and suddenly he was getting things done. However, Henry still had to go through Parliament even as Trump had to use the law making process in America. As the Supremacy gave Henry Viii ultimate power, so the recent failures to bring Trump to answer for his offences has made him invincible. It was the Supremacy more than anything which gave Henry real power and afterwards no opposition would be brooked, to the high cost of his wives who lost their lives or power.

        Another interesting documentary recently was the comparison of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II. That was fascinating because it looked at a comparison between two women who came into their lives and were rivals, Mary Queen of Scots and Princess Diana. Mary and Diana were very beautiful and attractive and popular and seen as dangerous by the establishment. Both were killed in tragic circumstances and both were involved in troubled marriages, both drew people to them in their thousands and both had their own way of doing things. The two Elizabeths were painted as being dutiful, cautious, having a sense of tradition, but being aware that they had not been heirs to the throne, although I am not sure in the case of EI I would fully agree as she was heir for three years, both had a sense of prescence and both had to balance duty with feelings. The two part documentary was well worth watching.

        1. I watched the 2 Elizabeth’s. it was a good documentary.
          We had to cancel a hotel near Sudely as the castle is closed for some time. I was really looking forward to it.

        2. Hi Carol, that’s a great pity because Sudeley is beautiful and with the Spring here the gardens will be starting to look green and lush. Hopefully you will find time to go later in the year. We went there last year and the year before. It has so many connections, Katherine Parr, Tom Seymour, Princess Elizabeth, Richard iii, and Lady Jane Grey. Of course nearby are Hailes Abbey, Coughton Court and its connections to the Gunpowder Plot and the Throgmortons and Shakespeare country. The whole area of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire are so beautiful and historic. Let’s hope this mess doesn’t last too long and you get an opportunity to visit in the future. Stay well and safe.

  5. Hi Michael, and thanks dear heart, you are very kind and I hear what you say. Some of us, as the years pass, become a sort of support network for family members who need a bit of TLC, shall we say and I’m sure everyone here will understand and be familiar with this thing. BQ for one, that’s for sure. So, unlike our Henry, who could up stakes and be gone at a moment’s notice, with staff scuttling around to ensure his well being and entire safety, we modern ‘ordinaries’ are pretty much stuck in the one place, and must face up and confront what comes at us. And actually Michael, people like us are already checking in and registering help if needed and some of it is surprising and delightful : not only family and friends but even folk who just know of you, have had dealing with you, these too are getting in touch and offering their helping hands. Wow. We are great dudes, aren’t we. And we do care. And we do stand together when it matters. Hope that you, across the pond, experience and enjoy all the benefits of human kind and love and tenderness.

    1. Ah, that’s lovely of you, Globerose, its so kind of you at this time. We have to take care of each other. Hope you and yours keep well and stay safe. God bless.

  6. I have all your books. Also the Tudor colouring book.
    Reading Tombland at the moment.
    Hope everyone keeps safe.

    1. You too Carol. If you’ve already read Claire’s books you know how wonderful they are. If not you’re in for a treat. Glad you have stuff to do. These are certainly strange times.

  7. I have been trying to find a connection from Thomas Bullen – Queen Anne’s father to my ancestor Thomas Bullen born in 1699 who shared the same name and lived in the same place, I know that it was common to name children after famous people but I was interested if there was a connection.

    1. You may have a connection Neil, why not sign up to Ancestry, if your ancestor lived in the same area he could be a distant cousin to Sir Thomas seeing as how he also possessed the same name?

  8. A thousand thank yous for the 99c books! I live in South Africa and the Rand/Pound and Rand/Dollar does not favour me! Not even a little bit. So excited to read these.
    Still want to know if there is a biography of Anne’s uncle, the Duke of Norfolk. Am I right that he lived to 84? Must be a story in that!

    1. Hi Megan. I haven’t read a specific biography on Thomas Howard but a book you might find interesting is ‘House of Treason The Rise and Fall of a Tudor Dynasty’ by Robert Hutchinson. It covers the Howard family from
      Richard III/Bosworthh through the reign of Elizabeth.

