29 July, 2008

They're Back....

Friday sees the return of "The Tooders" to UK television, with the start of Series II eagerly awaited by all serious history fans. The BBC have cleverly scheduled it in middle of the summer holiday, when there isn't much opposition - Poirot and Big Brother will be no match for the great Peter "retired Christian" O'Toole as the Pope (the wrong one, but never mind..).

No doubt we can expect more liberties with the facts for dramatic effect . As the Radio Times has it, "...even if some of the history is shoddy they make sure the costumes are based on fact - and they look a million ducats!" Fol de rol!

JRM reassures us that "We're not making a documentary for universities"....Oh yes you are. (Look out for the new distance learning M.A. in Media Studies with Tudor Option offered by the prestigious University of Hampton Court).

Alas no Wolsey, as he topped himself at the end of Series I . I predict a comeback in Series VI when it is revealed he faked his own death. Series III is already in production, with rumours that all 6 wives will be covered. Is anyone lining up to play Anne of Cleves? Will Jane Seymour play herself?

Should be fun.

Image: Anita Briem as Jane Seymour, The Tudors, source Wikipedia Commons

16 July, 2008

We Are Not Worthy!

The scene: the Great House of Easement, Hampton Court.
Henry VIII is reading correspondence whilst the Groom of the Stool busies himself.
There is a knock at the door.
Henry: "Enter".
Enter Cardinal Wolsey, obviously in a state of high excitement.
Wolsey: "Majesty, I bring you great news!"
Henry: "Catherine has agreed a divorce?"
W: "Not yet, Majesty. The news concerns my Blog"
H: "Oh that waste of the Lord's day. What of it?"
W: "It has been recognised by Professor Luker and is in His List"
H (suspicious): "Did you say Luther?"
W:"No Sire, Professor Luker of the house of Cliopatria in the New World"
H: "What of this List?"
W: "It contains a choice selection of eighty Historical Blogs, and can only bring further esteem for your reign and reputation".
H:"Are the French represented?"
W: "I do not think so".
H (looking pleased):"Hmm. And Spain?"
W:"Again they seem absent. I am sure you will not object to the presence of the Classics, and the East?
Henry:"I suppose not. But make sure all your posts, from now on, mention myself and are written in courtly style. Now go and sort out my Great Matter. "
Wolsey (withdrawing):"Of course, Sire."
Henry: "And ensure that this List is proclaimed throughout the Land"
Wolsey: "I'm right on it".

Here it is, subjects:

11 July, 2008

"Tudor Village" with WiFi

Hever Castle
Originally uploaded by youngie42

Hever Castle in Kent is best known as the home of Anne Boleyn. Next to the castle is what looks like a well-preserved Tudor village, but appearances can be deceptive.

The "Village" was in fact built in the early 1900's by William Waldorf Astor after he bought the castle in 1903. He asked architect Frank Loughborough Pearson to create a fine country house extension, and Pearson designed it as a collection of Tudor cottages.

Now the Tudor Village hosts corporate events and weddings, so you can have WiFi and Broadband with your Tudor atmosphere, without the damp and dodgy sanitation.

05 July, 2008

Recent YouTube uploads

Some recent YouTube uploads with Early Modern focus:

Anna Keay, assistant curator at the Tower of London, discusses the arrival of Elizabeth I at the Tower in 1554, suspected of treason against Mary.

Also uploaded (in 4 parts) is is David Starkey on Oliver Cromwell and the Civil War, from his history of the British monarchy

Ghosts of the English Civil War relates spooky encounters on the site of the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644.

Dylan Winter tells the story of "possibly our greatest naval humiliation": the Dutch raid on the Medway in 1667.