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Not Just the Tudors

Not Just the Tudors

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks about everything from the Aztecs to witches, Velázquez to Shakespeare, Mughal India to the Mayflower. Not, in other words, just the Tudors, but most definitely also the Tudors.

Each episode Suzannah is joined by historians and experts to reveal incredible stories about one of the most fascinating periods in history. 

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How Catherine of Aragon Learnt to be Queen

The Spanish infanta Catalina of Aragon was raised to be a Queen, betrothed at the age of three to the heir apparent of the English throne, Arthur Prince of Wales. Eight years after Arthur's death, she became the first of Henry VIII's six wives. Catalina's mother - Queen Isabella I of Castile - was the most influential person in her life. Witness at an early age to the expulsion of Jews, the defeat of the Moors in Spain, and the triumphal return of Christopher Columbus, Catherine grew up to be a intelligent, highly literate, multi-lingual woman, devoted to her Catholic faith, and a popular, charismatic Queen.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb discovers more about the early life of Catherine with two leading experts: Dr. Theresa Earenfight, Professor of History at Seattle University and author of a forthcoming biography of Catherine, and Emma Cahill Marron, whose dissertation is focused on the Queen's role as a patron of the arts in Tudor England. 

 

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2021-10-14
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The Rebellions of 1549

In 1549, the Tudor establishment was rocked by a series of popular rebellions, born of deep discontent over the enclosure by wealthy landowners of common land, which were essential to ordinary people's livelihoods. In Norfolk, yeoman Robert Kett agreed to the rebels' demands and offered to lead them, storming and taking the city of Norwich - an act which prompted a brutal response from the full military might of the state.

In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Andy Wood about the Norfolk insurrection - known as the Ketts Rebellion - and its long-term significance for the development of English society.

 

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2021-10-11
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The First Sexual Revolution

For most of western history, sex outside of marriage was forbidden by law, with adulterers even facing the death sentence. The church, the state and neighbours all put huge amounts of energy into catching sexual wrongdoers and seeing them punished. But between 1600 and 1800, this entire world-view was shattered by revolutionary new ideas - that consenting adults have the freedom to do what they like with their own bodies, and morality cannot be imposed by force.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Faramerz Dabhoiwala, author of The Origins of Sex, about his groundbreaking research into how the modern approach to sex came about.

 

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2021-10-07
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Lady Jane Grey

On a cold February morning in 1554, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for high treason. Named as King Edward VI as his successor, Queen Jane had reigned for just 13 tumultuous days before being imprisoned in the Tower, condemned and executed.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to author and historian Nicola Tallis who reveals the moving, human story of an intelligent, independent and courageous young woman, forced on to the English throne by the great power players in the Tudor court.

 

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2021-10-04
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Sir Thomas More

Who was Thomas More - Knight, Chancellor and Martyr? His life is paradoxical, with More regarded as both saint and persecutor, Humanist intellectual and bigoted zealot. His religious writings, with their - at times - violent attacks on what he regarded as heresy, have been hotly debated.  

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Tom Betteridge. In his work, he has placed Thomas More in a broader cultural context and argues for a revision to the existing histories of the man and his reputation.

 

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2021-09-30
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The Gunpowder Plot's Tudor Origins

The Gunpowder Plot is one of the hinge events of British history - an act of terror the roots of which stretch back to the Tudor period and Henry VIII's break with Rome. It's a story of Holy War, divided loyalties and religious hatred. And it has never been more timely. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks gunpowder, treason and plot with historian and broadcaster Jessie Childs, author of the award-winning God?s Traitors. 

 

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2021-09-27
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The King's Painter: Holbein and the Tudor Court

In the early 1530s, the painter Hans Holbein the Younger returns to London. His patronage by Anne Boleyn and the influential Thomas Cromwell leads to Holbein creating the full-length portrait of King Henry VIII that has dominated how we have visualised him ever since. 

In this second of a two-part Not Just the Tudors special, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb further explores Holbein's fascinating life and work with three of the world's foremost scholars of the artist - Jeanne Nuechterlein, Franny Moyle and Susan Foister. 

