Monday, October 27, 2008

Open Thread - Introduce yourselves!

I can't take credit for this excellent idea, that all goes to PhD Historian. I'm sure most of us have been curious about the other "regulars", so here's a chance to tell everyone a little about yourself. How did you get into Tudor history? Are you studying or researching the Tudors at school (for degrees, for history requirements, etc.) - or did you in the past? Any additional info such as name, age, location, is fine too, but only share as much as you are comfortable with of course.


Lara said...

Some of you might already know some of this, but I couldn't very well ask all of you to post something without chiming in myself.

I've been interested in Tudor history from an early age, and it really took off in junior high (when I was 13 or 14) courtesy of an American History teacher. My degree is in astronomy, but I took a Tudor history class in college just for fun. My professor was Brian Levack, in case anyone is familiar with his work on witchcraft.

In the mid-1990s I added a small Tudor history section to my first webpage, just as a "fan", but of course it turned into a site of its own and has grown into quite a monster! Unfortunately it is a very neglected monster at this point, but hopefully I'll get around to working on it some more soon.
I'm not a historian (well, I guess I might qualify as an "amateur") and just consider myself a fan of history, the Tudor period in particular.

And as most of you know, I'm in Austin, Texas, where I work at the University of Texas (in Astronomy).

Lara said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention in case anyone is curious, I'm a "thirty-something". If you want the exact info - Google for the launch date of Pioneer 10 and you'll find the exact day I was born. :)

Anonymous said...

Since I made the suggestion, I will go second.

I became interested in Tudor history through watching the PBS series "Six Wives of Henry VIII" in its first US broadcast way back in 1970. I was twelve years old at the time (I'm 50 now). In my mind's eye, I still see Keith Mitchell when I think of Henry VIII. That was followed, of course, in 1972 by "Elizabeth R" with Glenda Jackson in the title role. I was hooked.

When I went to university the first time (1976-1980), I studied nursing instead of history, simply because there was more money and more jobs available there than in history, especially for a man in what was then a 98% female profession.

I returned to university in 1984 to take up history, but gave it up again after a couple of years, again because the money was better in medicine (I became the manager of a large medical clinic in 1987).

Finally, in 1999 I returned to university determined to reach my long-held goal of a PhD in Tudor history. I earned a BA in European History at San Francisco State University in January 2001, followed by an MA in Ancient and Medieval European History in June 2002, also at SFSU. During my MA studies, I did one term at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University, studying under Stephen Alford.

I went on to the University of Colorado at Boulder in September 2002, and worked there under Professor Marjorie McIntosh. I completed coursework and PhD comprehensive exams in the spring of 2005 and began research on my dissertation that summer. My dissertation was entitled "Jane The Quene: New Perspectives on England's Nine-Days Queen." I defended in November 2006 and filed in January 2007. My PhD diploma was awarded on 11 May 2007.

My interest in Jane Grey Dudley stemmed from reading Mary Luke's "Nine Days Queen" and seeing the film "Lady Jane" (Paramount Pictures, 1986), both of which were clearly bad fiction. I wanted to discover the "real" story.

I have been unable to find full-time permanent work teaching history. Tudor history is declasse in US universities these days, and there are usually only one or two job openings per year throughout the entire country.

I now live in Palm Springs, California. I am trying to get my PhD dissertation published as a book, but have not had much luck thus far. I am also working on a book-length history of Palm Springs, playground of the rich and famous, especially Hollywood and entertainment types (Barry Manilow lives literally across the street from me, and Suzanne Somers is just a couple of blocks north of me).

I operate the website "," which contains a portion of my academic research and postings of some of my publications on Jane Grey Dudley. I am a daily visitor to Lara's wonderful site, and I continue to learn a great deal from both the questions and the answers-responses from other contributors.

And I am curious to know a little more about some of the regular contributors, so I suggested to Lara that she create this thread.

Anonymous said...

My name is Hilary, and I am 19 years old, and from Indiana.

I became interested in Tudor history during my freshman year in high school, after reading "The Other Boleyn Girl". It inspired me to do some research, and ever since then it has grown so much, it's half of what I think about all the time. I go to the bookstore a couple times a week to read about it (I can't afford to buy the books though, and the library here is poor quality, so Borders it is).
I've been checking the Q&A section every day since probably May or June of this year. I only recently have posted.

