Recently in The Cankered Rose Category

Interesting article about the Tudor's most recently prolific presenter: David Starkey.

Get your hands off my butch history:
The historian David Starkey says his field has become all too girlie but his female colleagues are quick to slap him down

History, he proclaimed in the Radio Times, had been "feminised" because "so many of the writers who write about [it] are women and so much of their audience is a female audience". Even the subject of his latest television series, Henry VIII, had been "absorbed by his wives", he said, "which is bizarre".

That said, Starkey's "Mind of a Tyrant" was pretty entertaining. With more of a focus on Henry VIII himself than even his own previous series have had.

Michael Dobson and Nicola J Watson are the authors of England's Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy (Oxford, 2002). It is a guide to the nation's 400-year obsession with the Virgin Queen.

"This is a deliberately miscellaneous selection, since one of the most extraordinary things about Elizabeth is the sheer range of material she has inspired, and continues to inspire, from Spenser's Faerie Queene to Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth and beyond."

Read the full list: The - Michael Dobson and Nicola J Watson's top 10 books about Elizabeth I

Or take a spin on my li'l carousel!

Excerpt from: Tudor terror: John Guy is on a mission to bring history to the masses—The Independent

It is the summer of 1535, just weeks after the execution of Sir Thomas More. A small rowing boat makes its way along the Thames from Chelsea to London Bridge. The oarsman's passengers are a 29-year-old gentlewoman, Margaret Roper, and her maid, who carries a basket. A horrific sight meets their eyes as they approach the bridge: a dozen or more skulls on poles protruding from the parapet, which have been boiled and tarred to prevent them being fed upon by circling gulls. As new heads arrive, the old ones are moved along the row until they reach the end of the line, when they are thrown into the river.

At the door of the north tower of the bridge, the maid negotiates with the bridge-master, handing over the contents of her purse. In return she receives one of the skulls, carefully wrapping it in a linen cloth and placing it in a basket. This is all that remains of Thomas More. One day the skull will join Margaret Roper herself, when she is interred in the family tomb at Chelsea, a burial symbolic of the special attachment between father and daughter.

This is the gripping opening scene of John Guy's study of the relationship of Margaret Roper and her father, Thomas More.

To be released: A Daughter's Love: THOMAS MORE AND HIS DEAREST MEG by John Guy


Margaret More (1505-1544), Wife of William Roper, 1535-36
Hans Holbein the Younger (German, 1497/98-1543)
Vellum laid on playing card; Diam. 1 3/4 in. (45 mm)
From: Metropolitan Museum of Art


A rare portrait of Queen Elizabeth I as a young princess has been discovered in a private collection at a stately home in Northamptonshire.

The portrait, dating from 1650 to 1680, was found in the Duke of Buccleuch's collection at Boughton House.

Continue Reading Article...

Tudor England Links


Showtime: The Tudors


Official Site: The Tudors at
Airdate: Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Edit: (2/26/2007) With the introduciton of the Showtime official site for The Tudors... it is starting to look rather exciting, despite the very mod popstar treatment. I don't know if it is just because Jonathon Rhys-Meyers is hot (hhhhhhhawt), or the dramatic Lachrymose soundtrack, but the new trailer is definately more gripping. I'm starting to think: oh boy! Ha-ha. I'm a sucker.

I don't know how I feel about this. Article at New York Times.

Jonathon Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII
Nice touch with the wives being cropped at the neck.

I just don't know why they can't do something more rock 'n' roll and keep the costumes more traditional. Or something. I'm not that stuffy, I've loved some non-traditional adaptations. But they have to be good. Like "Titus." Yarm, yarm!

But I really haven't liked much of the recent Tudor pix or series, and one of the reasons is their modernist approach and all that "must get the ignorant masses to relate to crazy tudor england" stuff. I love Jonathon Rhys Meyers though. And Jonathon Rhys Meyers in gold lame even better.

I guess after Anne of the Thousand Days it is all downhill.

Also, why "The Tudors"? Looks like it is just one Tudor to me. Meh.

I'm just sayin'.

The Tudors

Books on Tudor England

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Mary Queen of Scots, 1542-1587

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Francois II & Mary Stewart,
Queen of Scotland, his wife
after Clouet, circa 1558
Queen of Scotland at six days old, grandaughter of Henry VIII's elder sister, and betrothed to the Dauphin of France at three, Mary's life would have seemed destined for fortune. Alas, having been brought up in France, married to the Dauphin at fourteen, Queen of France at sixteen, Francis, the king, would die shortly after of an ear infection, leaving her to return to her waring and embittered country of Scotland. Mary, a staunch catholic, was bewildered to find her home country tight in the grip of protestant fervor, and thus no friend to her. An extremely passionate and politically stupid person, she made one disastrous marriage after another, and was even accused of abetting the murder of her second husband to make room for the third.

In a revolution led by her bastard brother, she was imprisoned by her father's old concubine in an old tower in the middle of a large lake known as Loch Leven.

Gloriana: A Rose & Her Thorn

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Elizabeth I: The Rainbow Portrait
Upon the death of her sister Mary in 1558, Elizabeth became queen at the ripe old age of 25. And so too began her nearly thirty year struggle with her own personal thorn in her side. Already considered old in her day to begin the marriage, heir-begetting game, her situaton was exacerbated by the haughty claims of her young cousin, the barely sixteen year old Queen of Scotland and soon to be queen of France. For as soon as the throne changed hands, Mary styled herself Queen of England, for not only was she not a bastard, she was also catholic. Thus was the stage set for a struggle that was partly for who sat on the thone, and partly as to which religion ruled the land.
Detail: Lady Jane Grey
by Paul Delaroche, 1833
Jane Grey is perhaps the most universally sympathetic of our ladies. Being born the grandaughter of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary, she was destined to be used as a political puppet for most of her short life. Henry had died in 1547, leaving the young Edward VI as king in his minority. The Lord Protector, Duke of Northumberland, planning for the certainty of the young king's early demise, married one of his sons, Guilford, to the seventeen year old Lady Jane. He then convinced Edward that it would be politic to re-write Henry's will of succession in favor of the junior branch on the Tudor Tree, ending with Jane Grey, in order to preserve the "new" religion. Thus both Mary (catholic) and Elizabeth (wishy-washy) were barred from the throne as being at one time or another named as bastards during the reign of their father.

When Edward died of consumption in 1554 the Lord Protector forced his will on the council in a masterful coup d'√ątat, sent troops into the country to capture both Mary and Elizabeth, and dragged the young couple back from their honeymoon to proclaim Jane queen. Unfortunately both princesses had been forwarned and both eluded capture. The council soon defected and proclaimed Mary queen. Thus leaving Jane, after nine days, merely another pretender to the throne. The rightful heir rode into London after a short skirmish, throwing all those involved into the Tower to await trial.

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