 

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2021-09-23
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The King's Painter: Hans Holbein's Early Years

Hans Holbein the Younger is celebrated for his hyper-realistic, iconic portraits of Henry VIII, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Anne of Cleves, Jane Seymour and an array of Tudor lords and ladies. But beyond these, Holbein was a humanist, satirist, political propagandist, book designer and religious artist.

In this first of a two-part Not Just the Tudors special exploring the life and work of this multi-faceted genius, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to three of the world's foremost Holbein scholars - Jeanne Nuechterlein, Franny Moyle and Susan Foister - about the early life of Tudor England's artistic giant. 

 

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2021-09-20
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Clothing Tudor Queens

How did Tudor Queens clothe themselves? How did female fashion change over Henry VIII's reign? Did foreign Queens influence English fashion or adopt it? Did women wear underclothes?

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Maria Hayward about everything there is to know about what Tudor women wore, and why.

 

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2021-09-16
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Islam and the Elizabethans

Elizabeth I's excommunication by the Pope in 1570 marked the beginning of an extraordinary - and little talked about - English alignment with Muslim powers that were fighting Catholic Spain in the Mediterranean. This engagement with, and awareness of, Islam found its way into scores of plays, including Shakespeare's Othello.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Jerry Brotton about England's fascinating relations with the Muslim world, which were far more extensive, and often more amicable, than we might think.

 

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2021-09-13
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Making Babies in the 17th Century

Making babies was a mysterious process for people in early modern England. Their ideas about conception, pregnancy, and childbirth tell us much about their attitudes towards gender and power at that time.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Mary Fissell. She has been delving into a wealth of popular sources - ballads, jokes, witchcraft pamphlets, Prayer Books and popular medical manuals - to produce the first account of how women's reproductive bodies were understood in the 17th century.

 

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2021-09-09
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Travels and Travails in the Ottoman Empire

In July 1596, Fynes Moryson - a Lincolnshire gentleman and travel writer - was struck down with grief when his younger brother died as they crossed the desert on their return from Jerusalem. Moryson described his journeys and devastating experiences two decades later in an account titled Itinerary, at once a personal memoir and a huge manual of travel advice.  

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Eva Johanna Holmberg, whose study of Moryson, his travels and his travails, sheds light on the lives and emotions of people in the early modern period.

 

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2021-09-06
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The Tudors in Love

The dramas of courtly love have captivated readers and dreamers for centuries. Yet they?re often dismissed as something that existed only in the legends of King Arthur and chivalric fantasy.

But in this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Sarah Gristwood tells Professor Suzannah Lipscomb how the Tudors actually re-enacted the roles of the devoted lovers and capricious mistresses first laid out in the romances of medieval literature - romantic obsessions that shaped the history of Britain.

 

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2021-09-02
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Emotions and the History of Witchcraft

Not all suspicions of witchcraft led to a formal accusation, and not all such accusations led to trials and execution. During the entire early modern period, the large, Lutheran duchy of Württemberg in southwestern Germany - where there were some 600 accusations - only 350 went to trial, 197 of which ended with burning at the stake. So what does this tell us about how people understood themselves and each other, the psychology and emotions of those accused, and how they tried to defend themselves? 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Laura Kounine, who has been studying how the community, church, and agents of the law sought to identify witches, and the ways in which ordinary men and women fought for their lives in an attempt to avoid execution.

 

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2021-08-30
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Explainer: Henry VIII's Break with Rome

King Henry VIII was deeply religious and started out as a staunch supporter of the Pope and the Roman Catholic church. But everything changed when Henry's need to produce a male successor led to his wanting to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. 

In this first of an occasional series of Explainer podcasts, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb offers everything you ever wanted to know about one of the most famous and far-reaching episodes in British history.

 

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2021-08-26
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Awaiting the Apocalypse: The Münster Rebellion

Between February 1534 and June 1535, the German city of Münster was seized and ruled over by a radical group of Protestant Christians called Anabaptists who believed the Biblical Apocalypse was imminent. Their leader styled himself as a new King Solomon. He took 16 wives and - allegedly - personally executed those who opposed him. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Kat Hill about this extraordinary attempt to create the "New Jerusalem" and its inevitably disastrous outcome.