The only other history I'm interested in is paleontology. I hate American history.

I am currently in community college, and then transfering next year to a real (expensive) college, to major in something equestian, probably riding instruction. Horses are my absolute favorite thing in the world. I have been riding since I was ten years old, and have competed extremely successfully in dressage and eventing.

I'll probably end up being a riding instructor/horse trainer or a jockey (which I am passionate about, even though it's so ha-ha weird).

Antonia said...

I'm Antonia Kelly, 23, from Leicester, England.

I can't really remember not being interested in Tudor history. It was one of the first things we learnt about in history at school and it always stuck with me. My particular fascination is Henry VIII's reign and, in particular, the Anne Boleyn era.

My deepest passion in life is the Apollo space missions. I'm also interested in the building and sinking of the Titanic.

I work as the manager of my husband's French linguistics service and do a little journalism (mainly fashion) on the side. I did used to write full time about rugby union until endless analysis destroyed my love of the sport, and I couldn't be having that. Also a big tennis fan.

For me the Tudor period is so interesting because it saw so many changes in such a relatively short period of time. History was always my best subject at school and would have been my degree (was accepted) if illness hadn't intervened. I'd love to go back and actually do a degree in history at some point but I do worry that, outside of my particular interests, I wouldn't find it captivating enough to get me through four years.

I absolutely love this site and visit it daily.

Anonymous said...

I have been studying the Tudors since I first started to read. I used to look up entries in the encyclopedia when I was in the second grade. I graduated from high school during that period in the early '70's when good books, movies, TV shows, and music (Rick Wakeman!) were everywhere.

I think most of the current books, TV series and movies about the Tudor period are lacking in accuracy and find it hard to finish reading or watching them.

Tamise said...

Excellent idea!

I studied the Tudors for my History GCSE and A-level (I live in the UK). It was during my A-level that we were shown clips of ‘Lady Jane’ and I decided to find out more about her. At the time (early 90’s) the only biographies about Jane were out of print and she was only mentioned briefly in other books.

Once I finished university and started work (I am a university librarian), I was able to collect second hand books about her and this led to me setting up my website, Lady Jane Grey Reference Guide ( in 2001.

Anonymous said...

"Brief Gaudy Hour" by Margaret Campbell Barnes is solely responsible for my fascination with The Tudors. At the age of 8 (44 years ago!) my mother handed me this novel and I've been on a roll ever since.

From The Tudors I found myself delving into the other dynasties for the British monarchy. When I have trouble getting to sleep, I actually run the King/Queen line beginning with Edward the Martyr!

The Tudors are my love, however. A room in my home is filled with various books dealing with Hal 8 and his merry band of wives. I have never studied seriously, but I do look at myself like Lara an amateur. must feel about American history as I do. Can't say that I hate it, but it just doesn't hold any interest for me. I know the basics. Perhaps it's because GB is such an older country and getting to a state of 'smoothness' took a long while?

How interesting, phd historian, that your interest was prompted by a very-badly written movie about Lady Jane. Hollywood may take thousands of knocks over the head for bad 'hys'terical fiction films, but it did get you to do more research! I felt the same way after seeing "The Lion in Winter" for the first time.

I'm retired, having held many different positions in my life. The most fun was being a third-grade teacher. Now the days are my own. My husband and I have lived in all four corners of the U.S., but have settled permanently in Houlton, Maine. Yep...the Great North Woods where the snow flies and so there is no need to make an excuse to do nothing some days but read about Henry :)

djd said...

Hello. I am very new to posting on this site - yesterday was the first time - but I have been reading the questions and answers for a long time. Over a year in fact. I have been fascinated by Tudor history since I was in high school and did a book report on Antonia Frasiers "Mary Queen of Scots". I have read a lot and learned a lot over the years, but not to the extent that some of you regulars have.

