Sunday, August 21, 2011

Question from princessseni - Tudors dissertation topic ideas

hello! i'm a fourth year Algerian English student at the university, I am starting to think about my dissertation for this year and am planning to do something on the Tudors Dynasty, I thought of Henry VIII particularly, but I am afraid it is so vague. I studied a little The Tudors Dynasty and watched the series "The Tudors" and I am fan of it and so interested. I would really appreciate any kind of help especially with the outline and content.
If anyone has any suggestions that would narrow down my topic, these would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you a lot.


Mary R said...

Please remember that the series, "The Tudors" is meant to be entertaining rather than educational. It is full of historical inaccuracies. I would agree that trying to cover the entire reign of Henry VIII would be too broad for your dissertation. You may want to look at certain things that happened during Henry's reign, such as the dissolution of the monasteries and the impact it had on society. Challenge accepted doctrines! I once wrote a paper on Mary I (Bloody Mary) trying to reconcile the woman who was uncommonly kind by nature (to her servants and others) with the monster she is perceived to be today. Richard III is another such case. Richard is also perceived to be a monster, but he was one of the few monarchs who thought that the common people should have rights, too. He also pardoned people who later betrayed him. Henry VII saw this mercy both as a weakness and as a lesson. Henry VII executed even those that he thought might betray him. He also executed anyone who might, by birth, be a threat to him, yet history does not single him out as a bad king. Why not?

Whatever you do, try to do something different from what everyone around you is doing:) Basically, I'm giving you the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not bore thy professor:)

shtove said...

Hehe! Mary R's recommendations are good. I would add that you should research something that genuinely interests you.

You're Algerian, so you might be interested in English alliances in north Africa while Spain was expanding its empire.

Maybe English involvement with Spain's islands off the coast of Africa. Elizabeth I certainly had alot to do with Morocco around the time of the Armada, so maybe you could work backwards from that.

princessseni said...

@ Mary R: your inswer is really interesting Mary R thank you a lot. Things that happened during Henry's reign interests me and you've been really helpful.
@ shtove: you're right, it's interesting knowing that it has to do with north africa and especially for the professors, but we didn't had it in the program so I can't really develop it, and we haven't been yet to Elizabeth.

kb said...

There are also all sorts of material culture and social history topics you could look at during Henry VIII's reign.

For example, who could wear what types of clothing, the development of clocks, the growth of print culture, the education of elite girls (start with Sir Thomas More's family), the relationships between Henry VIII and his two sisters, the relationships between his two sisters and his queens, the role of elite women in hereditary manors, etc.

Mary R said...

princesseni, I really like kb's recommendations about the education of women during the reign of Henry VIII. Katherine of Aragon had been well educated, as had Katherine Parr. However, Katherine of A was better at stroking the male ego than Katherine P was:)

The governess of Elizabeth I complained that, "the princess hath neither gown nor kirtle" but no one could have accused Henry of neglecting his daughter's mind. He engaged the best tutors of the age for her, as did the "abusive" parents of Lady Jane Grey.

One can't help but wonder how hard it must have been for a well educated woman to have had to defer to a husband simply because he was male.