Culture et Littérature
The Tudors

The Tudors

The Tudors

Huge figures such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I defined the Tudor period, as England split with the church in Rome and defeated the Spanish Armada. Uncover the extraordinary tales that made the Tudors the most enduring dynasty in English history INSIDE YOU WILL FIND: L Enthralling tales of the times L Maps and illustrations L Revealing images and expert analysis

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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1 min.

Richard III’s army greatly outnumbered that of Henry Tudor on Bosworth Field in Leicestershire on 22nd August 1485. The Wars of the Roses had been raging for over 30 years, but by the end of the day, Richard III lay dead, and the lengthy series of wars was all over bar the shouting. In October that year, Henry VII was crowned king at Westminster Abbey, the last king of England to win the crown in battle and the first monarch in the Tudor Dynasty. Henry Tudor’s son, Henry VIII would become legendary for his many wives and quest to produce a male heir, just as he would become infamous for breaking with the Pope in Rome. His children would rule as Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, by which time…

1 min.
living with the tudors

More than 400 years have passed since the death of the last Tudor monarch, yet our fascination with the dynasty shows no sign of abating, and Tudor history continues to reign on our TV screens. From the imposing figures of Henry VIII and the Virgin Queen, to the dirt and hardship of the streets, it seems we can’t get enough of our Tudor forbears. The 117-year period was one of immense change, full of larger-than-life characters, when the rich lived a life of luxury and comfort, and the poor scraped a living as best they could. But danger lurked around every corner – from religious persecution and foreign invasion, to death from disease, poverty… or the executioner’s blade. IMAGE ENHANCEMENT-CHRIS STOCKERDESIGN.CO.UK, ALAMY X1, GETTY X1…

5 min.
1 the family who shaped britain

The Tudor period was an era of great change and one that saw England develop into one of the leading European colonial powers. But it was also a time of immense turbulence that not only affected the country itself, but sent shock waves through Europe. When Henry Tudor won the throne of England in 1485, he had successfully united the houses of Lancaster and York – effectively ending the Wars of the Roses – but the dynasty he had begun was far from secure. Yet, within 130 years, England was well on its way to becoming one of the most wealthy and powerful nations in the world. The 16th century was a great age of exploration that saw traditional views of the world change dramatically. John Cabot awakened the world to the…

2 min.
2 troubled times

For nearly 1,000 years, religion in England adhered to the teachings of the Catholic church, led by the Pope in Rome. But by the 16th century, challenges were being made to the authority – and greed – of the Catholic church, starting in 1517 with a German monk named Martin Luther. The criticisms and ideas preached by Luther and his followers (known as Protestants because they were protesting against the Pope) spread throughout Europe, but it wasn’t until the 1530s, during the reign of Henry VIII, that England felt its impact. Convinced that he would never sire a son while he remained married to Catherine of Aragon, and angered by the Pope’s refusal to annul the union, Henry took advantage of the ongoing religious debates and made himself head of a new…

2 min.
3 work, rest and play

The working day was a long one, beginning early and ending late, often six days a week. For those in work, a regular wage enabled them to feed themselves and their families, but a rapid rise in population levels during the 16th century saw thousands driven to begging on the streets. Entertainment offered ordinary Tudors respite from the daily grind – everything from football to theatre was popular. FESTIVITIES AT THE THEATRE Britain’s first permanent playhouses were built during the Tudor period, but theatre’s boom came during Elizabeth I’s reign when works by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe were in high demand. Companies performed 30-40 new plays every year, with all parts (including women’s) played by men. Playhouses such as the Globe could hold 3,000 people. A small fee would…

5 min.
4 life at court

Life at the Tudor court was all about excess, a place where marriages were brokered, fashions were set, wealth was flaunted and reputations made or destroyed. It was the centre of power, presided over by the monarch and his or her closest advisors, and attended by those who wished to get close to the ruler. PRACTICALITIES Catering for the hundreds of people who attended court (around 1,000 in the case of Henry VIII) was no mean feat, and some 200 kitchen staff were required to provide meals of up to 14 courses for the court. In a typical year, the royal kitchen could serve 33,000 chickens, 8,200 sheep, 1,240 oxen, 24,000 larks, 53 wild boar and 2,300 deer. Roasted swan was a delicacy reserved for important banquets but Tudor cooks would sometimes…