I have a lot in common with PHd Historian. I love history, but I also know of many history majors that now work in department stores or some other field that has nothing to do with history. So, I got a baccalaureate degree in nursing and kept my Tudor history passion a past-time. I was also a director of a hospital department - mental health is my expertise - and am now close to completing my graduate degree in mental health nursing, which will enable me to become certified as a primary mental health nurse practitioner. I think I have learned more about Tudor history by indulging my past-time than I have ever learned in school. I have been lucky enough to meet many TH buffs and have had many fascinating discussions about the goings on in that era. In addition to my work, I am married and have three children ages 11,12 & 13 who keep me pretty busy. Alas, I am the only one interested in Tudor history and my husband is actually jealous of the time I put into reading books and visiting web sites like this to indulge my passion. Sometimes it is very funny listening to him whine about my Tudor time.

I am so glad that I found this site and almost feel like I know some of the regulars here by reading your responses to quesitons. I pictured PHd historian as a 50 something historian from the academic world - a professor maybe - with glasses and a pipe and perhaps an office cluttered with history books and literature about british history...LOL....anyway, it's fun. I also like to share my opinions or knowledge, but until now have remained a silent fan of the rest of you regulars. I don't take myself too seriously, so please feel free to correct me if I miss something or state a fact that is based on nothing...I learn that way. I am also not likely to say anything unless I am pretty sure I'm right. LOL. I want to take this opportunity to tell the regulars here how impressed I am with your knowledge base of Tudor history and love that you are willing to share this with the students that come here with questions. I also commend Lara for all the time she must put into managing this web site. I used my initials for my screen name, but my name is actually plain old Deb. Thanks again for making my world much more interesting.

Unknown said...

I haven't commented here too often, but I am a daily reader and am extremely grateful for the wealth of reliable information this site provides! I am a 28-year-old editor from Pennsylvania.

My passion for Tudor history began only a few years ago with reading "The Other Boleyn Girl." The novel's villification of Anne Boleyn (as well as its pronounced historical inaccuracies, I was later to learn) spurred me into trying to find out more about her and about her sister Mary, and I have since found myself oddly fascinated with Anne's story, as well as the stories of all the six wives. I just finished reading Eric Ives' "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn" two days ago.

I have a degree in professional writing (English) and work as an assistant editor, but my minor was in history. As with Hilary and Tracey, American history has never held much draw for me (I cower with nervous shame at that public admittance, steeling myself against possibly being called "unAmerican" or "unpatriotic" by some!). But I find European history, especially British, endlessly fascinating -- possibly because there's simply so much more of it, and with such dramatic and world-altering ramifications. Perhaps America just isn't old enough for my taste. ;)

I suppose I join the ranks of many here in calling myself an amateur Tudor historian, though I'd love to take courses on it if I could.

I have learned so much from this site, and appreciate all the respectful, educated discussions that go on about such a broad spectrum of topics! It's really enriched my "inner nerd" -- my own affectionately self-inflicted term -- and broadened my perspectives and my love for Tudor history.

Anonymous said...

I became fascinated with the monarchy as a whole on my first trip to London 3 years ago. My husband sells P&C insurance (mostly large energy accounts) with Wells Fargo Insurance and has a large coal account that he can't find a market for in the US. He goes to Lloyd's of London each year to renew this piece of business. I tagged along the first year we were married, not being interested in going at all, really, but I thought "How many chances will I get to go to London?" Needless to say it definately sparked my interest! I've returned twice since then.

I fell in love with the city itself. The people were so nice and they spoke English! haha There is SO much to do and see. Visiting all of the typical first-timer visitor attractions, I became fascinated with the monarchy. My mouth dropped, literally, when I first stood in front of Westminster Abbey. You read and hear so much about these landmarks but to see them in person is completely different. We don't have buildings nearly that old in the US and it just fascinates me that there is so much history behind everything you see!

I came home and started to read anything I could and became more interested in the Tudor dynasty because of my beloved Henry! (VIII) Just the story of his wives was enough for me. The fact that he changed the history of an entire country for a woman that he was madly in love with is beyond comprehension.

I have read a few books about Henry and his court and I am moving through each of the wives now. I'm currently reading Johanna Denny's book on Anne. I think Anne is my favorite so far, just because her story is more interesting.

