‘Searching for a Portrait of Lady Jane Grey Dudley’ – Syon 3 April 2024

On Wednesday 3rd April, Stephan Edwards gave a talk about Lady Jane portraiture at Syon.

Syon is the home to a possible portrait of Jane. So it was wonderful to see the portrait before Stephan’s talk.

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Books 2024 – on sale now – 1000 Tudor People by Melita Thomas

(c) Graffeg Limitied

‘The incredible lives and deaths of 1000 Tudor people are explored in this authoritative single volume: royalty, military and religious leaders, Lords Chancellor, Knights of the Garter, philosophers, traders, gardeners, musicians, rebels, witches and many more feature in this illustrated compendium. Every Tudor follower should have this as their companion.’

From Graffeg.com

Further details – Tudor Times

Further details – Graffeg.com

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‘Young Elizabeth: Princess. Prisoner. Queen’ Interview with Nicola Tallis

‘Young Elizabeth: Princess. Prisoner. Queen’ by Nicola Tallis was published by Michael O’Mara Books on 29th February 2024.

Dr Tallis is also the author of ‘Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey’, ‘Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester’, ‘Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch’ and ‘All The Queen’s Jewels 1445-1548.’

Buy ‘Young Elizabeth: Princess. Prisoner. Queen’:


(c) Olivia Peters

Follow Nicola Tallis on Social Media:

Nicola’s website: Nicola Tallis
Twitter: @NicolaTallis

Many thanks to Nicola for answering my questions.

(c) Michael O’Mara

Why did you choose this subject for your book?

Initially, I didn’t choose this at all. I was originally commissioned to write a full biography of Elizabeth, but I got about nine months into the project before I realised it wasn’t working. For whatever reason something wasn’t clicking, and I knew that the part of Elizabeth’s story that most interested me was her youth – the path to the throne before the Virgin Queen came into being. To me it felt like there was a really good story to be told that was worthy of its own volume, and the process of reaching that point was completely organic.

What does your book add to previous work about Elizabeth I?

Hopefully a fresh and human perspective to Elizabeth’s story. Humanising the people about whom I write is something that’s really important to me, so it’s something I make a conscious effort to try and achieve as far as the sources will allow. I also feel that there are a few other new interesting titbits that readers should definitely look out for!

What surprised you most researching this book?

I would say the amount of surviving material we have for this period of Elizabeth’s life. Of course there are frustrating gaps, but there are actually so many of her letters that survive from the pre-queenship period – and most of them are such a joy to read! I definitely underestimated how many there were, and when you understand the context in which some of them were written – the Tide Letter, for example, written when Elizabeth was in fear for her life – they become even more meaningful.

Do you think that Elizabeth had any involvement in the Wyatt Rebellion? 

This is a really tricky question to answer, because it depends on what you would interpret as “involvement”. Do I think Elizabeth was aware of what the conspirators were planning and failed to tell Mary? Yes, I absolutely do. Do I think she played an active role in engineering Mary’s downfall? No, I don’t.

While a prisoner in the Tower of London, Elizabeth is recorded as asking ‘whether the Lady Jane’s scaffold were taken away or no.’  Was Elizabeth really in danger of execution?

Well, the point here is that she really believed herself to be in danger of execution. We know that Mary I was extremely reluctant to order Lady Jane Grey’s execution, and it was not a decision she made lightly – she was under so much pressure. I find it hard to believe that Mary would ever have really countenanced Elizabeth’s execution too, but in 1554 Elizabeth didn’t know that. Her teenage cousin of royal blood had just been executed, and Elizabeth was incarcerated in the same prison in which Jane – and her own mother Anne Boleyn – had lost their lives: it’s little wonder that she was fearful.

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Lady Jane gets a mention in the March edition of BBC History Magazine

(c) BBC History Magazine

The March edition of BBC History Magazine has an article by Nicola Tallis that briefly mentions Lady Jane.

‘Sisters at War’ looks at ‘the feuds that tore the Tudor sisters apart.’

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My review of ‘Tudor Feminists 10 Renaissance Women Ahead of their Time’ by Rebecca Wilson

(c) Pen and Sword History

‘Tudor Feminists’ looks at the lives of 10 women ranging from royalty (Queens and a potential heir to the throne) to landowners to a pirate. What these women have in common is that each in their own way can be seen to have fought against the restrictions placed on them by society.

By focussing on how they did this, the author presents a different perspective on the familiar lives of Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. I found it particularly interesting to learn more about Margaret Pole, Amelia Lanier and Grainne O’Malley and am always glad to see Arbella Stuart included.

If you want a brief but fascinating introduction to these women, then this is an excellent place to start.

Thank you to Net Galley and Pen and Sword for my review copy

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