About seven years ago I first got hooked on Tudor fiction. My mom had given me The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, and I couldn’t get enough. I started reading and viewing everything having to do with the Tudor time frame in history.
I found out I’m not alone! There are many of us out there. Here are a few things I’ve rec’d over the years that I’ve really appreciated.
I’m slightly in love with my Tudor action figures. I have a Henry VIII and an Elizabeth I that I got last year for my birthday. I keep them right in front of me on my desk so I can see them all day. My sister said, why do you have those stupid toys on your desk, and I said, those aren’t toys! They are action figures!
There is no end to books about the Tudors, and I can’t tell you how many I’ve read over the years. Seriously. For a while I had 20 books piled on my nightstand and they all involved the Tudors. I still read tons of Tudor fiction. Just when I think, okay I’m going to branch out…. I ended up reaching for another Tudor book the next time we hit the library or Half Price Books.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Other Boleyn Girl (but really, anything from Philippa Gregory – all of her Tudor books rock)
- The Queen’s Governess (Karen Harper is one of my favorite Tudor authors of all time)
- The Tidal Poole (Elizabeth I Mysteries, Book 2) (There is a whole series of these mysteries and they are great. One year my hubby found like five of them and I was overjoyed to get them all at once. I scooped them up and he didn’t see me again for days.)
- The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn (I love a lot of Robin Maxwell’s work, and was thrilled to have interviewed her last year.)
- Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII (There is also a video that goes with nonfiction book by David Starkey that is also great)
- The Sixth Wife: The Wives of Henry VIII
- The Secret Bride: In The Court of Henry VIII (Loved this book and also had a chance to interview its author, Diane Haeger.)
My favorite Tudor videos are the nonfictional variety, such as David Starkey’s Monarchy series. I couldn’t stop watching these disks, they were so darn good. The trouble I have with most of the fictionalized movies is that they take too much liberty with the facts. Still, I do enjoy watching The Tudors, even though they are widely inaccurate the series is so well done that you completely forget that Henry VIII really did have red hair, he got fat, old… LOL… all those pesky details that the writers of the show have overlooked. It’s done really well otherwise, and has really drawn in a lot of Tudor fans.
- The Other Boleyn Girl (2003 BBC Version) (This was the BBC version, which came out about five years before the Hollywood version. I didn’t care for the Hollywood version as much because the facts were really out there. But I did like the BBC version.)
- Elizabeth and Elizabeth and the Golden Age (Man, they did a great job casting Cate Blanchett in these movies. She does a wonderful job with Elizabeth’s voice, her hand movements – because Elizabeth was so very proud of her long fingers – and her actions. I loved both these films. Again, they take a few liberties with the facts, but it’s very well done nonetheless.)
- Lady Jane (This one is over 25 years old, and Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes both look like they are kids, but I liked it because it highlighted a period of time that often gets overlooked. Jane Grey was the “9 days queen” and this movie helps highlight her close relationship with Edward VI, her manipulation by her step-father and father-in-law, and her marriage to Guilford Dudley.)
- Henry VIII (This one was such a great flick, mainly because it had so many wonderful British actors. To this day, I think Ray Winstone gives the best portrayal of Henry VIII that I have ever seen.)
I could go on and on, but I think this sums up my favorites. Are you a Tudor fiction fan? What’s your favorite book, movie, figure, or other item?