Mastodon The Writing Desk: Serving The Tudors, by James Taffe

1 July 2024

Serving The Tudors, by James Taffe

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

What was it like to serve the Tudors? From the Gentlemen of the King’s Privy Chamber, to the Queen’s Maids-of-Honour, James Taffe investigates the lives and careers of the men and women who served England’s most infamous ruling dynasty. 

Serving the Tudors examines broadly the royal households and wider courts of Tudor kings, queens, princes and princesses, from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603, offering insight into life serving at court both ‘above-stairs’ and ‘below-stairs’ in this period.

What duties did Tudor royal servants perform? How and why were they appointed? What was their relationship with their royal master or mistress? Did servants engage in court politics, piety and pastime? Did the experience of men and women at court differ? How were their careers impacted by, for instance, Henry VIII’s marital instability, or the Reformation? 

Serving The Tudors combines new archival research with decades of historical scholarship to address these questions and more, providing a new perspective from which to consider the Tudors, as royal masters, or mistresses, surrounded by the men and women who served them. 

Rich in new anecdotal evidence drawn together by analytical prose, this book also aims to widen the scope and our understanding of the Tudor court from strictly the household of the sovereign (Henry VIII, Elizabeth I) to the smaller, subsidiary households of consorts, princes and princesses (Anne Boleyn, Phillip II of Spain, Henry, Duke of Richmond) which were firmly integrated within the royal establishment.

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About the Author

Dr James Taffe is a Tudor historian whose research focuses on servants in the Tudor royal household. Born in Birmingham, England, he studied at Queen Mary, University of London and University of Birmingham before completing his PhD at Durham University in 2022. Courting Scandal: The Rise and Fall of Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, was his first publication. Follow James on Instagram and Twitter @tudortaffe

Natalie Grueninger speaks with Dr James Taffe about what it was like to serve a Tudor queen:

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