Ten Reasons to Love the Tudors, and a Giveaway!

Lately online, I’ve seen people here and there complaining that they’re tired of the Tudors, or simply don’t like them. Some people simply can’t forgive the Tudors for supplanting the gentle, peace-loving, Maypole-dancing Plantagenets (particularly the saintly Richard III), while others are just sick of the Tudors because they’ve been such an enduringly popular subject of books, films, and television.

Admit it. You do love him.

But what, you say? You like the Tudors? You like reading about them? You might even have the stray Tudor collectible in your house? Never fear! You’re not alone. Here are ten reasons to proudly stand up and proclaim your Tudorphilia.

  1. On Twitter, “Tudor” takes up a lot fewer characters than “Plantagenet.”
  2. If you don’t like one of Henry VIII’s wives, there’s always five more to choose from.
  3. They made great execution speeches.
  4. The Tudors had Charles Brandon, Robert Dudley, and Sir Walter Ralegh. Richard III had Francis Lovell. Ever heard anyone talk about the sheer animal magnetism of Francis Lovell? Neither have I.
  5. It is almost impossible to look bad in a Tudor gown.
  6. Without “Greensleeves,” what tune would “What Child Is This” have been set to?
  7. When you say you’re reading a book about Henry VIII, the chances are very slim you’ll have to explain who he is.
  8. Without Shakespeare, young men trying to figure out whether they should avenge their father’s death at the hands of their uncle would be at a total loss as to which literary character to compare themselves to, and star-crossed lovers would be seriously short of role models.
  9. The market for reproduction “B” pendants with pearls hanging from them would be practically nonexistent.
  10. Admirers of Richard III would have no one to blame for propaganda.

And since you probably like Tudor novels as well, here’s your chance to win mine! For the holidays, I’m giving away two signed copies of Her Highness, the Traitor, my novel about Frances Brandon, Duchess of Suffolk, and Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland. (Naturally, I’m not giving both of them to the same person.) You can enter on my blog, by commenting on this post on Facebook, or by commenting on it on Goodreads. Contest ends on midnight December 18, US Eastern Standard Time. Good luck, and I hope you’ll be getting some Tudor books for the holidays!

56 thoughts on “Ten Reasons to Love the Tudors, and a Giveaway!”

  1. I find the Tudors compelling, I have to say. Probably due to the fact that once I had read every pony book ever published as a child, my interests spread to historical novels and I read everything that Jean Plaidy had written and which our school library had on their shelves. The fact that you could marry a king and still be the focus of court intrigue which could topple you from poll position amazed me in my teenage naivity.

    Fingers crossed I might be lucky in your giveaway.

  2. Not to mention that if it weren’t for the Tudors, Thomas Wyatt’s poetry wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting! I mean, it’s possible to imagine him writing “Whoso list to hunt” about Elizabeth Woodville and “In Mourning Wise” about Hastings and Anthony Woodville but I don’t know, I’m not really feeling it. Without Wyatt and “Greensleeves”, pity all the poor novelists looking for period quotes :).

    It is almost impossible to look bad in a Tudor gown.

    Tudor headdresses, on the other hand … (actually, I have a weird affection for the gable hood, but “unconventionally attractive” is about the best compliment you can give it. French hoods are nice, but French).

    And I would love to enter the contest. Tudor books are always welcome here.

      1. I know — poor Anne Basset! With luck she just packed the French hoods away, knowing that within a few years there’d be another change of consorts and they’d be back in fashion again.

  3. Thank you Elizabeth I for proving to a disbelieving society that a woman could be an effective and powerful leader!

  4. Well – as you say, Susan, what’s not to love about the Tudors? For pomp and circumstance alone, they win hands down. And what about naval intrigue on the high seas? Or the Anglican church? Some even claim the invention of football in Tudor times and heaven knows where we’d be without that. Yes, you’re right. Tudor all the way.

  5. What about the romantic story of Mary and Charles Brandon? Margaret Tudor’s many marriages? Elizabeth’s favorites? Gossip-wise, the Tudor period was like an endless string of tabloids 😀

  6. Great list! While the 19th century is my favorite period I’ve found myself reading quite a few Tudors books this year, and feel none the poorer for it. Have you listened to the wonderful BBC History Magazine lecture on the importance of the Tudors? If not you can find it in their archives dated 11/8/12.

    And I would LOVE to win a copy of your book. I’ve not been entering blog contests because of the size of my TBR pile, but your book would be welcomed and would not linger long in the unread heap.

  7. I have only one thing to say about the Tudor era: Elizabeth I – enough said!!! Thanks so much for your wonderful books, Susan!


