How to be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life
The real Wolf Hall - a time traveller's guide to daily life in Tudor England
The Tudor era encompasses some of the greatest changes in our history. But while we know about the historical dramas of the times - most notably in the court of Henry VIII - what was life really like for a commoner like you or me?
To answer this question, the renowned "method historian" and historical advisor to the BBC Ruth Goodman has slept, washed and cooked as the Tudors did - so you don't have to! She is your expert guide to this fascinating era, drawing on years of practical historical study to show how our ancestors coped with everyday life, from how they slept to how they courted.
Using a vast range of sources, she takes you back to the time when soot was used as toothpaste and the "upper crust" of bread was served to the wealthier members of the house. Exploring how the Tudors learnt, danced and even sat and stood according to the latest fashion, she reveals what it all felt, smelt and tasted like, from morning until night.
'Ruth is the queen of living history, long may she reign!' - Lucy Worsley
Most historians simply research the past; she lives it ... she's experienced almost every activity she describes. This book is packed with delicious kernels of knowledge ... all served up by the most delightfully eccentric author I've ever encountered. Seldom have I had so much fun reading history. Seldom have I learnt so much. (Gerard DeGroot The Times)Always entertaining, and her narrative is often lifted by the fact that she has taken the trouble to experience many of the alien aspects of Tudor life ... This imbues the book with a palpable sense of the texture of our ancestors' day-to-day lives (Observer)Riveting. This is a real "people's history" that takes us straight into the sensate feelings of ordinary life -- the feel, touch, smells, and labour of people living five centuries ago, giving an earthy reality to our enduring fascination with the Tudors (Juliet Gardiner)A deeply researched and endlessly fascinating account of what it was like to live as a Tudor.The narrative is rich in period detail and based upon a thorough review of the contemporary sources, but what makes it unique is the fact that Goodman has put it all into practice - sleeping, eating, washing and dressing like a Tudor.As a result, How To Be a Tudor is one of very few books which can justifiably claim to bring every aspect of this enduringly popular period dazzlingly to life. (Tracy Borman, author of 'Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant')Ruth is the queen of living history, long may she reign! (Lucy Worsley)Fascinating immersive history (New York Times)Leisure activities like dancing, gambling, and trips to the bear-baiting arena are brought to life by imaginative readings of primary sources... Common wisdom on everything from the healthiest sleeping position (on the right) to how to conceive a male child (by tying a ribbon around the left testicle) rounds out this engaging, erudite guide (New Yorker)Goodman's latest foray into immersive history is a revelation ... It's the next best thing to being there (Sarah Ferguson New York Times Book Review)Her enthusiasm is exhilarating and contagious; her writing is clear and clean, sharply observant of tactile details and what they reveal about 16th-century life (Boston Globe)Engagingly written and awash in the practicalities of life in the age, it presents a vivid, fascinating era of British history and reminds us that we're never as far from the past as we like to think (Genevieve Valentine NPR)Immersive, engrossing (Laura Miller Slate)Written with such passion . . . will fascinate and inform anyone who is interested in Victorian ways of life (Dr Ian Mortimer, author of 'The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England' on 'How to Be a Victorian')If we ever have a female Doctor Who, I shall forward Ruth Goodman's name for consideration, not least because the historian has already done so much time travelling (The Times)Wonderful, informative, startling . . . Goodman's unique selling proposition as a historian is that she walks the walk of her time period, even when that walk involves hard labor in a corset and a hoop skirt (New York Times (on 'How to be a Victorian'))Must-read! (Daily Mail)Goodman's passion for her subject... comes across loud and clear (Yorkshire Post)
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Access To History: Henry VIII and the Reformation in England 2nd Edition by Randell, Keith (March 2, 2001)