Around the time that I started to read these books, The Tudors series started on Showtime. I know the show gets blasted on this site, but I love it! If I am unsure of something, that's when I ask a question or google more about it. The show makes me want to learn more. What I do like about the series is that it brings the characters to life for me. I'm more of a visual learner, I need to see it for it to sink in more. It's very entertaining!

Adding to my fascination with Henry is the fact that I am Catholic. (Yet another reason why seeing Saint Thomas More, or at least what I thought was him at the time, was so overwhelming. He wasn't afraid of dying for what he believed in, and I admire that about him.) No religion is perfect and I do see why people thought, or still think, the church is corrupt. Reading more about the Reformation is interesting to me. It gives me a different view of the church.

I've been reading the posts for over a year and have recently started asking questions. If I read something in a book, I like to get another point of view or find out more about the subject and this board is a great way to do that. I wish there was a board for the Windsor dynasty.

I'm a Tudor work in progress! I am 28 and live in VA, running a small business from my home. I'm lucky enough to live on a lake so that becomes my hobby during the summer! My two dogs do their fair share of taking up my time also. haha

This was a wonderful suggestion for a thread!

kb said...

Nice idea.

I am of the same era as PhD Historian and had the same Tudor triggers - the Masterpiece Theater Henry VIII and the indomitable Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth R. I dropped out of high school when I was 17 and set myself the research project of whether the execution of Mary Queen of Scots was legal. We were living in DC at the time so I went to the Library of Congress where I was first exposed to primary source material.

Then I had a completely different life, taking a first degree BA in Drama/Dance at Bard College, then living/modeling in France, then kids, then a long successful career in network consulting and teaching. The kids grew up, the divorce, and I sent myself back to school for an MA in history in CT. From there I went to the University of Nottingham for my doctoral work. I am currently waiting for my viva, or oral defense, before the eventual awarding of the degree. I'm back in the states now and teaching adjunct while I wait in my myopic world of the Careys - the other Boleyn girl's children.

I truly enjoy this site. The questions are terrific and Lara does a great job of making us feel welcome. I haven't been posting much lately because I am so behind in my work. But hopefully in a month or so, I'll be able to contribute more.

Bearded Lady said...

Fun idea! I always wanted to ask everyone’s real name, but was afraid that I would sound like a stalker. This beats picturing everyone as academics with bow ties and British accents.

I read the site pretty regularly (too much!) and occasionally make comments trying not to sound too stupid. Sometimes I fail miserably at this task, but never take offense to being corrected.

I am a 30 something author and illustrator of children’s books for the middle grade to teen trade market. I focus on offbeat history. I am currently finishing up my 3rd book called “I feel better with a frog in my throat” which covers the wackiest medical cures used throughout history. (The Tudors definitely have some good ones.) It will be out in 2010. I am hoping to get a 4th published called “I feel pretty with potatoes in my hair” that covers the wackiest beauty routines and fashions throughout history. But the publishing industry is somewhat brutal so I never know what will come next. I also write a weekly blog about rumors and scandals surrounding royalty at:

My love of European History started in high school when I realized that presidents were a tad dry and you can’t point out their foibles without sounding un-American.

I am surprised that there are some under 20 readers interested in Tudor History. That gives me hope for future employment.

And just to be sentimental for one moment...I am eternally grateful to Lara in all her time and efforts on this site. I know it is no easy thing to maintain something of this size without expectations of huge monetary awards. Your passion is an inspiration.

I hope some of the other regulars comment...I am really curious.

Unknown said...

My name is April, I am 21 years old. I am from one of the larger cities in Arkansas.

I first became interested in Tudor History about 2 years ago when I first heard of the movie The Other Boleyn Girl. I thought it sounded interesting so I bought the book.

Once I bought the book I could not stop reading. I ended up buying all of the Phillipa Gregory books that were about the Tudor period. Now I am constantly watching the History Channel to catch Tudor related shows. Also netflix is really good if you need a place to find movies or sitcoms that are related.

I have been reading the Q & A section on this amazing site now for about 6 months. I have only posted once or twice, but that is because everything is already on here.

Anonymous said...

