Saturday, 31 October 2009

British Library Visit.

Last week I had the great pleasure, after much planning, to visit the British Library for research that I am doing for my MA dissertation.

I do not live in London so it was quite a long journey to get there by train, and it also meant it would be an overnight stay. This was fine as it meant that I would get lots of research done on the days that I was there. I have been to the British Library before. We found it by accident when I was in London in May and we attended the exhibition that they had there on Henry VIII. It was then that I found a document on display that I knew that I would need for my dissertation. It was a fantastic exhibition, and it was even more great that I knew I would have to come back later on n the year.

Nothing prepared me for such a great visit. The first day was filled with trains and then registration at the library where I got my library card. I ordered some of the documents I needed for the next day and then we went to the hotel.

Next day bright and early I get to the library, I pick up some of my documents and I go and sit in the Manuscripts reading room. Now I have been studying history for seven years now, so I was not wholly suprised by what I was met with. Nothing printed at all like the Calendar papers, but hand written throughout. Making out what was being written was interesting. I think that I need to take a course in reading early modern writing, but I could make out enough and thankfully most of my documents were in English. Even the ones that were in Latin were interesting, and I could take much away from them. Even if it was just talking about the style of writing, and who it may have been addressed to.

The visit did something that I have never really experienced with the printed documents before, it brought the people of the time alive to me. I could look at the pictures and heraldry that a real person had drawn with ink and parchment. You could imagine the king or councillors writing the document for the first time. (perhaps that is the author in me though) Needless to say that it was something special to see the originals, as this was the first time that I had the opportunity to look at them. I see now why historians say you should look at the original sources. They do so much more than the printed ones do, they give you a glimpse into someone's life. It reminds you that person once existed. Its personal like letters as opposed to email which can be rather impersonal.

The other great thing about the library was the fact that everyone was working! I know you would expect that from any library, but in our uni library some people are more interested in their iPods and chatting, than their work. In the BL everyone was quiet, if the computers were on, it was not to surf facebook, but to make their notes. It was quiet, but that did not matter because everyone was embroiled in their own work.

To sum up, a fantastic visit. I am looking forward to my visit to The National Archives and hoping that it will be just as fruitful ad this one!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

History Picks of the Week

Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing some things to get this blog noticed a little bit more, so please do check out this blogs new twitter account. It will offer up to the minute updates and maybe a few little other extras too.

Now on to the history picks. While I am researching/thinking/writing the next feature I thought I would make you all aware of some blogs that I have come across that people interested in Early Modern (Tudor/Stuart) history may be interested in looking at.

Academic News: This is a brilliant site for all academic related news:

News Picks:

Tracy Borman's book on Elizabeth I's women is book of the week on BBC radio 4: Listen to some of the book here:

Mary, Queen of Scots last letter on display:

Futuristic home of Tudor history planned in Portsmouth:

Article Picks:

I found this fascinating article at John Dee: Guardian Newspaper:

The Elizabeth Files: The most recent article is about Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester written by historical novelist Jeane Westin.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

BBC History Magazine Podcast

Very recently I began to listen to my podcasts again. They always help with my work and as a result I feel less inclined to spend hours on the internet, and consequently not really working at all.

As I flicked through my podcasts, I found all my old favourites. My comics podcasts, anime casts and several writing ones. It then occurred to me that I had not history podcasts. So I went to the iTunes store and went looking. There was not a great selection, although if you are into military history its worth looking into. I did find one little gem though, that being the BBC History Magazine Podcast. Very informative, and brilliant for those who cannot always afford the magazine, but want to get their historical fix. I have listened to a few episodes recently and I would highly recommend it.

September Issue includes:

A Second World War special by Dr Dan Todman.

The Battle of Quebec by Dan Snow

Elizabeth I's Ladies by Tracy Bowman.

Monday, 17 August 2009

New and Upcoming Releases

Hello again.

I have always found these lists rather interesting, and very useful. So I thought I would compile one myself. Below you will find a list of new and upcoming releases in Tudor History, as well as in Historical Fiction. I hope you find it as useful as I find them. Click on the link for their amazon page and more information.

Recent Releases:

The Sisters Who Would be Queen: Leander De Lisle

Jane Seymour: Elizabeth Norton

Philippa Jones: The Other Tudors: Henry VIII’s Mistresses and Bastards \

Josephine Wilkinson: Mary Boleyn The True Story of Henry VIII’s Mistress

Lacey Baldwin Smith: Catherine Howard

Eamon Duffy: Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor

Alison Weir: The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Upcoming Releases:

Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery: Eric Ives

Elizabeth Norton: Anne of Cleves Henry VIII’s Discarded Bride

Elizabeth Norton: Anne Boleyn Henry VIII’s Obsession

Josephine Wilkinson: The Early Loves of Anne Boleyn

Chris Skidmore: Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley, and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart.

Historical Fiction:

Philippa Gregory: The White Queen

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Thanks for Visiting: More content coming soon.

Hello visitor, and welcome to my history blog. I know that I have not been here of late, but if you have visited then thank you very much. I hope you like what is to come.

I have some plans for this blog, however, at the moment I am working on my thesis for my Masters degree. Fear not though as this blog will be back up and running soon enough, please bear with me a little longer.

Flavour of the past will be the first series of articles that I am hoping to post up. These will range from book reviews right up to me flexing my own historical muscles and bringing you my own little flavour of the past. For now this will mainly focus on the Tudor period, but this is only one theme of many that I would like to cover in this blog.

I hope that you enjoy what is to come. I am working on getting the first installment to you as soon as I can. Thank you for bearing with me, and thank you again for visiting.

Anna ^_^

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Portrait of Elizabeth of York Unveiled at Hever

Here is a link to the unveiling of a portrait of Elizabeth of York, Queen to Henry VII

It marks the 500th Anniversary of the accession of Henry VIII on 21st April

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Theology Public Lecture at Swansea University.

I thought that I would draw attention to this lecture that is being held at Swansea University on 5th Feburary at 7pm.

'How Bloody was Bloody Mary' Professor Eamon Duffy.

I am extremely excited about this, and hope to attend. For more information on the lecture and indeed the speaker click on the link below,30061,en.php

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Flavour of the Past: Introduction

Oh goodness. I have just realised how long it has been since I have updated here, and I think it has been a while too long. So whilst sorting out bits of other History projects I was working on, I started to think of an ongoing series that could be posted here. So I introduce to all Flavour of the Past. This will be an ongoing series of history reviews, updates on historical happenings around the country and sometime I will even put my own two peneth in with some historical musings of my own.

I am not entierly sure where I am going to start, I am certainly hoping to update monthly if not bimonthly when possible. Look out for the first enstallment coming soon.