Hidden Killers of the Post-War Home

Category : Blog · No Comments May 3rd, 2016

For my friends in the UK, I thought you’d like to be the first to know:

Obviously, we’ve got one more exciting episode of Henry VIII and His Six Wives this Friday (6th May) at 8pm on Channel 5… Don’t miss it!

But don’t despair when it ends, because:

I’ve just got word that our NEW Hidden Killers of the Post-War Home is going to air on BBC 4 on Wednesday 25th May.

Ep 3 Henry VIII and his Six Wives …

Category : Blog · No Comments Apr 29th, 2016

… goes out this evening at 8pm Ch. 5. Do watch if you can. This week we’ll be telling you the true stories behind Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves’ marriages.

Suzannah and Dan Jones talk about Anne of Cleves

This Week

Category : Blog, TV · No Comments Apr 28th, 2016

Tonight I’ll be on the This Week programme with Andrew Neil talking about the Palace of Westminster and historic buildings. Do watch if you are still up – it’s on at 11.45pm on BBC One.

Tonight’s show

Colourful cabaret act on BBC's This Week tonight

Colourful cabaret act on BBC’s This Week tonight

And this was my take on the Houses of Parliament

Game of Thrones Has Hacked our History

Category : Blog · No Comments Apr 28th, 2016

Thought you might like to read my article on Game of Thrones in The Guardian earlier this week:

Game of Thrones Has Hacked Our History

BBC History Extra Podcast

Category : Blog · No Comments Apr 28th, 2016

I’ve been working with Dan Jones a lot lately – this is the Podcast I did with him about Henry VIII’s will:

Dan Jones interviews Suzannah about Henry VIII’s will

Trailer for Henry VIII and His Six Wives

Category : Blog, TV · No Comments Apr 11th, 2016

Here’s the trailer for my new series with Dan Jones: Henry VIII and His Six Wives. For those living in the UK, it starts this Friday at 8pm on Channel 5.

Screenshot 2016-04-11 13.30.52


Some BIG news for UK-based history fans

Category : Blog · No Comments Mar 31st, 2016

My new series with Dan Jones – HENRY VIII AND HIS SIX WIVES – has been brought forward, thanks to popular demand, and will now air in a FORTNIGHT’s time: it starts on Friday April 15th at 8pm on Channel 5 and runs for four weeks. Set your alarms now.

(Meanwhile, here’s a behind-the-scenes shot…)

With Dan J

Carving Merlin into the cliffs was an act of vandalism

Category : Blog · No Comments Mar 24th, 2016

I’m all for family-friendly, crowd-pleasing installations at historical sites – but not if we get stuck with them. Read my article in The Telegraph here.

PIC: ENGLISH HERITAGE/APEX 11/02/2016 It is a place of myth and mystery, with legendary links to King Arthur and over the winter months the legends of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall have been given new life. Eagle-eyed visitors can now discover a new addition to Tintagel's landscape - the sleeping face of Merlin carved into the rocks by 'Merlin's Cave' on the beach. Carved discreetly into the rock-face outside the cave, Merlin's profile can now be seen emerging from the stone. Merlin's reappearance at Tintagel is not the stuff of magic, but the work of experienced craftsman Peter Graham. Working directly into the stone, Peter has spent three months carefully crafting the image of Merlin into the rock. He said: "Recreating Merlin has been a wonderful challenge. You are working in this amazing place, but with the elements too - enduring tides, gales, and winter storms. "Usually you would choose the perfect stone from a quarry, but here I have worked into the rock of Tintagel's landscape. Merlin has emerged organically out of that rock, to see him now is really rather satisfying." ** SEE STORY BY APEX NEWS - 01392 823144 ** ---------------------------------------------------- APEX NEWS AND PICTURES NEWS DESK: 01392 823144 PICTURE DESK: 01392 823145


Henry VIII: A King Caught on Camera

Category : Blog · No Comments Mar 23rd, 2016

My March column for History Today is about whether Henry VIII a good-natured buffoon or an egotistical tyrant? Your answer is likely to depend on which cinematic portrayal you saw most recently.

Tyrant or Buffoon?