Forty-something female with the good Tudor name of Katherine, I was born in Florida but grew up in Europe (my father was a pilot in the Air Force). Fondest memory of that is a year spent living in rented rooms in a chateau near Bordeaux, France.

I have three Masters Degrees (English, Library Science, and Computer Science) and work as a software engineer and web developer for a government defense contractor in the northern Virginia outskirts of Washington, D.C. That pays enough to allow me to indulge my passion for rare books and lets me travel to England when I can't stand it any longer and need to be closer to Tudor locations.

In some ways, I think I have always been interested in the Tudors. Even before I could read, I would gravitate towards books with knights and castles on them. My interest crystalized while I was getting my English degree. I specialized in Elizabethan drama and poetry, particularly Christopher Marlowe. But history-wise, I kept being drawn further back in time until my interest focused on early 16th century. My particular area of interest is Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor. They are surrounded by a lot of myths and untruths, and I've run across some interesting material that hasn't come out yet. I'm currently trying to get a web site together to put up some of my findings.

I am a published poet and fiction writer (murder mysteries!), but I don't really have time to indulge that interest much any more. I am also a natural redhead (good Tudor color!), and Mary Tudor and I share the same birthday, March 18 -- different years, of course.

Favorite quote: "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." -- William Faulkner

Elizabeth M. said...

My name is Elizabeth Martiniak, and I live in Janesville, Wisconsin with my husband and seven cats. I first fot into Tudor history, like PhD Historian, by seeing The Six Wives of Henry VIII. I was 8 then, but it stuck with me. My favorite was Anne Boleyn, and as I got older, I read everything I could about her and the period.
I love horses, as well, and am a regular contributor to the Thoroughbred Heritage website. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a history degree--my specialty was Russian and Soviet studies--history, culture, and language. I had a minor in art history. Why Russian--simply that my first Russian history professor was such an inspiring teacher. He brought the tumultuous history of that region to life that was unbelievable. It was a sad day when he died of cancer. But I still love my Tudor history and read every book I can get my hands on.
I work as an advocate in a domestic violence shelter here in Janesville.

daniele said...

Hi everyone! My name is Daniele, and I have been reading (and thoroughly enjoying) this site since 2002, though I have never commented before. I am 27 years old and live in Boston, Massachusetts. I work in production at a well established university press, though our list does not include much in the way of history.

I have been interested in all areas of history for as long as I can remember-- my first serious historical interest was Abraham Lincoln around the age of 7. I have since grown to love British and Irish history the most, and have also recently become interested in Russian and French history as well. Most of the books I read are biography or history-related, so much so that my friends are shocked when they see me with a novel-- it does happen occasionally, but it takes a really good one to tear me away from my usual reading material! My boyfriend teases me that I am a history nerd, but I know that he secretly thinks its cute. :)

I majored in English with a second major in Gender Studies, and would consider myself an amateur historian as many of you have indicated. I want to say thanks to Lara for the excellent site (and for TudorCast-- I miss it, but please don't take that as pressure!), and also to let phd historian know that I enjoy his site very much as well! Thanks to everyone for the insightful comments.

Brynhild said...

My name is Katherine Athena Adelaide (which makes me feel rather as if my mother was delirious at birth and believed us to be ancient royalty, at the time!), I have fine "Tudor hair," as I am often told (strawberry blond which is a rare strain that runs through my family and brands us) and I am currently living in the great state of Virginia (which is strangely appropriate for this site!), though I started out in Maryland.

While I've never posted, before, I figure I qualify as a regular, seeing as I've been getting on this site almost daily for a year, now, and thought this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce myself. Bearded Lady, I am part of the under-20 crowd (I celebrated my eighteenth birthday, just yesterday, actually! And amazingly enough I was not inspired by the TV show The Tudors nor Philippa Gregory's works [though I made an effort of read The Other Boleyn Girl, I could not make myself finish it on account of the profusion of historical inaccuracies which I found singularly frustrating] despite my age!) who has become passionately enamored of the Tudors despite the fact that they have been dead for some 500 years, now!

