By Susan Brigden
No interval in British heritage keeps extra resonance and secret for modern readers than the 16th century. For background buffs, or virtually any reader, the figures and occasions of Tudor Britain procedure these of delusion. Already released to severe acclaim in nice Britain, The Rule of the Tudors strains the direction and currents of this formative period from the secretive Henry VII and his captivating, capricious, ruthless Renaissance son, Henry VIII, to "Bloody Mary" Tudor and her nemesis, Elizabeth I, who trumpeted her adroit rule of a man's international with "the physique of a susceptible and feeble girl but...the center and belly of a king."
Above all, the Tudor epoch emerges as a battleground among the recent global of Protestantism and the outdated one in all unquestioned Catholicism-a nice non secular lease within the cloth of English society that underlies turbulence and carnage from Henry VIII's holiday with Rome to the specter of conquest through Spain. The Rule of the Tudors is an authoritative, impeccably written, and startlingly atmospheric heritage.
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Extra info for New Worlds, Lost Worlds: The Rule of the Tudors, 1485-1603 (Penguin History of Britain)
PENGUIN BOOKS THE PENGUIN HISTORY OF BRITAIN GENERAL EDITOR: DAVID CANNADINE NEW WORLDS, LOST WORLDS: THE RULE OF THE TUDORS 1485–1603 ‘[Brigden] has told her story with superb narrative flair, and has given her readers a vivid picture of beliefs and aspirations widely held among the Tudors’ subjects… a brilliant work of chiaroscuro… it will make a deep impression, and doubtless help to shape perceptions of the Tudor epoch for years to come’ Ralph Houlbrooke, The Times Literary Supplement ‘Susan Brigden’s profound grasp of her period is here brought to life with a wealth of significant details, contemporary voices and her own apt commentaries and comparisons… deserves to become a classic’ Jane Dunn, Literary Review ‘Brigden’s final achievement is her evocation of Ireland… Ireland’s troubles down the centuries always make heartrending reading: but here they have something of the power of a Greek tragedy – Irish style’ Antonia Fraser, Sunday Times ‘A thoroughly convincing picture… rich and thoroughly well informed.
The royal writ did not run in almost half of the far North. The Bishop of Durham ruled in the lands ‘between Tyne and Tees’, a palatinate where he exercised powers which, elsewhere, were monopolized by the Crown. The Archbishop of York ruled at Hexham. Annexed to the Borders were ‘liberties’ where royal authority had effectively been granted to Border barons, who held quasi-royal power. Unable to rule the far North without the greatest regional lords, kings granted sweeping military and civil powers to men whose wealth and power were already great, and then found themselves unable to control them.
In a firmly hierarchical society the knights, esquires and gentlemen looked to nobles for patronage and protection, and expected them to maintain and restore social peace by arbitration and reconciliation. Yet the gentry were also increasingly independent, self-regarding, and capable of managing both their own affairs and those of their county commonwealths, in which their collective wealth and land gave them so large a stake. The nobility, in their turn, looked to them for local support and the Crown looked to them to run the shires.