Sunday, August 08, 2010

Question from Sarah - Other Tudor figures needing biographies

This is inspired by the Margaret Douglas question. Which Tudor people do you think most deserves a biography and doesn't have one?


Lara said...

Anyone who knows my interests will not be surprised when I say Jasper Tudor! :)

There are definitely others, not to mention some who should have updated or more scholarly biographies.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Agreed about Jasper Tudor. There's an older PhD dissertation about him that I keep hoping will show up as available for download on ETHOS.

Are there biographies of the Seymour brothers?

Lara said...

Roger Thomas' dissertation about Jasper is available somewhere, but I don't remember which database I got it from. It was something I had access to from my university's library - one of the benefits of staying in academia!

I was SO excited when I was finally able to get it digitally since getting a physical copy of it wasn't going to be easy. Drop me a line and I can get the PDFs to you.

Sarah said...

Incidentally, my votes are for both Elizabeth Brookes, the adulterous wife of Thomas Wyatt (who I think is now the subject of a Kate Emerson fiction book and mentioned in books on Thomas) and Elizabeth Brooke, wife of William Parr and close friend of Elizabeth I (extensively discussed in Susan James' first edition of Kateryn Parr, but I've never seen her elsewhere).

There is a book on the Seymours, Ordeal by Ambition, but there's certainly room for another one, and that one is now nearly forty years old and I think written by a family member. Certainly a Lord Protector of England deserves his own biography. I'm also intrigued about the adultery between Edward's wife and father.

I know so little about Jasper Tudor. What a shame to write a PhD and not turn it into a book. Maybe the writer will convert it at some point.

Andrew said...

George Boleyn or Thomas Boleyn

Sarah said...

Who do you think needs more updated or scholarly biographies, Lara?

Lara said...

Re: Turning the dissertation on Jasper into a book - it sort of was, although it wasn't a dedicated biography. Roger Thomas is a co-author with Ralph Griffiths on "The Making of the Tudor Dynasty" (1985) because a lot of his dissertation research was used in the book. But I'd still love to see him do a dedicated bio on JT.

Re: Other books - I'd love to see bios of Aragon, Seymour, Cleves and Howard done at the level of the Ives work on Anne B or Susan James work on Kate Parr. The Mattingly bio of Catherine of Aragon, is, I think, still considered the most scholarly bio of her and it was first published in the 1940s. Of course there are books that cover all of the wives, but I'd like to see each treated on their own (as much as that is possible given the way they succeeded each other!).

And then there is the problem of good academic works that are printed in low print runs so they are often prohibitively expensive or so rare that not many libraries will have them. There are several interesting people who have books that fall in to that category. :/

Kate said...

Jasper Tudor, Owen Tudor, Henry FitzRoy, Lady Jane Rochford oh the list goes on and on

Luv said...

Actually, I love reading about minor character who play a small part in history. I would love for someone to do a biographies on Elizabeth Boleyn,mainly because we no so little about her, except that King Henry VIII date two of her daughters,and beheaded to of her children. It would be interesting to find out how did she really feel about Henry VIII and Anne marriage,and where she was when princess Elizabeth was born.

Thomas Seymour- I sure there was a lot going on in his life.

Charles Brandon -he was once married to a mother and a daughter. I would love to know how he pull that off, without much scandal.

Denise said...

John Dudley. His father was a powerful minister under Henry VII but executed when he was a boy. He came back from disgrace to become Duke of Northumberland, and put his son on the throne only to be executed himself. He was also the father of Robert. Maybe this is really a novel :-)

I think Cecil was interesting too. I would like to know more about his family life and his relationship with his son. Also how he learned his political skill and managed to transfer allegience from Edward to Mary to Elizabeth at just the right time.

Sarah said...

John Dudley has two bios that I know of, but the one by Barrett L. Beer is 40 years old and the one by David Loades costs £100! The Cecils also have a book by Loades.

Tracey said...

Although not a book solely dedicated to John Dudley, "The Uncrowned Kings of England", by Derek Wilson, is an excellent work on the Dudley family.

I never realized how influential John Dudley was...over and above his political stance.

Elizabeth S. said...

Recent and reliable biographies on:
Catherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Elizabeth of York, Mary Tudor/Brandon, Kat Ashley, Mary Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Edward Seymour, Thomas Seymour, Henry Fitzroy...just to name a few.

Has there been recent bios for Henry VII lately??? If not, he needs one. He's like the most neglected Tudor monarch.

kb said...

Anyone interested in biographies of Elizabethans?

Kathy said...

Luv: you state above, "Charles Brandon -he was once married to a mother and a daughter..."

I don't know where you read that, but it's not true.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Thanks, Lara! I'll contact you about Jasper Tudor.

