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Articles in A Year With The Tudors

A Precedent Whilst the World Stands

October 1st, 2017
A Precedent Whilst the World Stands

In addition to the pageantry, marital eccentricities, and political fireworks, the Tudors were also industrious religious persecutors. As “A Year with the Tudors” continues, a vivid new book tells the stories of the martyrs burned by Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I.

The Clean Light of Morning

September 1st, 2017
The Clean Light of Morning

It wasn’t a fat, sick, wife-killing madman who came to the English throne in 1509 – as a new book reminds readers, it was a glorious teenage prince.

The World in Her Image

August 1st, 2017
The World in Her Image

Bestselling author of Tudor historical fiction Philippa Gregory takes up the familiar tragedy of Lady Jane Grey – and her forgotten but equally compelling sisters – in her new book, as A Year with the Tudors II continues.

The Sooner Disquieted

July 1st, 2017
The Sooner Disquieted

What compromises did women in Tudor England face? What joys? What prospects, if any, for fulfillment? A sweeping new history cross-sections the issue.

The Most Happy

June 1st, 2017
The Most Happy

As she did with Katherine of Aragon, Alison Weir gives Anne Boleyn the saintly treatment in her new novel. But does Anne, like Katherine, deserve it?

The Face in the Locket

May 1st, 2017
The Face in the Locket

Margaret Douglas was the niece of Henry VIII – and a tireless, lifelong schemer and rule-breaker. A definitive new biography portrays the life of the woman who was almost Queen Margaret


April 1st, 2017

“A Year with the Tudors II” continues with a comprehensive new biography of King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, the flighty teenager Catherine Howard.

A Year with the Tudors II: A Flash, a Thud, a Crimson Deluge

March 1st, 2017
A Year with the Tudors II: A Flash, a Thud, a Crimson Deluge

Poor innocent Lady Jane Grey has been an ostentatious martyr to the Protestant cause for centuries; a new book tells her brief but familiar life story as continues.

Book Review: Hardwick Hall

February 2nd, 2017
hhall stairs

The great old fortress of good taste, Hardwick Hall, is the focus of a beautiful new anthology of essays on the place’s storied art and architecture

A Year with the Tudors II: Have You Heard It?

February 1st, 2017
A Year with the Tudors II: Have You Heard It?

A new book on the famous Tudor dynasty promises that most alluring of all perspectives on royalty: the back-stage details. But can it succeed? A Year with the Tudors continues.

A Year with the Tudors II: “You Are My Grace”

January 1st, 2017
A Year with the Tudors II: “You Are My Grace”

Jane Seymour is in many ways the most elusive of all the wives of King Henry VIII, dying just weeks after giving the king his longed-for male heir. A new novel delves into the human connection between Henry and his third wife.

Keeping Up With The Tudors: Bernard’s Theorem

July 1st, 2010

At her trial, Anne Boleyn was accused of adultery, witchcraft, and incest – charges long mocked by historians. But a new book asks: is it possible Anne was actually guilty?

The Fixer

November 1st, 2009

Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novel Wolf Hall recently won the Man-Booker Prize. Each part of that sentence was guaranteed to attract Steve Donoghue’s attention.

‘To the Great Infamy of the King’s Highness’

August 1st, 2009

Church and State collided in Henry VIII’s England, and Durham Cathedral was caught in the middle. Steve Donoghue returns to his Tudor beat to review Geoffrey Moorhouse’s The Last Divine Office.

“For I am a Brid of Paradise”

December 1st, 2008

The kings and counts of Tudor England wouldn’t have known the name of minor Cheshire landowner Humphrey Newton, but in reviewing Deborah Youngs’ book on the man, Steve Donoghue illustrates just how much Newton can teach us about the era. “A Year with the Tudors” concludes here.

They Were Almost Tudors

November 1st, 2008

In the penultimate installment of his “Year with the Tudors,” Steve Donoghue pauses to consider some of the young men and women who didn’t quite make it onto the roster of Tudor monarchs.

The Master Touch: One Encounter with Shakespeare’s Henry VIII

October 1st, 2008

William Shakespeare lived under the Tudors for most of his life, but he only wrote about them once, in his play The History of the Life of King Henry VIII – or did he? In our latest One Encounter, and also the new installment in his “Year with the Tudors,” Steve Donoghue takes a look at that play and the fractious theories attendant.

A Difficult Woman

September 1st, 2008

Mary Tudor’s fierce Catholic faith and merciless persecution of Protestants gave her the immortal nickname of “Bloody Mary.” In our ongoing feature A Year with the Tudors, Steve Donoghue reviews Linda Porter’s The First Queen of England: The Myth of “Bloody Mary.”

Q & A with Linda Porter

September 1st, 2008

An in-depth addition to our Year with the Tudors: Open Letters chats with a writer equally hip-deep in the subject, Linda Porter, author of The First Queen of England: The Myth of “Bloody Mary.” Our first Q & A!

My Eyes Are Up Here, Milord

September 1st, 2008

There’s something going on in the latest trend of Tudor book-covers, and we’re not sure what it is, although a pair (shall we say?) of aspects is quite obvious. What are these publishers thinking? Take a look for yourself! and a second look! and a third!

Worthy of a Tale or Two

August 1st, 2008

Without him, there would be no “Year with the Tudors,” and in the latest chapter of his year-long feature, Steve Donoghue examines Henry Tudor, who took the crown from Richard III at Bosworth Field and became Henry VII – the first Tudor monarch.

Extravagant Things

July 1st, 2008

There is so much Tudor fiction in our world today that no one but the Tudors themselves could justify the extent of it. Even Steve Donoghue can’t read it all, but he has read more of it than is healthy, and he reports back in this installment of his “Year With the Tudors.”

Behind the Scenes of Tudor Fiction: an Excerpt and Dissection

July 1st, 2008

An excerpt and dissection of Steve Donoghue’s Tudor novel Boy King

Lady in Waiting

June 1st, 2008

Alison Weir’s new novel The Lady Elizabeth evokes the snakepit of internecine maneuverings, dynastic labyrinths, and the lunges of religious zealotry that characterized the age named for the lady in question. Steve Donoghue’s “Year With the Tudors” continues here.

Anything that Moves: The Tudors on Film

May 1st, 2008

More than any other dynasty in history, the Tudors are ready for their close-up. In this installment of his “Year with the Tudors,” Steve Donoghue leads us on a royal progress through film archives to access the heart and stomach of these undying superstars.


April 1st, 2008

Jane Boleyn took the witness stand and falsely testified that her brother committed incest with her sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn. In this installment of his “Year with the Tudors,” Steve Donoghue tries to fathom the motives of such slander.

Proud Boy

March 1st, 2008

Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey: commander, courtier, poet. In this installment of his “Year with the Tudors,” Steve Donoghue tells the story of how such an extraordinary young man fell foul of Henry VIII.

‘What Wickedness is Here, Hooper?’

February 1st, 2008

Steve Donoghue continues his “Year with the Tudors” with this look at Chris Skidmore’s biography of Edward VI, the ill-starred son of Henry VIII who might have been the most formidable Tudor monarch of all.

When You See Me, You Know Me

January 1st, 2008

As Steve Donoghue writes, the epitome of what a monarch can be was embodied in the massive form of Henry VIII, and not a year passes without another biographer struggling to tackle the man and his legacy. 2007 was no different….