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C2SX499W8AA1MCF… is on tonight, at 10pm on BBC Two. There’s something about MARY…

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  1. Dear Dr Lipscomb

    I realise that I am something of a relic, being about the the same age as your mum. However, I have only just come across your book “1536, the year that changed Henry VIII”. Since my schooling in South London (1961-68), I have had a fascination in Tudor times. I now live in Sydney, Australia and continue to read as much as I can about 16th century England.

    I heard about your book from our WEA lecturer just recently, having been interested about why Henry changed from a fit, athletic individual to an obese, overbearing person who committed such horrendous murders (including to two of his wives). What an extraordinary tale.

    When my husband and I were in the UK in 2015 we went to the Tower of London (he is an Australian and had never been to London before) I stared at Traitors Gate and imagined what it had been like for Anne Boleyn as she passed through it, only to be executed shortly thereafter.

    What terrible times they were. Henry had so many put to death. Innocent young people like Catherine Howard who knew the same places in South London that you and I know. I realise that there were thousands of others that he murdered. What happened after the dissolution of the monasteries shocked me.

    After I left school, I trained as a nurse at Guy’s Hospital, London Bridge and later emigrated to Sydney Australia where I was sent to so a diploma in nursing education thanks to the NSW Government. Thereafter I studied Arts (with a major in history) and later Law at the University of New South Wales. My interest in history has never waned.

    So thank you for providing a very modern view of Tudor time. In my day, it was a very dull examination of religious and political history. Now I am finding out about how people coped on a day-to-day basis in those times. I have just finished a biography of Margaret Lennox, neice of Henry VIII, grandmother of James I of England and now I have found your books.

    You were lucky to be born in an era when women could follow their passions. I was born in a time when women were expected to end up as full time wives and mothers and so became teachers or nurses when they left school. Maybe in another era, I could have achieved what you have. Thank you for reading this.

    Jane Edginton

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