  8. Without Henry, we would never have had Charles Laughton throwing chicken bones over his shoulder!

  9. Can a girl love both Plantagenets and Tudors? It was basically a family feud after all, and who doesn’t love a family feud?

  10. The Tudors are a fascinating bunch. I can never get enough of reading about them.

    Susan – thank you for recently making ‘Her Highness’ so cheap for Kindle!

  11. What’s not to love about the Tudors? Drama, sex, intrigue, murder, torture, corruption, dysfunctional families – you name it, the Tudors had it.

  12. I love the Tudors! I can’t imagine ever getting tired of reading about them!

    Thank you for the chance to win!


  13. There always something new to read about the Tudors which for me makes them interesting, you just couldn’t invent them! As I put one book down I am off to find another! This leads me to saying that my bookshelves has got room for another one lol.

  14. I am fascinated by the Tudors. They reinvented theocracy, changed the purpose of government and The entire English world view.
    Of course, so did most dinastys but none of the others are any where near as much fun.– With the possible exception of Afred the Greats.

  15. I love it! I’ve been a Tudor fan since long before all the fanfare created by the edited for ratings Showtime series, so I have no trouble proclaiming it! Keep up the wonderful work! Cheers!

  16. my interest was always Elizabeth I until recently when I started reading about the Lancastrians and the Plantagenets. Actually I find most all of them very interesting. they all lived lives with no boundaries….who gets to do that?

  17. Without Henry VIII burning people at the stake, my town wouldn’t have had a community play, I wouldn’t have got to dress in a Tudor gown and plan a Tudor feast.

  18. “Some people simply can’t forgive the Tudors for supplanting the gentle, peace-loving, Maypole-dancing Plantagenets (particularly the saintly Richard III)”
    Love this line! Thanks Susan! You made me smile.

    1. Me too! It’s another example of what makes Susan such an enjoyable writer. I’ve been reading about the Tudors for over 40 years and will never get tired of them! (By the way, you don’t need to enter me in the contest because I already have this book. I snapped it up as soon as it came out!)

  19. Authors like you keep the Tudors fresh! I loved this book about Jane. You don’t write popluar cliches like so many authors now do. You do your own research and write new theories. This book on Jane turned everything I thought I knew about this time period on it’s head. I can’t wait for your next book!

  20. Have loved the Tudors since a child and always seem to find more characters that I wish to know more about such as the duke of Norfolk and his marriage together with his daughter duchess of Richmond. There

    Seems to be a unending list of fascinating people including strong women such as bess of hardwick, Catherine willoughby as well as the queens themselves

  21. Love this 10 reasons–what about5 if not for Henry, weightwatchers might never have come into being! I would LOVE to win one of your books! So, to quote the “saintly Richard III”–Children? What children?

  22. I was fascinated by ancient history with the Greeks when I was at university.
    Lately, as I have been doing some medieval research for a re-enactment group, I have found a love for the Tudors. I’ve since created my first Tudor dress, similar to one of Anne Boleyn’s and have began looking into making jewellery from the period as well.
    I have been trying to find some historically accurate books to read of the period as there are tons that are very fanciful but full of untruths. Would love to know more!

  23. Truly the Tudor era brought out the very best, and worst of people. Thats why we love ’em. Your book In Bed with the Tudors is on my christmas list I give my family( they are NOT good at thinking of things for me). I would LOVE a book on any of the Tudors. Thanks for a chance.

  24. Haha this was really funny. 🙂

    Being a historian and total tudorphiliac in Sweden I feel kind of like an outsider, so I’m Very grateful for The internet 🙂 I’m not alone!

    But Elizabeth should have married our King Erik The XIV. 😛 (no she shouldn’t really, he went insane….)

    Sorry for any errors, my Phone sometimes leads a life of its own.

  25. Pingback: Ten Reasons to Love the Plantagenets « The Pen and the Sword

  26. I basically live and breathe Tudor! I search endlessly for any Tudor book to shove before my eyes, the books I write are set in the Tudor era…. and I may have saved up and bought a Tudor style dress to look at! Glad to see so many others getting into the Tudor spirit. If I were wealthy I don’t think anyone could stop me living in a Tudor style home and collecting any Tudor antique I could find… sounds more obsessive than I thought actually…..

