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The Real Prince of Roses by Alison Weir

Posted on: 08/11/2016 with tags: alison weir, Arthur, English History, henry viii, historical fiction, katherine of aragon, the tudors, Tudor

My forthcoming fictional e-short on Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, published on 10th November, is based closely on historical sources. My account of the Prince’s long-debated illness owes much to the ground-breaking research of Katherine of Aragon’s recent biographer, Patrick Williams. Thanks to his discovery in the Spanish archives of the testimony of Katherine’s physician, Dr Alcaraz, given in 1531 at Zaragoza, we can now be almost certain of the cause of Arthur’s early death. My own research…

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Henry VIII – tyrant or hero?

Posted on: 02/02/2016 with tags: alison weir, henry viii, Tudor

It’s easy to get the wrong idea about Henry VIII. Some see him as a Charles Laughton caricature, throwing chicken bones over his shoulder, changing wives and chopping off heads at a whim – or as a dangerously suggestible ‘great puppet’. The multiplicity of propagandist images of the mature King, which derive from Holbein’s ‘annihilating’ portrait, have overlaid all other perceptions the of younger, less embittered and tyrannical monarch. Henry was complex – you can’t just label him a monster, al…

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Christmas at the court of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

Posted on: 02/12/2015 with tags: alison weir, christmas, henry viii, katherine of aragon, Tudor

Henry VIII always kept the feast of Christmas with ‘much nobleness and open court’. It was incumbent upon kings to dispense hospitality throughout the twelve days of the festival, and in Henry’s reign more than a thousand people dined at court during the Yuletide season, and an Italian visitor noted that on one occasion the guests remained at table for over seven hours. All meats were carried into the dining hall with ceremony; far from confirming to the chicken-throwing image of Henry VIII popu…

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What if Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon had produced a surviving male heir?

Posted on: 21/11/2013 with tags: alternate history, anne boleyn, Art Under Attack, author blog, British History, Catholicism, debut novel, dissolution of the monasteries, henry viii, historical fiction, Iconoclasm, katherine of aragon, Margery Polley, Martin Luther, Mary Tudor, medieval england, plague land, Protestantism, puritans, Reformation, religion, religious history, rewrite history, s d sykes, Tate Britain, the tudors

by historical novelist S. D. Sykes A fragment of smashed glass. The defaced image of the Virgin. A decapitated effigy of the Christ child. All glimpses into an alternate history – the history of England, had a son of Catherine of Aragon survived to become King. Last week I visited the ‘Art under Attack’ exhibition currently at the Tate Britain – a look into the history of British iconoclasm. The part of the show which interested me most concerned the attacks on the art of the church – by the chu…

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