Monday, May 20, 2013

Some Big Changes Are Happening Here! Read Below to Find Out What!

After a long and heartfelt decision making process, I've decided to close down The Tudor Tattler. My reasons are personal; I've recently decided to go back to school, have a full time job, and other familial obligations. I simply don't have the time to give it what it deserves.

I also want to devote what spare time I do have to The Tudor Book Blog, my original blog at Everything Tudor, and where my real passion lies. I'm a librarian and I love books. I want to focus on Tudor books, though I will still share interesting Tudor related news here and there.

Evelyn, a dear friend of mine, has recently decided to get into blogging. She is a PhD student and knows her stuff. I have passed on my idea for a Tudor Gossip Site to her, and boy has she done a lot with it! Her new site, which I ask that you check out and follow if you enjoyed The Tudor Tattler, is Anne Boleyn's Gossip Guide. Though it does feature Anne, it is about all Tudor and Renaissance history. She is studying Art History and will feature a lot of period pieces, along with informative and well researched articles on many Tudor people, places, and events. She is also going to review "The Tudors" episode by episode, offering insight into the truth behind the fiction, as well as fun bits, including surveys to see who had the best costumes and such :)

I want to send out a huge huge thank you to all of my readers and subscribers. I am still going to be running The Tudor Book Blog and will be focusing all of my attention there (along with its Facebook and Twitter feeds). I love you all and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with The Tudor Tattler and really look forward to see what Evelyn does with Anne Boleyn's Gossip Guide. Thank you all!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

English Architecture Lecture - Simon Thurley

I recently ran across a video featuring a lecture by Simon Thurley, author of one of my favorite books of all time, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England. Thurley discuss English architecture from 1530-1650 in this particular segment, but goes back to the middle ages and forward to more modern times in other segments. Here's the video which focuses quite a bit on several Tudor building projects:

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mary Rose Museum Set to Open on May 31st!

According to a new news article, the "secrets of the Tudor warship will finally be revealed on 31 May 2013 - at the very same dockyard where it was built over 500 years ago."

The opening marks 30 years since the hull was raised from where it sunk 437 years ago. New exhibitions, such as "Life Onboard," "Meet a Carpenter" and "Realities of Life" (using DNA research), will be featured.

The Mary rose was Henry VIII's great flagship. Its loss must have been devastating for the fiery monarch. Now, people can finally see it and its fascinating artifacts again!

Be sure to read more about it here.

You can also donate to the Mary Rose Fund here as well as learn more about the ship through a virtual exhibit.
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tudor Rose Seal/March Giveaway Winner!

A huge thank you to all who entered the March Giveaway! As you know, the prize is a brass Tudor Rose Wax Seal. I must admit, after receiving it in the mail, I really want to get me own! I know it is going to be a fun addition to any Tudor collection!

We had quite a few entries, many getting their name in the hat several times by "liking" us on Facebook and "following" us on Twitter. A BIG thank you for that!!! After compiling all the entries, I used to choose one randomly.

Without further ado, the winner is...


Please send me an email by April 9th at everythingtudor"at" or message Everything Tudor on FB to claim your prize!

Thanks again to all who entered!

We have a very special giveaway coming up this month, sponsored by author Sandra Byrd! More on that soon!
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Friday, March 29, 2013

Garden and Eat Like a Tudor

I stumbled upon an interesting article today which looks at what veggies were grown by Tudors, and which you can still grow and use today.

Be sure to check it out here.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

March Giveaway: Tudor Rose Wax Seal

To make things a bit easier on myself, I've decided to close down my Tudor Tattler Facebook Page and only post on the Everything Tudor Facebook Page. Since my overall website is Everything Tudor, and the Tudor Tattler is part of it, I am simply merging them.

I really appreciate all of my wonderful readers' support with all social media connected with this website. Please make sure to "like" the Everything Tudor Facebook page (for future updates from the Tudor Tattler) if you haven't already, as I will no longer be posting on the Tudor Tattler Facebook Page.

With that said, to celebrate this "merger," I've decided to giveaway something special this month:

A Tudor Rose Wax Seal. This lovely brass seal is engraved with a Tudor Rose, and works with all types of sealing wax.

How do you win this fabulous prize?

  • To get your name in the "hat" once, leave a comment here (you must do at least this to enter the giveaway).
  • To get your name in twice, "like" the Everything Tudor Facebook page OR "follow" me on Twitter. If you do both, you will get your name in three times! If you have already done one or both, let me know in your comment as it will still count.
You have until 12 am on March 31st to enter. The winner will be randomly drawn on April 1st and announced. Good luck, and thanks again for all the support!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Reconstructing Richard III's Tomb

Though this is slightly dated now, I thought it was still very interesting. Archaeologists have reconstructed what they think Greyfriars, the place which held Richard III's remains, looked like. It was originally constructed in 1230, and was one of the first Franciscan Friaries in England. Using old glass, stone, and foundations found at the site of Richard's dig, archaeologists were able to piece together what Greyfriars looked like.