Channel 5 To Show Major History Series Examining Henry VIII’s Wives

Category : Blog · No Comments Mar 8th, 2016

Breaking news: here’s today’s exciting announcement from Channel Five



2015-08-09 11.44.23-1

Oxford Film & Television have been commissioned to produce an innovative historical series looking at the wives of King Henry VIII. Following on from Channel 5’s recent historical docu- drama successes Britain’s Bloody Crown and Great British Castles, Henry VIII and His Six Wives (4 x 60’) will reveal the truth about Henry and his relationships in a way never seen before, from the dual perspectives of the King and each of his six Queens.

Henry VIII and His Six Wives is the story of the Tudor King, rich in emotional and psychological drama, brought vividly to life through lavishly realised dramatic reconstruction and the duelling perspectives of two of Channel 5’s most vibrant historians.

The series was commissioned by Simon Raikes for Channel 5, which is now being looked after by Lucy Willis and executive produced by Nick Kent and Susan Jones for Oxford Film & Television with Chris Holt as Series Director.

Presented by two of the most exciting young historians in the country, Suzannah Lipscomb and Dan Jones will lead us through the web of intrigue, scandal, romance, lust, betrayal and tragedy that characterised Henry’s six marriages. Suzannah and Dan will view the dramatic events of each union from the perspectives of man and woman, King and Queen.

In each episode, Henry VIII and His Six Wives will bring to life the experiences of Henry’s Queens to see what they saw, feel what they felt, each time capturing Henry at a different stage of his life and reign. From the vigorous Renaissance prince eager to step out of his father’s shadow to the anxious middle-aged man desperate for an heir, to the irascible elder statesman in need of love and affection, the series will chronicle Henry’s life choices.

Commissioning editor at Channel 5, Lucy Willis said: “History programming is very important to Channel 5 and Henry VIII and His Six Wives builds on our success in the genre. The Tudors always stir the British imagination and none more so than Henry VIII. This will be the first time that our history duo will be presenting together and Dan and Suzannah are the perfect combination to accurately bring this important period to life. Viewers are familiar with the story of the six wives but what makes this series unique is that it examines the emotional relationship and passions of the protagonists as revealed by Dan (for Henry) and Suzannah (for the wives).”

Nick Kent Creative Director at Oxford Film & TV said: “We’re used to seeing this story from Henry’s point of view. In this series Dan and Suzannah give us the contrasting viewpoints of the King and each of his six Queens so that we experience all the emotional and psychological drama of the loves, lies, despair and deceit which defined these marriages. These six extraordinary women were more than just wives; they were Queens who made Henry the man he was and so shaped our nation.”

Dispelling myths and bringing these relationships to life with stunning dramatic reconstructions Henry VIII and His Six Wives will challenge what you think you know about the Tudor King.

Channel 5 historical docu-dramas have garnered both critical and popular acclaim over the last 18 months. Britain’s Bloody Crown which was broadcast on the channel in January of this year averaged nearly a million viewers at 8pm, with 3.9 million watching across the series.

Series Director Chris Holt.
Executive Producers Nick Kent and Susan Jones.

BBC Four Premiere: Hidden Killers of the Post-War Home

Category : Blog · No Comments Feb 10th, 2016

Excitingly, my new Hidden Killers programme – Hidden Killers of the Post-War Home – is to premiere at the Oxford Literary Festival at 2pm on 6th April 2016.

You can buy tickets here, and find more information about the programme directly from the BBC here.

Henry VIII’s Will – Podcast with Dan Jones

Category : BBC History Magazine, Blog, NCH, Podcast · No Comments Feb 4th, 2016
Henry VIII’s Will – Podcast with Dan Jones

The wonderful medieval historian, Dan Jones, here interviews me about my new book The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of…

Credo – interview in The Independent

Category : Blog, Newspapers · No Comments Feb 4th, 2016

Dr Suzannah Lipscomb interview: The historian on why Liszt was the first Beatle, and how Henry VIII became a tyrant

At some point in this interview for The Independent, the journalist asked me my ‘life philosophy’.

You’ll notice that section is strangely missing.




