We do typically talk about the women. History Chicks: It’s not just who we are, but what we discuss. But this time? We needed to talk a bit about The Roosters.
Yes, we will devote the rest of this series to the women, but we have to give you a teeny, tiny Tudor tutorial to set the stage. And that kind of talk requires us to focus on the men.
But before we do all that, can we just carry on..again…about the names? It wasn’t just our imagination! We’ll throw out some stats in the podcast about the repetitiveness of certain names. In this case: Richard and Henry, with a few Edwards thrown in for good measure. Really! It makes looking back so very confusing!
Back to the Tudors. As a family, they only ruled for a historically short period of time- only three generations, 118 years. That’s it. But in that time we had some seriously note worthy rulers! But first, they had to take power. The Wars of the Roses had been going on for a few decades. Unlike the. fairly easy to understand line to the throne of the modern British monarchy,this time period was rather fuzzy. Two houses, Lancaster and York, played a tug of war of sorts back and forth for quite some time. We give you the skinny on the real flags they fought under (the macho red dragon), but time has simplified the images down to two roses: The House of Lancaster represented by the red rose badge, The House of York by the white. Years later Shakespeare would use picking of roses as a choosing of sides analogy, and many years after that the phrase,”Wars of the Roses” was coined in a Victorian novel by Sir Walter Scott. But the real battles were neither cute nor as sweet as a rose.
We talk about all of it in the podcast: how the two branches of the same family, fueled by generations of feuding and slaughter, eventually ended up in a battlefield with two men in the lead: Richard III (York) and Henry Tudor. How Henry Tudor whipped himself up a nice little army, and how Richard III had lost some admirers (that happens when you kill them) and didn’t really have the military backing necessary to fight. Richard fell. Hard. Dead. And Henry picked up the crown.
As Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, he married Elizabeth of York. This union combined the Houses and (someone, maybe his PR people) developed the the emblem that we associate with the Tudors, the combined white and red roses.
In the podcast we give a little bit more detail into these lives and times that are quite complicated; but if we had to sum up all those men in just a few words it would look like this:
Henry VI- Coo Coo
Edward IV-Not taking anyone’s crap
Richard III- Scar, from The Lion King
Henry Tudor/ Henry VII- Grandpa King
Henry VIII- Dirty Rotten Scoundrel
Edward VI-Child Puppet
THEN we get to the women, the first British Queens:
And that is where the Tudor Dynasty ends. But not our series! Next time we dive back into the founding mother and grandmother of this family!
Time Travel With The History Chicks
Honestly, we could list and list and list, and where to start? We thought a good idea might be to read some historical fiction to begin. Yes, it’s fabricated stories, but they might give you an image to hang facts on, give you colorful ideas about the times. Who do we like? So many to pick from…how about Phillipa Gregory?
Of course, we also like Non-fiction for this background study (of course we do!) Alison Weir!
For you visual learners, skip on over to Netflix and stream David Starkey’s: The Monarchy. If you only have a little time, and want to be topic specific watch Season One- Episode Six, then Season Two- Episode One.
Got kids? Or just like your information boiled down to the basics? Project Britain is a website jam packed with information.
And for a website with lots and lots of information (as well as daily Today in Tutor History tweets) The Tudor Tutor