Being a Roman Catholic, attending Catholic school (full-blown convent with dark-robed Visitation nuns and vestment-laden priests and such) I confess I grew up with a rather clouded view of Tudor history. I believed HVIII to be the first of three Tudor monarchs - you know, fat old Henry Tudor who had eight wives and beheaded them all because none of them had a son. (Eventually, this theory was discounted primarily by the shocking discovery of the existence of Edward VI, later the revelation that only six ladies held that title, and still later that only two were beheaded.) Mary I was a veritable saint and HVIII and Elizabeth I were blood-thirsty murderers! However, I have long been quite amazed by the bravery, eloquence, and brilliance of Thomas More and, though I didn't know it, yet, this was to feed into a great future passion.

When I read Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons two years ago, I was quite pleased and this opened me up for interest. (Leading me to read part of Roper's biography.) Despite the fact I still hated the Tudors, a teacher I worship offered a Tudor class and, out of deference to her, I agreed to take it. Before long, I was hooked. The class has - sadly - since come to an end, but I have continued to research the subject, myself.

My chief interest in Tudor history lies with HVIII, particularly the Anne Boleyn era (might I add here she sometimes reminds me of my little sister...who I have been known to threaten with the Hangman of Calais!), though any HVIII/Tudor period makes me smile.

It is quite breathtaking to me to consider how so many larger-than-life people can be crammed into such a comparably short span of time and how they had such a lasting influence on - not just Enlish - but world history!

I hope one day to become a writer and some of my other interests include Ancient Sumeria, Ancient Egypt, various mythologies, Europe in the High Middle Ages, equestrianism, and reading/writing fiction/history.

As I mentioned, before, I've never posted but if I do and I get something wrong (although I doubt I shall unless I'm confident I'm right) please do correct me! My chief goal is to learn as much as I possibly can!

[I must apologize if I've submitted this multiple times! I fear I am experiencing some technically difficulties, just now!]

Anonymous said...

Wow, pretty spiffy idea :)

Well, lets see. My name is Analisa and I am almost 17 years old and live in the good old northwest, Seattle area.

I have loved the Tudors since I picked up Mary Bloody Mary in the 7th grade. In fact, I just wrote an essay about how the Tudors changed my life.

I also found love for European History and Art History last year and my teacher, Mr Neuman teased me endlessly about it. lol but i got him back eventually.

I've been to London once and hope to go back in the spring. I nearly cried in Westminster and the Tower :)

I plan on going to the University of Washington to major in history and become a teacher, my dream would to be to get my doctorate. (BTW PHD Historian, your little bio bit in this thread was very inspirational) But if that doesn't end up working out, I might major in my other love, chemistry.

I am not a major poster here, but defiantly a daily checker. I am very busy, with 4 college classes, so i don't really have time to post.

Anyway, I love everyone who posts here. It is nice to have a place to indulge my guilty pleasure.

One last thing: My favorite tudor book is the autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George. Parts of it are inaccurate but I love the portrait it paints of him

Anonymous said...

I have also been a lurker on this site for a while now, so thought I should speak up!

I also got hooked at a young age. I was 5 when the BBC Henry VIII & his wives came out, so I think that was a little early to have been an influence, but I definitely saw repeats, plus Elizabeth R and Anne of a Thousand Days and Mary QoS movies were all around that time. My mother had a book called Henry VIII and his Court by Neville Williams, and I loved pulling that out and looking at all the pictures. I loved the clothes, the castles and all the queens - 6 wives, 2 sisters, 2 daughters, 2 nieces. It was a period where individual's characters and desires really made a difference in politics.

I became a voracious reader of the period in my teens - history books like Hester Chapman, Elizabeth Jenkins, etc. and novels like Jean Plaidy, Mary Campbell Barnes, Norah Lofts, etc. I also branched out into earlier English history, and other European countries of the time.

I have kept up with new books as they are published, although more out of habit these days.

What fascinates me now as I am older is the revisionism of history. After 500 years, people are still trying to find new angles, and distort the period for their own agendas (e.g. the Tudors!). That's one of the reasons I love this blog - there is always something new!


PS - I like to cross stitch too ;)

Anonymous said...


My names Sarah and I loved Tudor history since I was too in junior high, when I picked out a book about Lady Jane Grey, I wanted to learn more. I'm also under the under twenties, only just seventeen.
I do history in college and I hope to get a degree sometime in my life.