 

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2021-08-23
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Beauty Tips from the Renaissance

What was the 16th century ideal of beauty for women? Fat or thin? Blonde or brunette? Pale or tanned? How did women keep clean? Did they remove their body hair?

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb gets the lowdown from Jill Burke - Professor of Renaissance Visual and Material Cultures at the University of Edinburgh - on all the tips to become an authentic Renaissance Woman.

 

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2021-08-19
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"Bloody Mary" vs. "The Virgin Queen"

Queen Mary I has had a bad press over the centuries, her five-years on the throne overshadowed by her half-sister Elizabeth's 45-year reign. While Elizabeth I is often hailed as "Gloriana" - and one of the greatest ever Britons - "Bloody Mary" more often finds her way onto charts of the most evil women in history. Both childless, Mary is reviled as "barren" while Elizabeth is lauded as the "Virgin Queen".

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Anna Whitelock who puts the case for a more balanced assessment of Mary I as a Queen who pioneered what female rule could look like.

 

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2021-08-16
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The Black Prince of Florence

In the cut-throat world of Renaissance Florence, Alessandro - the illegitimate son of a Duke and a mixed-race servant - attempts to reassert the Medicis? faltering grip on the city state. But after just six years in power, Alessandro is murdered by his cousin while anticipating an adulterous liaison.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Catherine Fletcher, author of The Black Prince of Florence, about one man's spectacular rise to power against the odds, and his violent demise.

 

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2021-08-12
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Henry VIII: Defender of the Faith?

Five hundred years ago in 1521, the title 'Defender of the Faith' was bestowed by Pope Leo X upon King Henry VIII for his defence of the Catholic Church against the threat of Martin Luther. Why did he then break away from Rome and create religious divisions for centuries to come? A new online exhibition - drawn from the colletion of the Society of Antiquaries in London - offers a new perspective on the power Henry wielded, his personality and passions.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb finds out more about this fascinating resource from its curator Dr. John Cooper. View the objects while listening to the podcast here: https://stories.sal.org.uk/henryviii/

 

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2021-08-09
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The Witches of Lorraine

Between 1570 and 1630, there was intense persecution and thousands of executions of suspected witches in Lorraine, a small duchy on the borders of France and the Holy Roman Empire. In some cases, suspicious citizens waited decades to report their neighbours as witches. But why did they take so long to use the law to eliminate the supposedly dangerous figures who lived amongst them?

Robin Briggs - Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College Oxford - has delved into perhaps the richest surviving archive of witchcraft trials to be found in Europe. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, he talks to Professor Suzannah Lipscomb about his conclusion that witchcraft was actually perceived as having strong therapeutic possibilities: once a person was identified as the cause of a sickness, they could be induced to take it off again. 

 

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2021-08-05
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Beards Maketh the Man

For the Tudors and Elizabethans, a beard denoted masculinity while beardlessness indicated boyhood or effeminacy. How a man wore his beard - or not - said a lot about his power and position in society. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to theatre historian Dr. Eleanor Rycroft about her hirsute pursuits, analysing the depiction of beards in portraits and on stage, what their various colours, shapes and sizes meant, and what they tell us about gender attitudes in early modern England.

 

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2021-08-02
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A 17th Century Mexican Superstar Nun

Though she is relatively unknown outside of Mexico, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz - poet, playwright and nun - is an icon and national hero in her homeland. She even features on the 200 peso banknote. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Amy Fuller Morgan about the real Sor Juana - misrepresented and mythologised as a subversive upstart, even a martyr - who in fact had a privileged life and the support of the Church and court, and who carefully cultivated her own image and saintly reputation.

 

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2021-07-29
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Queen Catherine Howard: Henry VIII's Fifth Wife

Catherine Howard was Queen Consort - and fifth wife - to Henry VIII for just 16 months before he had her executed for treason for committing adultery. Since Victorian times, historians have labelled her as lewd and promiscuous, but there was an altogether more complex young woman behind the rumours.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Gareth Russell, author of Young and Damned and Fair, a riveting account of Catherine's tragic marriage to an unstable King, and the tragedy of her life in a dangerous hothouse where the odds were stacked against her. 