A Question of Interpretation

Category : Blog · No Comments Jan 28th, 2016

My latest column for History Today was prompted by an amateur review of a history book that called it ‘just an interpretation’. The sheer wrongness of this as criticism (and rightness of this as fact) seemed to me to deserve some serious attention. Here it is: A question of interpretation

Truth Presenting a Mirror to the Vanities', Dutch, c.1625 - See more at: http

Truth Presenting a Mirror to the Vanities’, Dutch, c.1625 – See more at: http

What Turns Me On… according to the Mail on Sunday

Category : Blog · No Comments Jan 3rd, 2016

I didn’t choose the title.

But, yes, here are the films and books and plays that I really love.



Repeat of three episodes of Hidden Killers on the Yesterday Channel

Category : Blog · No Comments Jan 2nd, 2016

The Yesterday Channel are promoting the repeat of the Hidden Killers series. You can catch the first one on 19th January at 10pm… See Yesterday

Some more reviews of my book ‘The King is Dead’

Category : Blog · No Comments Dec 28th, 2015

Queen to History’s blog post:

A beautifully produced account of the creation, impact and legacy of one of the most important documents of the Tudor period – the last will and testament of Henry VIII.

The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII

Good Reads:

A beautifully produced account of the creation, impact and legacy of one of the most important documents of the Tudor period – the last will and testament of Henry VIII.

On 28 January 1547, the sickly and obese King Henry VIII died at Whitehall. Just hours before his passing, his last will and testament had been read, stamped and sealed. The will confirmed the line of succession as Edward, Mary and Elizabeth; and, following them, the Grey and Suffolk families. It also listed bequests to the king’s most trusted councillors and servants.

Henry’s will is one of the most intriguing and contested documents in British history. Historians have disagreed over its intended meaning, its authenticity and validity, and the circumstances of its creation. As well as examining the background to the drafting of the will and describing Henry’s last days, Suzannah Lipscomb offers her own, illuminating interpretation of one of the most significant constitutional documents of the Tudor period.

Illustrated with portraits of key figures at Henry’s court, including the executors named by Henry in his will, THE KING IS DEAD is a Tudor gift book to cherish, as authoritative as it is beautiful.

And another from Good Reads: James’ review.

Bookbag’s: Christmas Recommendation

History of Royal Women:

The lovely people over at Head of Zeus provided me with a copy of ‘The King is Dead’, by Suzannah Lipscomb, which is admittedly not about a royal woman, but some were most definitely affected by it. ‘The King is Dead’ is about the last will and testament of King Henry VIII of England, who despite six marriages had fathered a single sickly legitimate son and two illegitimate daughters.

Tudor Book Reviews:

Before I begin my review of the content, let me start by saying that Suzannah Lipscomb’s latest book The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII is stunning. It’s a square-shaped hardback book with a beautifully illustrated cover. The cover image has embossing and the K and the D of the title are illuminated. It’s just the kind of book that you want decorating your coffee table – gorgeous. It also features colour illustrations inside – very well produced.

But now to the content …



Free public lecture in London on the subject of Henry VIII’s will

Category : Blog · No Comments Dec 23rd, 2015

On 22nd February I will be giving a free public lecture in Bedford Square, London on the subject of Henry VIII’s will as part of the NCH Lectures Spring Season.

Tickets are available here.

UPDATE: General admission tickets are sold out – but make a point of checking back on the website after the deadlines pass for school kids and teachers, as if they don’t sell, those tickets will be released to the general public.

The Times Review of The King is Dead

Category : Blog · No Comments Dec 23rd, 2015

Cunning plans from beyond the grave

The King is Dead got a lovely review in The Times on Saturday 19th December from Gerard De Groot. He says:

Lipscomb ‘deserves admiration for taking on some of the heavy-hitters among Tudor historians and for holding her own… This is a book that deserves to be read. Lipscomb hs produced an entirely credible interpretation of a contentious issue. Her sober but still engaging prose thankfully lacks that sweet sentimentality that so often characterises popular histories of the Tudors. Her analysis of the available documents seems sturdy. With admirable authority, she provides an interesting allegory about how misplaced trust can undermine the best-laid plans of a powerful king.’

Then & now: Witches, Women and Outsiders

Category : Blog · No Comments Nov 27th, 2015

On Saturday 23rd January, 2016, at 5.45pm, I’ve been invited  to discuss witch hunts past and present, both literal and metaphorical. This event will take place at the Arcola Theatre, Dalston, London, between the afternoon and evening performances of Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, and is free to attend.

Why not book to see the play on the same day?