Lara said...

Thanks everyone who has posted so far! And thanks to everyone for their kind words about the site. I thank all of YOU for helping to make this blog in particular what I was hoping it would become when I started it.

It's nice to see there are some fellow science geeks here and at least one other cross stitcher. :)

I have to admit that I wasn't too interested in American history either, other than a passing interest in the Civil War. But, of late, I've become more interested in the colonial and revolutionary periods. Too bad that interest wasn't there when I was learning about it in school many years ago!

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea; it's really very cool to read so many interesting and varied backgrounds on the regulars and the newcomers.

I have posted a number of times in the past: anything on drama and/or women's writing was most likely me (I usually remember to add my name. Usually). I do lurk nearly every day, but haven't posted recently as I am still settling into my new teaching job.

My name's Kate, and I'm Philadelphia born and raised. I got my BA at Penn State, where I was lucky enough to have Linda Woodbridge as a teacher/advisor. I was always a nerd who read alot as a kid, including any history, but especially medieval and renaissance. Still, it was Dr. Woodbridge's Shakespeare class that cemented my interest in the early modern. (Sidebar: Lara, I was all into astronomy and took some classes where I learned the awful truth: there's math involved. Not my forte at all. I am humbled in the presence of those who can do magic with numbers).

I got my MA and PhD in literature at the University of Miami. Shameless plug: one of my advisors was historian Guido Ruggiero. Check out his very cool and relatively accessible books on magic and gender in renaissance Italy.

While slogging through grad school, I also worked at an independent book store on South Beach. In addition to providing me with a surrogate family, I got to cheaply feed my need for historical biography. Last shameless plug: if you're in Miami, go to Books and Books!

My diss, which I am so just about gonna get ready to shop around to publishers (I swear), is on the use of cartography and geographic rhetoric in early modern English plays, and how that rhetoric helps to shape and is shaped by gendered identities, both national and individual.

I just moved to Charleston, SC, where I have been settling into a new teaching job at the Citadel. It's a very weird and vastly entertaining place, but I like my kids and their eagerness to learn.

I've been to England and Ireland numerous times; I'm lucky to have a number of friends in the London area who put up with me. From my first trip there as a seventeen-year-old with few funds (my meals consisted mainly of Guinness and scones), I have a blast anytime I'm over there for research or fun (sometimes the same thing for a nerd like me) and would love to do a teaching stint over there or somewhere else abroad.

It's so nice to meet you all! And Lara, for you, an especially deep, supremely deferential, nose-to-the-floor bow in recognition of all your hard work on this gem of a site.

Anonymous said...

Lara - and PhD historian! - what a great idea! Like so many others, I have been curious as to the regular contributors as well. I have been visiting the site every day since I came across it a couple of years ago; occasionally I pluck up courage to contribute! My name is Lis Richards, and I live in Devon, UK. My mother taught English and History, and loved the Tudor period; consequently it wasn't my favourite! I have a degree in Geology, but when I got the degree (I'm in my fifties now) I found it virtually impossible to get a job because I was female! So I have spent much of the intervening years running my husband's business, or working as a researcher for various companies. When my son was born, I started working at our local National Trust property as a volunteer school guide, taking primary children, and trying to teach them something about the Tudors; I work at Buckland Abbey, once a monastery, then home to Richards Grenville and Francis Drake. From that, have become more involved in other aspects of the volunteer work, and now when I am required to I dress in reproduction authentic Tudor clothes as Agnes the kitchen maid! Not always first person interpretation, usually third person; visitors feel less intimidated, but you always have to be ready for oddball questions. Especially from the kids!! Many thanks Lara for all your work, I find this site an invaluable source of information.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to begin by saying that I too am a regular visiter to this site; however, I do not always find the time to contribute as I would like, but I am hoping that that will change.

Lara, I think you are doing a fantastic job.

My name is Joni Creed and I am 28 years old. I have a one year old son and teach at the elementary level.

I have always been a fan of history, but became quite interested in Tudor history while still in high school. I chose to do a research paper on Henry VIII knowing very little about him at the time. I was hooked and have read about and learned quite a lot over the years.