 

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2021-07-26
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Martin Luther's World and Legacy

A controversial figure during his lifetime, Martin Luther set in motion a revolution that split Christianity in the West and left an indelible mark on the world today. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to renowned Luther biographer Lyndal Roper to explore the man behind the carefully crafted image - misogynistic, anti-Semitic, occasionally self-doubting, religiously devout yet with a crude, scatological sense of humour.

 

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2021-07-22
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Rival Queens: Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici

The relationship between Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici - the two most powerful Queens of their time - is one of the most intriguing and captivating stories of the 16th century. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Estelle Paranque about her new book Blood, Fire and Gold, which explores how these two formidable women wielded and negotiated power, and were united only in their dislike of Mary, Queen of Scots.

 

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2021-07-19
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Early Modern Feminists

In this edition of Not Just The Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Hannah Dawson, editor of The Penguin Book of Feminist Writing who draws upon poems, novels and memoirs to show that even in Tudor times, and earlier, there was not only insight that sexism existed, but women were articulating their struggle against patriarchal oppression.

 

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2021-07-15
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Sodomy and Sex Crimes in Early Modern France

In the 16th and 17th centuries and beyond, certain sexual acts were made capital crimes in England, France and other countries. The offence of "sodomy" embraced a wide range of acts including rape, child abuse and bestiality.  

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Tom Hamilton who has deeply researched the subject, shedding light on what the authorities and ordinary people at the time thought about sex. (This podcast contains some explicit language and descriptions.)

 

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2021-07-12
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The Story of the Death of Anne Boleyn

The Story of the Death of Anne Boleyn is a long narrative poem written by the secretary to the French ambassador in London within two weeks of the Queen's execution. It was intended as a diplomatic dispatch, relating the astonishing news - in verse - of her demise, along with that of five alleged lovers. 

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor JoAnn DellaNeva, who has been researching a previously unstudied manuscript of the poem. Her translation sheds new light on a work which straddles the domains of literature and history, of chronicle and fiction.

 

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2021-07-08
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Treasures from the National Trust Collections

Dr Tarnya Cooper is the Curatorial and Collections Director at the National Trust. For her recent book, 125 Treasures from the Collections of the National Trust, she and 60 curators brought together the most extraordinary objects that can be found in National Trust properties around the country.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Tarnya joins Suzannah Lipscomb with her pick of her 12 favourite items, from Cardinal Wolsey?s purse to a "spangled bed."

 

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2021-07-05
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How Coffee and Tobacco Captivated Britain

When tobacco arrived in Britain in the 1560s, it was hailed as a "holy herb", a miracle cure to improve health and a catalyst for wit and creativity. The coming of coffee - "black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love" - in the mid-17th century, led to the establishment of coffee houses where debates flourished and innovations were born that helped to shape the modern world.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr. Matthew Green - author of London: A Travel Guide Through Time - about how nicotine and caffeine changed the British way of life.

 

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2021-07-01
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John Heywood: The Tudor Satirist who Kept his Head

Playwright and musician John Heywood was a devout Catholic humanist and biting satirist - married to Sir Thomas More's niece - who managed to survive life as a courtier through the Catholic and Protestant regimes of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb finds out more about this fascinating figure with Professor Greg Walker, author of the first full scholarly biography of John Heywood, whose life was a case study of the role of comedy in a period of religious and political extremism.

 

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2021-06-28
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Gold and Glory at Hampton Court

On 7 June 1520, Henry VIII of England and François I of France met at the Field of Cloth of Gold. For three weeks on English soil in Northern France, the two Kings - and the 12,000 who accompanied them - feasted, jousted, and made merry. This party without parallel was a peace summit between the two countries, arranged by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. 

A new exhibition at Hampton Court, called Gold and Glory, explores this seminal event through paintings, objects, and manuscripts. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb takes a tour around the exhibition with one of its curators, Dr. Alden Gregory.

