‘Disability and the Tudors: All the King’s Fools’ gives a new view of Tudor England and the court. Phillipa thoroughly explores how disabilities were defined in those times, how disabled people were treated and what changes the effects of the Reformation had on their lives.
What was particularly fascinating for me, was the in depth look at some of the people affected by disabilities at court. These included the ‘natural fools’ Will Sommers and Jane, courtiers such as Lady Jane Rochford and also members of the royal family. A surprising picture emerges of Henry VIII towards the end of his life and Lady Mary Grey, youngest sister of Jane the Nine Days Queen, who’s disability may have shielded her from worse punishment when she married without permission during Elizabeth I’s reign. The author’s passion for the subject is clear and this is a very welcome addition to my Tudor book shelves.
Thank you to Pen and Sword History for my review copy.