I have both the John Dudley biographies. The Beer is much less detailed than the Loades, but it's pretty good. (I splurged on the Loades; the Beer was pretty cheap.)

There's a biography of Brandon by S. J. Gunn. It was quite expensive the last time a copy turned up for sale on Amazon US.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Forgot to add that there is a recent biography of Henry VII by Sean Cunningham as part of the Routledge series.

Kathy said...

Susan, Gunn's book on Charles Brandon is NOT a biography. There is some biographical material in it, but it is basically his dissertation for his Ph.D. in history on how political alliances were formed in the early Tudor era. Though it's an excellent book in its own right, anybody expecting it to be a biography is going to be disappointed. There is a serious need for a biography of Charles Brandon.

BTW, I met Steven Gunn last year and asked him about the book. He seemed shocked that the book was so hard to come by now and fetching such ridiculous prices. He said he would look into it, but, of course, he's at the mercy of his publishers. It's too bad it isn't more widely available.

Laura said... to see a book on Catherine Knollys nee Carey. And I agree with everyone else about Jasper Tudor. And Anne of Cleves.

kb said...


I am working on the Katherine Carey Knollys book, actually the Carey clan, as we speak. (or as we blog)

Elizabeth S. said...

It seems I have memory issues, because I completely forgot when I made my last post that we are getting a new biography on Catherine of Aragon this year!

It also seems that we are getting another one by Julia Fox, the author of the recent Jane Boleyn biography in 2011!

Marilyn R said...

I'm doing my best with Agnes Tilney (Howard) Dowager Duchess of Norfolk and step-grandmother to Kathryn Howard.It started out as an appendix to a book I am revising for reprint, but took on a life of its own, although I have to say it's hard going and like trying to get blood out of a stone!

Kb - all the best with the Careys.
On 22nd November 1539 Kathryn Howard appears way down on the list of hundreds of the great and good who are to be primed and bedecked for the future grand reception for the arrival of Anne of Cleves in England. The ‘mother of the maidens’ is a Mrs. Stoner while the maidens themselves are listed as: Katharine Howard, Sturton, Dorothy Braye, Basset, Katharine Cary and Mary Norres. (From: 'Letters and Papers: November 1539, 21-25')

Is this Katharine Carey Mary Boleyn's daughter? If so, would she have been one of Norfolk's candidates?


kb said...

Glad to hear you are at work on Agnes Tilney.

Yes Katherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn, was an attendant to Anne of Cleves. My personal opinion was that the Duke of Norfolk had nothing to do with her appointment.

Is anyone working on Anne Russell Dudley, countess of Warwick? I think her life would make a fascinating biography.

tudor fanatic said...

Wow, I always thought Lady Catherine Knollys needed a biography! Good luck with writing it!!!

Also, are there any biographies about her daughter, the famous Laetitia Knollys?

Scarlet said...

Re: Charles Brandon's checquered matrimonial career, he was betrothed 1st to Anne Browne & even got her pregnant without benefit of vows, then turned round & dumped her for her wealthier aunt, Margaret Mortimer. This is probably where the confusion about him marrying mother & daughter has arisen, as they were kin. Being related in the forbidden degrees of affinity, the Mortimer marriage was quickly annulled & Brandon did then marry Anne, by whom he had 2-3 daughters before her death. He then became engaged to his 9yo ward, Elizabeth Grey, & threw her over when the opportunity arose to wed Mary Tudor. It ended up being sorted out in Rome as Margaret Mortimer was still kicking up a fuss, & the marriage to Mary was declared valid. Elizabeth Grey went on to briefly be the 1st wife of Henry Courtenay, then Earl of Devon (his 2nd wife was Gertrude Blount). Henry & his sister Margaret, who were the children of Elizabeth of York's sister Catherine, were in the Suffolk household. Brandon's new ward, Catherine Willoughby (Maria de Salinas' daughter) was betrothed to his & Mary's son Henry, but after Mary died he married her in rather indecent haste. The son was supposedly consumptive & didn't live long after his mother. I think she was all of 14 & he was past 50, & they had 2 sons, Henry & Charles, before Brandon died.

There is a bio of Henry Fitzroy; the title eludes me but the word "bastard" is in it somewhere, & even tho it's not terribly old it's out of print. There's a nice fat bio of Perkin Warbeck that I enjoyed.

I'd like to see more attention paid to Henry VIIs era, actually. Even if you Google Henry VII, it asks you did you mean Henry VIII?

Shaestel said...

I've always wanted to see more up-to-date work on Mary I and Edward VI, though they both have biographies already. Same goes for Jane Parker. She's only got one, as far as I know.

Henry FitzRoy and George Boleyn are also high on my list of people who deserve a biography.

I'm doing one for Katherine Howard.