Saturday, 10 May 2014

Inside the Tudor Court

I attended the launch of Lauren Mackay's Inside the Tudor Court yesterday evening near the Barbican in central London. It was a great event - lovely to meet Lauren.

I am looking forward to reading the book, it looks absolutely fascinating and is an excellent subject. Eustace Chapuys, who arrived at court during Henry VIII's attempts to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, became her champion. He remained at court through the king's Great Matter, the queenship and fall of Anne Boleyn, as well as the reigns of Henry's later wives. He left court not long before Henry VIII's death, after having a touching last interview with Princess Mary and her last stepmother, Catherine Parr.

I always think that Eustace Chapuys is the forgotten man of the Tudor court. We get so used to using him as a source that it is almost as if his agency and presence in the events that he described are forgotten. I am particularly interested in reading Lauren's take on Chapuys' role in the fall of Anne Boleyn - he was right at the centre of events and his dispatch about a meeting with Thomas Cromwell not long before Anne's fall is a very important source for the events of May 1536. Did Chapuys - the Imperial Ambassador - really help to bring down a queen?

You can also read extracts of Chapuys' dispatches in my book, The Anne Boleyn Papers (Amberley, 2013).


  1. I bought the book a few weeks ago, and like you, I am looking forward to read it. I find the Tudor era a very fascinating one, and my pile of Tudor books is growing. There are more people who I would love to read about though. Rafe Sadler sounds like a very interesting person to me.

    1. Hi Debby, it looks like a great book. I know what you mean about having a pile of books to read, I've run out of shelf space!