  9. I just found out that Henry VIII’s physician , Sir William Butts, is my 13th GGF. My 5th GGF, Sherabiah Butts is my Society of Colonial Wars Ancestor. . Also of note is that Anne Boleyn is my 17th cousin 2 times removed!. So my comment is this: Is they any research on the various plagues during Tudor periods? The Black Death started in 1348 when Edward III was King and the same year that KG was founded. I think that there was at least one significant plague during Elizabeth’s reign. Anyway, I though a good topic for discussion. Did they have “lockdowns” etc. ? How did the Sovereign deal with plagues back then?

    1. Hi Julian, yes, in fact, the way our ancestors dealt with terrible diseases they had no control over was not much different than how we are doing things now. The typical plague protocol was get out of the city to the country and stay there. The King would move out of London and more or less put themselves in isolation. If one person in the house had the plague everyone was locked up in the house with them and a red cross painted on the door. You all died or lived, that was it. Some doctors, dressed in protective rubber clothing with a mask, a bird head with a beak, rubber gloves and boots may go and attempted to do something but couldn’t do anything. Doctors died, priests died and no Masses could be said. The dead were taken away in carts and placed, not flung into pits, with some dignity still given and a short ceremony. They used vinegar to mark out areas of infection. They would go around and smoke everything and some public health laws did come in to try to stop it. Slaughter houses and butchers were closed because of the blood and scrubbed. Litter was removed to pits outside of the town and city and yes, towns closed their gates. Markets were forbidden as were fairs. Buildings were scrubbed. One doctor was recorded as refusing to go to any patient unless they were scrubbed and he scrubbed before and after in cold water with rose which is a natural antiseptic. Travel was restricted. Cats and dogs were killed because people thought they caused the problem not the unknown black flea from rats. However, the black death was too deadly. Plague was seasonal, the heat made it flourish.

      In 1528 Henry Viii literally put himself into isolation for two months because of the Sweat. Many of his servants actually died. He ran off to the Midlands and stayed there. Anne Boleyn became ill with the Sweat and almost died and we have a few frantic letters which Henry wrote to her and know he sent his physician to her. This was very deadly and could carry you off in hours. All sick courtiers were always sent away from Court. The palace was scrubbed down. Isolation was the key thing and distance. London lost 10,000 people in 1518 another period of the Sweat. Henry Viii was terrified of illness, but really when most things could see you off, I don’t really blame him. He was also very interested in medicine and formed the College of Surgeons. He licensed doctors and had over thirty of them around the Court. He made his own remedies. In truth the only things people could do was isolation and prayers. The Black Death killed up to half of the population. In 1665 when the Great Plague hit it was the same. In one village, Epsom and Ewell all 300 people died because someone fleeing from London visited and brought it with them. In the Black Death people called Flagulents went around the country from town to town, whipping themselves and calling on everyone to repent of their sins. They were very popular because people lost faith in the clergy whom they saw dying. However, they were in fact spreading the plague and the authorities did nothing to stop them. Gaps in society opened up and little work on the land was done. No authority was shown by the government. As you can see nothing was much different back then and people also panicking turned to violence and crime. Poaching became a popular pastime because people were hungry.

  10. I don’t know how things are there in the UK but here in the US I have been hearing reports from people representing funeral homes that they are having to say no to families when they want to have a funeral service or if they want to be at the graveside during interment or something. When they are burying somebody they can only let the absolute immediate family be there and what they’re telling people that want a funeral or memorial service is still have to postpone it to another time because they just can’t have that many people together or have them around. And they can’t let people do a viewing of a body if they have died of coronavirus because the virus is still viable. They’re having a tough time because they don’t like having to turn family down. But that’s the position we’re in right now.

  11. Good Lord, Yes, everyone, everywhere has royal blood. I myself am Jesus Christ here for the second coming. Basta already with the geneaological boasting. I’ve already said that it’s human nature and plain old biology which can very often prevent a “straight line” to the alleged royal ancestor. People were having affairs left right and center. Babies born were not always the product of the marriage . there were people back then who adopted a son if they didn’t have one. People were foundlings and wards…… taken into families to which they had no biological link.

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