This article goes into a lot more detail, as well as provides artists' reconstructions of what Greyfriars might have looked like inside and out! 
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Garden Archaeology at Hampton Court

Though this article is from 1994, I still found it extremely fascinating! It discusses the excavation of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court, originally built for Henry VIII, and later transformed by William and Mary.

After the fire at Hampton Court in 1986, historians at the palace not only restored the Palace interior, but also William III's Privy Garden. Using old plans and excavations, they were able to restore it to the best of their knowledge.

When built for Henry VIII, the Privy Garden severed 
"as part of a triangle of ground between the palace and the River Thames. To the west was the Pond Yard where ornamental pools were stocked with freshwater fish for the kitchens. To the east all types of game roamed in House (later Home) Park. Between these two ‘larders’ were the Privy Garden and Mount Garden, so named after a central mound with a banqueting house at the summit. A long building known as the Watergate linked the ensemble with the river and provided access not only for the King but also for important courtiers and foreign visitors, so that views of the Privy Garden would have been amongst their first impressions of Hampton Court. This was a ‘heraldic’ garden, laid out like a chess board, with individual squares filled with red brick-dust, white sand and green lawn. There were bushes, made into topiary that was clipped into human shapes and mythological figures. The whole was dominated by heraldic beasts on painted poles, designed as a display and reminder of royal power."
By the time of William and Mary, this type of garden was out of style, and the more modern symmetrical gardens seen today were installed.

The Recreated Tudor Garden
Read more about the archaeology and installation of William's garden here.

Luckily, a Tudor garden can still be seen at Hampton Court. I had the lucky experience of stumbling upon it during my last trip there. I happened to walk into one of the palace's many courtyards and found myself transported back to Tudor England (as if I hadn't already felt that walking through the Great Hall...)! The recreated Tudor Garden has been planted with herbs and flowers available in the 16th Century, as well as laid out with painted rails and posts, topped with heraldic beasts. Simply stunning.

Edit: After posting this article, I was contacted by a rep of Hampton Court Palace who passed along this link to me. It goes into a lot more current detail about the state of the Privy Gardens at Hampton Court palace, including information on restoring the Privy Gardens, information on why you should see them, and downloadable resources. Be sure to check it out!
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Execution of Katheryn Howard

"The Tudors" execution scene isn't very accurate (though it is sad and moving). I personally think the old "Six Wives of Henry VIII" does one of the best jobs in showing the mental (and physical) state of Henry and poor, young Katheryn. Though it doesn't show her execution, it does give her speech and preparation. What do you think?

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Monday, February 4, 2013

What If...Richard III Had Won the Battle of Bosworth?

With the recent discovery of Richard III's remains, I thought it would be fun to play "What if..." What if Richard III hadn't been killed at Bosworth. He hadn't been pulled off his horse and killed by angry soldiers, then paraded, naked, through the camp, only to be hurriedly buried in an ancient priory. What if he had won, and Henry Tudor had been either killed in battle or later executed for treason?

What events do you think would have followed Richard's victory?

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Henry VIII's Tomb

The picture to the right is of the marker denoting the current resting place of Henry VIII and his third wife, Jane Seymour. Considering how momentousness Henry was in life, one would think that his tomb would be just as "large" as he. It actually was meant to be, but due to poor planning, lack of funds, and other unfortunate events, Henry's monumental tomb was never completed. Bits and pieces of it remain, scattered about England, while other were destroyed or never created. This leaves one to wonder; if it had been finished, what would it have looked like?

According to contemporary sources from the reign of Henry VIII, the tomb was to be magnificent. Originally intended for Wolsey, Henry took the partially finished tomb as his own upon the Cardinal's demise. He, in true Henry fashion, placed his own spin on it. It was to be much grander than any other tomb of the period, including his father's at Westminster Abbey. A towering monument of stone, decorated with "fine Oriental stones" formed the main body of the monument.

A drawing of what Henry's tomb probably would have looked like, via
St. George's Chapel, Windsor.
A black touchstone sarcophagus adorned with life sized bronze statues of he and Jane Seymour was to lay atop the sarcophagus. Large white marble pillars with bronzed angels and statues of the apostles surrounded it. An altar was to be added near by, along with 9 ft tall bronze candle sticks. To top it off, a life sized statue of Henry on horseback under a triumphal arch. It would have certainly been breathtaking.

