Friday, April 25, 2008

Question from Sarah - Book recommendations for entertainment, food, etc.

Could anyone recommend to me a book that covers entertainments, food, clothing etc during the reign of Henry VIII? I am a university student and so want something more than the basics.

Thanks

Sarah

5 comments:

Lara said...

Here are a few that come to mind (I'm sure the other regular commenters will have lots of good recommendations beyond these!).

For food - You might want to look for Alison Sims' "Food and Feast in Tudor England". I read it a while back and found it very interesting.

For clothing - there is a relatively new book callled "Dress at the Court of Henry VIII" by Maria Hayward, which looks to be for Henry's court what "Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd" (by Janet Arnold) was for the clothing of Elizabeth's time. Both are quite expensive, but you might be able to find library copies.

Anonymous said...

Alison Weir...
Henry VIII, The King and his Court.

It has everything...food, clothing, medicines, palaces...you name it and it's in there!

PhD Historian said...

To Lara's excellent suggestions, I would add:
On clothing:
"The Tudor Tailor: Reconstructing 16th Century Dress" by Mikahila and Malcolm-Davies (2006); "Fashion, Finance, Foreign Politics and the Wardrobe of Henry VIII" by Maria Hayward (2004); "Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory" by Jones and Stallybrass (2000).
Food and entertainment are a bit more problematic. Academic-type books of the kind you seem to be looking for on these subjects tend to be separated into several categories: court entertainment, progresses, and feasting; entertainment and feasting for the wealthy outside the royal court; the same for the "common man;" plus the theater as a separate category.
You might try searching around on the Royal Historical Society's Bibliography of British and Irish History Online. It's free and publicly accessible, though your university library probably also have a subscription.

kb said...

For food you might want to also look for 'Plenti and Grace' by Mark Dawson. He just finished an in depth study of the 16thc. Willoughby (elite family) households food consumption and recipes.

Cole's 'The Portable Queen: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Ceremony' has a couple good chapters on ceremonial entertainments - although not for Henry VII obviously. But her bibliography might get you started on something.

And last - I concur with phd historian's suggestion regarding the Royal Historical Society bibliographic web site. http://www.rhs.ac.uk/bibl/

I just did a quick search for 'entertainment' between 1500 and 1550 and got over 50 hits. They have linked entries to COPAC which looks for your search results in nearby libraries. At the very least your university librarian should be able to get them for you via inter-library loan.

Good luck with your research and keep us posted when you find anything interesting.

Tabitha said...

I haven't read any books from Henry VIII time, but I do have one that is a wonderful read from Elizabeth I time. "The Horizon Book of the ELizabethan World" author is "Lacey Baldwin Smith" 1922. It is a very detailed account of life from the Elizabethan era.