 

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2021-06-24
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The Emperor: The extraordinary Charles V

Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by Professor Geoffrey Parker to explore the extraordinary life and career of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500?1558), who ruled Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and much of Italy and Central and South America,

Prof. Parker has examined countless surviving written sources, interrogating every dimension of Charles?s long reign, to produce an epic, detailed and vivid life of a complex man and his rule over the world's first transatlantic empire.

 

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2021-06-21
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The Sun King in Love: Louis XIV and his Mistresses

Louis XIV ruled France for more than 72 years, the longest recorded reign of any monarch of any sovereign country in history. Despite the devotion of his wife Maria Theresa of Spain, Louis took a series of mistresses, a number of them "official", with whom he had numerous illegitimate children. Yet, for the last three decades of his life, after Maria Theresa's death, he settled down more loyally with the Marquise de Maintenon. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb finds out more about the powerful and fascinating women behind the throne of the Sun King, with Dr Linda Kiernan Knowles.

 

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2021-06-17
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Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots, returned to the news headlines when the rosary she carried to her execution in 1587, was recently stolen from Arundel Castle. It's the latest chapter in the enduring story of this highly romanticised figure.  

Mary reigned over Scotland for just over 24 years between December 1542 until her forced abdication. Considered the legitimate sovereign of England by many Catholics, Mary was seen as a threat to Queen Elizabeth I. In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Kate Williams about Mary's tragic life, her disastrous marriages and the plots against Elizabeth that resulted in her execution.

 

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2021-06-14
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Japan's Edo Period and the "Floating World"

After a century of Civil War, changes in the way Japan was ruled from 1600 onwards meant that Europeans and Christianity made few inroads into Japanese society. Shogun Tokugawa organised Japan into a strict class system and its unique and brilliant culture flourished in isolation. In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb navigates the fascinating, floating world of Japan in the 17th century with Professor Timon Screech.

 

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2021-06-10
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Bloody Massacres and the Puritan Poet

In 1589, Anne Dowriche, the wife of a Puritan minister from Devon, wrote a long and gory poem about the bloody, ongoing conflict between Catholics and Huguenots in France. Dowriche's The French Historie was one of the few sixteenth century books written entirely by a woman. She was also almost alone as a woman in publicly commenting on contemporary political events and speaking up against tyranny.

In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to historian Dr. Joanne Paul about Dowriche, who was also one of the first English writers to draw on Machiavelli, and whose works possibly inspired both Marlowe and Shakespeare.  

 

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2021-06-07
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The "Spectacle of Suffering": A 16th Century Executioner

The German executioner Meister Frantz Schmidt kept a fascinating journal of all the executions, torture and punishments he administered between 1573 and 1618. In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by Joel Harrington to talk about Schmidt - who showed himself to be an executioner with a conscience - and further explore public capital punishment in the 16th century, described by historians as the "spectacle of suffering." Contains graphic descriptions of punishments.

 

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2021-06-03
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The Dissolution of the Monasteries

Ordered by King Henry VIII and carried out by Thomas Cromwell, the dissolution of the monasteries was the greatest land re-distribution in England since the Norman Conquest, and the largest windfall of cash to the crown in history. Between 1536 and 1540, 800 religious houses were dissolved leading to nothing less than the wholesale destruction of monasticism.

In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to writer and historian Mathew Lyons about the dissolution and its far-reaching consequences - on pregnant women, the poor and the libraries of England. 

 

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2021-05-31
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The Renaissance Lute

The lute, with its double strings and beautiful decorative detail is a familiar feature of Renaissance paintings. In the sixteenth century, lute music was highly prized in the courts of Europe and lutenists earned handsome sums.

In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to leading lutenist and musicologist Dr. Lynda Sayce, to explore and hear the lute, how it evolved in different countries, and its cultural importance.

 

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2021-05-27
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Origins of the English in India

In the late 16th century, a group of London merchants petitioned Queen Elizabeth I to allow them to build English trade in Asia. She granted a charter in 1600 to support the English East India Company for 15 years, which King James I later turned into rights and perpetuity. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb talks to historian Dr David Veevers from Queen Mary University of London about his exciting research into the origins of the English - later British - East India Company, which casts a new light on the story of the British in India, especially how the later dominance of the Empire was by no means guaranteed in its earliest days.