  27. Your Ten Reasons to Love the Tudors is great!

    I have traced and documented my ancestry to the Mayflower, whose passengers arrived here in 1620. I just may have a connection to the Tudor dynasty somewhere, if only I could find the link! I would like to read more books about the Tudors, as they are fascinating. There are so many kings and queens, I get terribly confused, so I need to add more authors and their books to my library. I have books on my shelves by Sharon Kay Penman, Hilary Mantel, C.J. Sansom, Nora Lofts, Margaret George and Philipa Gregory, but I don’t yet own a Susan Higginbotham book! PLEASE rectify this lack for me! I would love to win one of your books! And I hope you will autograph it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  28. Strong women, sex, politics, religion, frockage, constitutional history, murder, mayhem, war and a turning point in the history of England and all countries that base their law on Westminster. What is there not to love!!!

  29. Oh Best Beloved, I’ve loved the Tudors since… Before facebook. Before Showtime. Before CABLE TV! I had an adult library card at age ten. This reading led to the Plantagents, Wars of the Roses, Barbara Tuchman, and royalty of the isles. Having recently found ebooks, and gobbled your Traitors Wife and Stolen Crown, I’m a new fan gaining loyalty to you and your writing. Keep ’em coming!

  30. Dearie me.
    You really ought to let go of your obsession with Richard III. We know you hold some sort of position in the American branch of the Richard III society but seriously, have you considered counselling?

    Furthermore, if you set yourself up as a pseudo-historian/blogger, at least try to establish some facts before committing your unfunny ramblings to cyberspace.

    Jane Dudley was NOT Duchess of Northumberland. Please get your facts straight and while you are at it, do try to work on that ‘sense of humour’.

    1. I suspect there are three possibilities here:

      1. You are confusing Lady Jane Grey (married name, Jane Dudley) with her mother-in-law, Jane Dudley, Duchess of Northumberland, the heroine of my novel (married to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland).

      2. You are an idiot.

      3. (1) and (2).

      Anyway, no need to take my word for it when the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is around:

      Jane Dudley, duchess of Northumberland (1508/9–1555), noblewoman, was born in Kent in 1508 or 1509, being forty-six at the time of her death in 1555, the daughter of Sir Edward Guildford, administrator, and his first wife, Eleanor, daughter of Thomas West, eighth Baron West and ninth Baron de la Warr (1472–1554), soldier and courtier. She was a member of Anne Boleyn’s privy chamber and became interested in religious reform during the 1530s, even contacting Anne Askew during her imprisonment in 1545–6. Jane Dudley played an important part in her husband’s circle, with men like Sir Richard Morison and Gresham seeking her favour, although she suffered from poor health from 1548, when London surgeons considered amputating one of her legs. Despite her modesty (‘I have not loved to be very bold afore women’), she was a leading social figure at court from 1550 to 1553 (TNA: PRO, PROB 11/37, sig. 26). Like Northumberland she had a close relationship with her children, adding a postscript to a letter of 1552 or 1553 from her husband to their eldest son, Warwick, from ‘your lovynge mothere that wyshes you helthe dayli Jane Northumberland’ (Pepys MSS, 70, 1911, 1–2). She herself was sent to the Tower on 23 July 1553 but was released shortly afterwards. Initially she kept to herself. However, she petitioned to have her children restored to some favour and did what she could to provide for them financially. In her will she exhorted her executors to aid her brother-in-law, Sir Andrew Dudley, and her sons. She spent her final years at Chelsea and died there on 15 January 1555 and was buried there on 1 February.

    2. By the way, you did notice that this post was dated 2012, didn’t you? You’re way too late for the giveaway, I’m afraid.

    3. Dearie me, “Kathryn”. You really ought to let go of your obsession with Susan Higginbotham. I know you consider yourself some sort of historical authority on Richard III, but seriously, have you considered counselling?

      Furthermore, if you want to set yourself up as some kind of Facebook pseudo-historian, at least try to establish some facts (and invest in some anger-management therapy) before committing your spiteful, unfunny ramblings to cyberspace.

      As Susan has eloquently pointed out, Jane Dudley (nee Guildford, as distinct from Jane Dudley nee Grey) WAS the Duchess of Northumberland. Please get your facts straight and while you are at it, do try to work on that ‘sense of humour’ and your trolling skills. Epic fail on all counts.

    4. I don’t want to fan the flames of the fires of Stupid, or anything… but maybe you should stop making a fool of yourself, now? One day, you may actually learn something, look back on this and wish you hadn’t bothered.

  31. Kathryn Morris you say Susan needs counseling yet you spend your days stalking her blog and seething over her work. Who needs counseling ?

    1. I don’t know, ladies. She might have a point. I think the fact that none of my recent posts have actually been about Richard III proves my obsession with him. Because if I wasn’t obsessed with him, I’d obviously be posting about him. Right?

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