Posts in Category: Blog

Tudors – The Illustrated History


By Richard Rex, and with an introduction by me.

Richard Rex Tudors, an illustrated history

I was delighted to write the introduction to this splendid book by Richard Rex. Don’t miss this one.

The Tudor Period is regarded by many as England’s golden age, and still casts a spell over the public imagination. Whether it is the glittering rule of Elizabeth, the ruthless power of her father Henry VIII, or the bloody and radical reign of Mary, the Tudors remain the most fascinating English dynasty. Richard Rex looks at how the public and private lives of the Tudors were inextricably linked, and how each Tudor monarch exuded charisma and danger in equal measure.

Available from Amberley Publishing with 25% off the RRP in November 2014:
Or from The Book Depository

Review of ‘Thomas Cromwell’ by Tracy Boorman and ‘The Hollow Crown’ by Dan Jones

I’ve reviewed Tracy Borman and Dan Jones’s new books for the New Statesman – follow this link Behind the Mantel: in search of the real Thomas Cromwell.

To capitalise on the success of Wolf Hall or perhaps to offer an accurate historical account of Cromwell, there have been four recent or reissued biographies of Henry VIII’s first minister. Borman’s narrative adds a fifth.

Thomas Cromwell, Tracy Borman, Hodder & Stoughton, 464pp, £25 Tracy Borman Thomas Cromwell

Dan Jones Hollow Crown



The Hollow CrownDan Jones, Faber & Faber, 480pp, £20



BBC History Magazine Weekend in Malmesbury 2014

2014-10-18 16.18.51 Suzannah Lipscomb at MalmesburyThis year I was again delighted to be speaking at the BBC History Magazine Weekend in Malmesbury Abbey, and also to be interviewed by Sam Willis for a BBC History Magazine Podcast.

Leadership Lessons From The Tudors

Jardine Matheson photoI recently gave a talk at the Tower of London to Jardine Matheson Executives from Hong Kong on the leadership lessons we can learn from the Tudors (including what to avoid). Brilliant group; tremendous fun.

A Different Style of Student Life

Blown away by this wonderful piece about NCH (and flattering mention of me) in The Daily Telegraph by History student Hugo Stevensen.

Inspiration Awards for Women

2014-10-02 21.30.28-1I was honoured to be a judge at this year’s Inspiration Awards for Women. Here are some of the highlights from the 2014 Awards for Women supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer at Cadogan Hall, London, England. The event acknowledges inspirational women and raises money and profile for the charity.

My September History Today Column – Poirot or Scheherazade?

Poirot or Scheherazade? I ask: must historians choose between academic analysis and popular narrative, in my latest column in History Today.

New Book Soon

I’m cracking on with a new book - on Henry VIII’s last will – so hopefully some things will be coming your way before too long.

The Plantagenets

I spent 7th August recording a BBC History Magazine podcast interview about the wars of the roses, the fifteenth century, and the art and science of writing history, interrogating Dan Jones. The podcast is live on the BBC History Mag website. We also deviated into the writing of popular history, whether Richard III was a tyrant and other assorted matters

Dan is to present the book in a new series soon, which you must watch on Channel 5.

World’s Worst Natural Disasters

On 30 July, at 9pm, for those in the UK, I’m was one of ten presenters counting down the World’s Worst Natural Disasters on More 4. Mine was historic and devastated the globe in the 14th century, and it got No. 1 billing…

History Today Column – Feelings and Friendship in the Past

In my July 2014 column for History Today, I reflected on feelings and friendship in the past…. How Does It Feel?

Historians’ Question Time at Chalke Valley History Festival

I was on the panel for BBC4′s Making History at this years Chalke Valley History Festival? The other panelists were Jon Snow, David Reynolds, and Andrea Wulf. The programme was aired on 12th August, 2014.

Whilst there I also gave a talk entitled Magnificence, Love and Scaffolds.

The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

I was an historian among scientists at Cheltenham Science Festival today – speaking on the Mary Rose as a Tudor Time Capsule and Dying to be Beautiful.

Henry VIII’s Crown in 3D

We’ve 3D printed Henry VIII’s crownYou can get your hands on the world’s first 3D printed royal crown this week, 28-30 May at Hampton Court PalaceSee how we did it.

A Tudor Tour

I’ve devised and will be leading this Tudor Tour with Historical Trips in September 2015.

Do come!

New College of the Humanities

The week of 26th May 2014 was History Week at NCH, and New College of the Humanities is featuring one member of the History faculty via blogs and videos each day. This was my turn:

First Day of Filming of Hidden Killers of the Tudor Home

First day today filming the new episode of Hidden Killers, this time of the Tudor home. With Dr Steven Gunn, soundman Hywel Jones, executive producer Jobim Sampson, and the perfectly named cameraman, Tudor Evans.

For all you lovely people who might want to watch it, it will air as part of the BBC Wolf Hall season, probably in early 2015.

The Wright Stuff again

In advance of my Henry and Anne series, I joined the panel of The Wright Stuff as the day’s special guest on Thursday 20 February. We discussed Edward Snowden’s appointment as Rector of Glasgow University, why feminism is considered by some to be an ugly word, which period in history we’d like to return to with a time machine, and whether manufacturers should label alcohol with the number of calories it contains.

My Visit to the Set of The Great Fire

London's BurningOn 29th April, 2014 I went on the set of a new TV mini-series about The Great Fire of London which series began airing on 16th October. The cast is incredible: Jack Huston, Rose Leslie and Charles Dance (Game of Thrones – Ygritte and Tywin Lannister), Daniel Mays (whom I last saw in Mojo), Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Andrew Buchan and Perdita Weeks, whose sister I used to audition with as a child. And it’s written by: Tom Bradby, the ITV News Political Editor.

WWI Uncut – Myths and Confusion, with Dan Snow

In April 2014 Dan Snow and I pitched rival teams in a game across London to test the role of command and communications in WW1. Great fun! And is airing on iPlayer as part of the WW1 Uncut series.