Dr Mickey Mayhew is the author of several history books including, ‘I Love the Tudors (400 Fantastic Facts’) and ‘The Little Book of Mary Queen of Scots.
His latest book, ‘House of Tudor: A Grisly Mystery’ was published in February by Pen and Sword History.
Buy ‘House of Tudor: A Grisly History’:
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Many thanks to Mickey for answering my questions.
Why did you choose this subject for your book?
I chose it together with my editor; we agreed that too many Tudor books gloss over the bad stuff and try to paint a portrait of the time as something easily digestible for a 20th century audience. I think most people like to think they could survive quite well in Tudor times but I imagine they’d be in for rather a rude awakening…
What does your book add to previous works covering this subject?
See the above answer! I felt it was time to strip away the sable wraps and the jewels and remind people what a terrible place it could be to live in.
Apart from ‘grisly’ did you have any other criteria for the events included in this book?
Oh, things like escapes featured heavily; Mary Queen of Scots was an expert on that score; assassinations plots…
What surprised you most researching this book?
That people in Tudor times just accepted this grim reality as their lot, whereas now we’d be quite horrified by things they didn’t so much as bat an eye at!
Why did you include Lady Jane Grey?
How could I not?! Her execution was one of those pivotal moments in what makes Tudor history so grim and grisly!
What is your favourite chapter?
Perhaps the one about the Babington Plot to free Mary Queen of Scots; secret messages in beer kegs, secret codes, an imprisoned queen – it’s like something from a novel!