Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Release: Encyclopedia of Tudor England

It seems that everywhere you turn there is a new movie, book, or TV show on some aspect of Tudor or Elizabethan times. Anonymous, a 2011 film directed by Roland Emmerich, and The Tudors, a BBC television series that ran on Showtime from 2007 to 2010, are just the latest in that growing list. Often these works revolve around the notoriously colorful and often outrageously distorted antics of royal characters such as Henry VIII and his wives. But many viewers and readers soon come to wonder what these times were really like and how much is actually known about these characters and the culture in which they lived. Often the reality proves to be just as interesting, if not more so, than the fictionalized portrayals, and following the research of historians of Tudor England can be as involving as any mystery story.

Published December 2011

The new Encyclopedia of Tudor England is an excellent resource for anyone who has ever watched a show or read a book and thought to themselves “Did that really happen?” Or began to wonder what people in Tudor England ate, wore, read, talked about, and even believed. What did they do for entertainment or work? How was knowledge conveyed? What happened when someone got in trouble with the law? Even in popular books and movies, terminology is often used or events referred to that are unfamiliar or confusing. With its concise and understandable explanations the Encyclopedia provides answers to those kinds of questions. Entries contain basic information about a person, event, place, thing, or idea, but they also help to set them in the context of their time and provide cross-references and bibliographies so that users can expand their knowledge in whatever direction suits them.

John A. Wagner, PhD, has taught British and U.S. history at Phoenix College, Phoenix, AZ, and at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Wagner is the author or editor of six books, including Greenwood's Voices of Shakespeare's England: Contemporary Accounts of Elizabethan Daily Life, and is a contributor to numerous major reference volumes on early modern and medieval history.

Susan Walters Schmid, PhD, has taught history and publishing courses at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Schmid is an independent scholar and freelance editor based in Nevada. Her review article on Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn was published in History Review in 2011.

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