Sun, 03 May 2015
The Tudors Peter Out

Tudors
By Peter Ackroyd

After all the Mantel and Cromwell, have I reached Tudor overload? No, not yet. It's just a fascinating period and there's usually something interesting to learn, or a better way to say something.

Peter Ackroyd's book is the second in his history of England, and the first I've read. He's a good writer who loves his subject and this was no exception. It's quite a worn path, but he still manages to bring some fresh words to the story of the monsters: Henry VIII and many of his associates.

The 16th Century was the age that the outlines of the modern state started to become visible, if only in small ways (and not necessarily good ways). Although the next century saw a civil war, the Tudor century was as revolutionary: reformation, heresy, protestantism, dissolution and supremacy. A massive rupture with the past.

Great stories, and some classic of course, but it is hard not to come away with a severe aversion to an aristocracy that treated so many people so badly, and in such an arbitary way, Magna Carta or not.

Roll on the Revolution ...

Maybe "No Tudor overload yet" but also reminded that I've not written any thoughts about the recent BBC Wolf Hall TV production. I really have to get round to this.