 

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2021-05-24
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Anne Boleyn Special: New Discoveries

Anne Boleyn has been trending on Twitter after it was announced that secret inscriptions were found hidden in the Book of Hours that she took to her execution. They were discovered by Kate McCaffrey who talks to Suzannah in this special to mark the 485th anniversary of Anne Boleyn's death, on 19 May 1536.

Also in this episode, Suzannah goes to Anne's childhood home of Hever Castle in Kent to meet Dr.Owen Emmerson and delves deep into Anne?s family background with Dr. Lauren MacKay.

 

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2021-05-20
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Anne Boleyn Special: Life and Afterlives

In the first of two special podcasts to mark the 485th anniversary of Anne Boleyn's death, Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the enduring fascination with Anne's life and demise.

Exploring the different perceptions of Anne and her re-creation through her many afterlives are authors Claire Ridgway and Natalie Grueninger, historian Dr. Stephanie Russo and art historian Roland Hui.

 

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2021-05-17
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17th Century Female Spies

If you think that the female spy is a 20th century phenomenon, be it Mata Hari, Mrs Zigzag or Eve Polastri, think again! Accounts of numerous 17th century 'she-intelligencers' have lain undiscovered in archives for centuries. And these remarkable women were much more than the honey-trap accomplices of a Stuart-era George Smiley. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Suzannah Lipscomb is joined by Nadine Akkerman, author of Invisible Agents: Women and Espionage in Seventeenth-Century Britain to talk about her fascinating quest to unearth the plots and conspiracies involving women spies that have been forgotten by history.

 

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2021-05-13
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Banqueting like a Tudor

The Tudors loved a good banquet, to show off their wealth and social status. Guests were plied with the most superb food, made from the most expensive ingredients and displayed in the most outrageous way. Professor Suzannah Lipscomb meets Brigitte Webster to find out more about what the Tudors served at their banquets, how these feasts influenced the habits of the time, and how the availability of sugar - which was thought of as a medicine - transformed their lives (and their dental health!)

 

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2021-05-10
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The Aztecs: Human Sacrifice, Birth, and Sex

What we know about the Aztecs of Mexico often comes from the accounts of their Spanish conquerors. But the Aztec culture was far more sophisticated than the European invaders chose to portray. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock about the real reasons behind Aztec ritual sacrifice and cannibalism, and their com beliefs about the afterlife, childbirth, gender roles and sexual norms.

 

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2021-05-06
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John Lyly: The Queer Shakespeare

John Lyly's name may not be so familiar. He was a playwright and poet writing at the same time as Shakespeare and, in his day, was more famous than the Bard himself. Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr Andy Kesson about Lyly's radical and, frankly, queer works: his plays in which Queen Elizabeth was compared - at court! - to the lesbian poet Sappho, and in which the marriage of two girls dressed as boys is approved by Venus, goddess of love. Why has Lyly been forgotten? And why might he just be the alternative Shakespeare for our times?

 

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2021-05-03
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Bridewell: The Palace that became a Prison

In the heart of Shakespeare's London, there was a palace that had become a prison: Bridewell. Professor Duncan Salkeld has explored the records of this notorious destination for the poor and the indigent, vagrants, prostitutes, and the idle. In this episodes of Not Just the Tudors, he shares with Professor Suzannah Lipscomb his fascinating findings about the wayward and the unruly . These include 'Black Luce', a brothel madam probably of African heritage, who has been suggested as a candidate for the 'dark lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets.

 

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2021-04-29
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Henry VIII's Billionaire Wardrobe

Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustinian described Henry VIII as the 'best dressed sovereign in the world'. The King spent the equivalent of £2 million a year on clothes. In this episode with Professor Maria Hayward, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb gets to grips with the sumptuous garments, the fabrics (and exaggerated codpieces) that made up the Tudor king's wonderous wardrobe.

 

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2021-04-29
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