I do hope to go back to school to get the long sought after degree that I (by the day) hope to attain.

It is nice to know that there are so many knowledgeable history lovers out there!

Anonymous said...

I'm a college student from Connecticut, USA. I've asked a couple of questions on here in the past.

I first became interested in the Tudors when I was twelve. My aunt bought me the book "Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor" and I read it one day when I was bored.

Since then, I've collected dozens of books and movies devoted to the Tudors. I drive my family crazy talking about what happened today in Tudor history!

I am majoring in history at college, and plan to study abroad in England my junior year. I am a part of the Windsor Historical Society, although I really don't have an interest in American History, like some others on this site. :)

Anonymous said...

I am not a "regular" but do check in from time to time and found this thread very interesting. I have only recently developed a real interest in the Tudor period. I am a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN where my major was PoliScit and my minor was History. I was lucky enough to participate in their Global education program and study at the University of Leeds for a year. It was a wonderful experience and it was there that I developed a real interest in English history especially the period between 1327-1485, with a greater emphasis on the conflict, and results of said conflict, between the royal houses of Lancaster and York. Someone recommended a book to me by Eric Ives on Anne Boleyn and from there I was hooked. I am currently reading Mr. Starkey's new book, however due to a vacation with my small children, 2 & 4 years, I have not been able to give it the attention that it deserves. I will have to check out the blog about it here before I start back. Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself. Vanessa

Anonymous said...

smart idea!!!
i'm 13 years old and i have been coming on this site for a little less than a year now, and i love to answer questions as best i can
i think i'm the youngest who's answered this ,i tried to read all the comments, and so i haven't had as much time to induldge in this "obsession" or "addiction" as my friends have called it, as others must have. but i really want english history to have a big part in my education, as big as possible.
I became interested in tudor history in 5th grade, when i read a set of books by Carolyn Meyer, called
"paitence princess catherine" "beware princess elizabeth" "mary, bloody mary" and "doomed queen anne"
and i'm proud to say i've progressed from books like those to alison weirs larger novels.
i try to learn as much as i can, since tudor history is not part of the curriculum at my school, but i really can't wait until college, when i can hopefully learn even more
i wanted to say i've found a lot of comfort in this site, because whenever i try to talk about the tudors or england in school, people think i'm weird (if you can guess, i'm from the U.S) and here i've found i'm not the only one.. THANK YOU1!! :)

Merlin said...

I've only just discovered the site and am very glad I did...

I've been facinated by the Tudors since I was 12 or 13. I think it was probably reading 'The Concubine' by Norah Lofts that started me off and Tudor (and medieval) history in general has been a hobby ever since.

I'm based in Reading, England.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My name is Abigail and I live in Seattle, Washington. I was just wondering if anyone (with a focus on King Henry the VIII) would be interested in letting me interview them for my eighth grade project on the King Henry reign. I am able to do an interview over e-mail. If you think you might be avalible to do this that would be wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I know this is very late after the thread has pretty much been forgotten and no one will see this, but I still have to tell about my first Tudor experience.

I was 10 (I am now 45), and we went on a field trip at school to a local theater that was putting on a play called "Bloody Mary". We got to go to the dressing rooms and see and touch the costumes, talk to the actors, etc. We even got to watch the nice young actress get dressed in her costume and be turned into "Bloody Mary". Then we watched the play. I'll never forget it. For me it was magic.

I had to know more after that, and I have read and watched everything about the Tudors I could get my hands on ever since.

Of course some things read or watched was not accurate, and some have even made me flat mad. lol

Anyway,,, the love affair with the Tudors continues for me,, and always will.

Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Ruth. I am not like any of you in the sense that what I have to say is likely to be poo-pooed by most as grandios thinking. However, I believe I lived in the time of the Tudors. I seemed to have known a great deal about them from early in my life. I had told my teachers all about them before I was able to read for myself. My parents had no used for such history and so you tell me how it is that I have such a close affinity. Per a geneologist I am related via Mary Boleyn's offspring who are supposed as Henry's in reality. Soul memory? I wish I knew.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog and I love English history. My name is Jessica. Is this still an active blog?