Thursday, 24 March 2011

New book, Elizabeth Taylor and Royal Weddings!

Mary I by Hans Eworth, c.1554. The portrait was purchased for the National Portrait Gallery with the assistance of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (who passed away yesterday).

My first blog of 2011 focused upon upcoming works on Mary. Unfortunately I have little else to report on that front. I did forget to mention one publication – C.S. Knighton and David Loades, The Navy of Edward VI and Mary I (Ashgate, 2011). More information here:

Yesterday one of my favourite stars, Elizabeth Taylor, passed away in Los Angeles. You may wonder why I mention this on a blog on Mary Tudor. In her vast collection of jewels, Taylor owned a pearl believed to be "La Peregrina”, given to Mary by Philip of Spain upon the occasion of their marriage in 1554. Taylor and Richard Burton also helped purchased a Hans Eworth portrait of Mary (depicted wearing the pearl) for the National Portrait Gallery. Hope Walker, a PhD Student currently working on the works of Hans Eworth, has posted a fabulous article on Taylor’s contributions to the arts on her site:

I don’t need to reminder readers of this blog that we have a Royal Wedding fast approaching. Naturally this has prompted the publication of several books on royal marriages, including one by Shire Publications. I imagine that Mary and Philip’s wedding will be covered. Little fact for you all – Mary was the first of only two English/British queen regnants who married during her reign. After Mary (who married Philip in 1554), the next was Queen Victoria who married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. The other queen regnants married before their accessions or in the case of Elizabeth I remained unmarried.

And speaking of Elizabeth – today marks the 408th anniversary of her death. She died in the early hours of the morning at Richmond Palace with the archbishop of Canterbury, John Whitgift, by her side. She was subsequently buried in Westminster Abbey with Mary (can’t imagine either lady appreciated this. Oh well!)

On a personal note, I have recently gained a place for my PhD and have been awarded full funding. I am thrilled about starting this autumn! My thesis will not be on Mary because, whilst researching my MA dissertation on her (it was on Mary and her associates during the years c.1533-53), I noticed the lack of in-depth work on religious conservatives at court. I will therefore be working on this area, with my proposed time frame being c.1530s to 1558. Obviously Mary will play an important role in my research (I’m particular interested in the nature of support for her often synonymous with ardent loyalty to the Crown). One issue I look forward to researching is the supposed existence of a ‘Catholic party’ during Edward VI’s reign that wanted to make Mary the regent until the boy king came of age to govern independently. It is a fascinating concept but one I believe (so far) that Mary never supported.

Finally, congratulations to Gareth Russell on the 1st anniversary of his blog! His series of articles documenting Anne Boleyn’s downfall are a wonderful read.


  1. I enjoyed reading about the connection between Elizabeth Taylor and Mary, but I got the dreaded "404 Not Found" message when I tried to click on the link for Hope Walker's blog.

  2. Thank you!

    The link worked for me so I'm not sure what is going on with it. Here it is anyway:

    If that doesn’t work try:

  3. Thank you very much - that's very kind of you. And many, many congratulations on the Ph.D with full funding. I've just started work on my masters' dissertation on the household of Catherine Howard, but I have a friend who's looking for Ph.D research positions for the experience of late medieval childhood. Congratulations and thanks again for the mention!

  4. Thank you Gareth! Good luck with your MA dissertation; fascinating topic! I didn’t look at Katherine Howard that much during the course of my MA research, but I did become interested in her relation Katherine, Lady Rhys (later countess of Bridgewater) who was certainly a feisty figure. Unfortunately the households of the six wives have been examined in an inconsistent fashion. I found plenty on Katherine Parr and Anne Boleyn – and there is some excellent sources on Parr’s household in the BL – but there has been very little research on Katherine Howard’s. There is currently a PhD candidate in the US who is writing her thesis on Katherine of Aragon and Margaret Tudor’s households, and I was fortunate enough to hear her speak in London last year. I look forward to her work, and certainly to yours!

    You probably have come across this, but have you read Jennifer Rowley-William‘s PhD thesis on Tudor women? She dedicates one chapter to Jane Boleyn (an apt summary of this figure that predates, and in my opinion is fairer than Julia Fox’s effort). Naturally she discusses Jane’s involvement in the Katherine-Culpepper affair. The PhD can be downloaded for free via EThOS.

  5. very nice .. yesterday i was looking for the same topic but i didn't find any thing .. but after reading this i am very happy because finally i got it :) and thanks for the links i would like to bookmark your site can I ?
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