However, upon Henry's death, he was buried in a vault beneath St. George's Chapel with Jane Seymour, his monument unfinished. The plan for the tomb had changed several times. The first plan was to involve Katherine of Aragon. Due to the end of his first marriage,
An interior photo of the High Altar in St. George's Chapel,
showing (what I believe to be) replicas of Henry VIII's
bronze candlesticks.
as well as a change in artist a time or two, Henry came up with several other plans. The changing of plans, distractions by foreign wars, and the expense slowed down the process of the tomb. I suspect, Henry also might have not wanted the tomb finished before his death. He showed many times that he was afraid of his own mortality. Finishing the tomb would be a huge reminder of it. Thus, for these reasons (plus my own personal speculations) it was never fully completed. As I mentioned before, bits and pieces of it were actually finished, including the large stone sarcophagus adorned with Henry and Jane, the 9 ft bronze candle sticks, and some of the marble statues. However, the remainder of the monument was incomplete. Henry, thus, asked in his will that his tomb be completed.

A drawing of the vault beneath St. George's Chapel, showing
the coffins of Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Charles I, and
an infant of Queen Anne, from the 1813 discovery during William IV's reign.
Edward VI moved to finish the monument, but was unable to in his short reign. Mary did nothing, but Elizabeth did set up a type of committee to survey and see what needed to be done to complete it. However, later in her reign the plan was abandoned. During the English Civil War, what was finished of the monument was taken apart and sold. The effigy of Henry and Jane was melted down, and the large candle sticks made their way to St. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent. Charles I's body was quickly placed in Henry and Jane's vault after his execution. Later, an infant of Queen Anne was also placed in the vault. All were left unmarked. It wasn't until William IV's reign that the vault was re-discovered and a plaque (which is what we see today) was added.

Horatio Nelson's Tomb, originally intended for Henry VIII.
To get a sense of what splendor the tomb would have had, one can view a few pieces still surviving today. The large black touchstone sarcophagus was eventually re-purposed for Horatio Nelson, and can been seen in the crypt under St. Paul's Cathedral, while replicas of the 9 ft bronze candlesticks currently adorn the high altar in St. George's Chapel. Though it isn't much, it certainly sparks the imagination. And, as anyone who knows much about Henry VIII would conclude, the monument would have been one of the most beautiful and spectacular in England.

Source: Henry VIII's Tomb via the College of St. George.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Mystery of the Mona Lisa

Arguably one of the most (or perhaps most) famous paintings of all time, the Mona Lisa has captured the imagination of millions since its creation. But why? Certainly, it is a fairly small, simple painting of a lady. Nothing is too revolutionary about it...or is it?

Painted in the early 1500's (some say 1503, others 1516, with a few other dates thrown about) by Leonard Da Vinci, the Mona Lisa is thought to be the portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. However, the painting never made it to the family. Rather, Leonardo liked it so much he kept it, using it as a piece of propaganda in his travels, as a way to show potential clients what he could do.

 King Francois I bought the painting from Leonardo's assistant after his master's death, and hung it at Fontainebleau. Courtiers marveled at it. Contemporary sources were talking about the lady's mysterious smile even at this point. Mona Lisa was already becoming quite famous. in the 1600's, the Duke of Buckingham attempted to buy the painting. However, the King of France was begged by his subjects to not sell France's most valuable treasure. The Mona Lisa survived the Revolution and even had a short stay in Napoleon's bedroom before becoming a permanent fixture at the Louvre.

The Mona Lisa was quite revolutionary for its time. The use of light, color, and detail are unprecedented. Many paintings up until this point were colored drawings. Leonardo, however, perfected the sfumanto method of painting. There are no harsh outlines as before, but full strokes of paint, blended together to enhance light and color. Leonardo's paint strokes appear to be "invisible." Some researchers say he used a magnifying glass and painted strokes smaller than a pin head. Others say he layered paint upon paint, taking days to finish tiny sections of the painting.

Leonardo also slightly off-centered the lady's eyes and hands, causing an almost 3D affect which had yet to be seen. Mona Lisa appeared to be alive. According to Giorgio Vasari (1550), "As art may imitate nature, she does not appear to be painted, but truly of flesh and blood. On looking closely at the pit of her throat, one could swear that the pulses were beating."

Despite many today asking why the Mona Lisa is so famous, as it doesn't appear to be revolutionary, one must keep in mind that, in fact, it is. Louvre Curator Jean-Pierre Cuzin stated that, "The entire history of portraiture afterwards depends on the Mona Lisa. If you look at all the other portrait - not only of the Italian Renaissance, but also of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries...all of them were inspired by this painting. Thus, it is sort of the root, almost, of occidental portrait painting."

References from: The Mona Lisa: History's Most Famous Painting by Donald Sassoon.
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