100 books like How to Be a Tudor

By Ruth Goodman,

Here are 100 books that How to Be a Tudor fans have personally recommended if you like How to Be a Tudor. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From my list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Why did Kirsten love this book?

Rather than examining Henry VIII’s wars as military engagements or part of international politics, this book looks at the impact war had on the English people. How were towns and villages affected by the need to provide men for the royal army? What was the impact of war on trade and agriculture? How were ordinary men persuaded to enact the violence required by war, and what was the physical and mental impact on them? How were wars justified and linked to a sense of Englishness? Originally given as a series of lectures, the chapters are connected but can be dipped into as stand-alone articles.

By Steven Gunn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry VIII fought many wars, against the French and Scots, against rebels in England and the Gaelic lords of Ireland, even against his traditional allies in the Low Countries. But how much did these wars really affect his subjects? And what role did Henry's reign play in the long-term transformation of England's military capabilities?

The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII searches for the answers to these questions in parish and borough account books, wills and memoirs, buildings and paintings, letters from Henry's captains, and the notes readers wrote in their printed history books. It looks…


Book cover of Rich Apparel: Clothing and the Law in Henry VIII's England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From my list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Why did Kirsten love this book?

Maria Hayward is my go-to author for all things clothing and fashion in Tudor England. In this book, she focuses on dress during Henry VIII’s reign, and the sumptuary legislation that regulated what people could wear. However, this is more than just a study of legislation. Hayward also uses wills, portraits, inventories and letters to describe and analyse the actual clothes owned by people from across the social spectrum. Of particular use to newcomers to the history of fashion is the information she provides about the different types of fabric and accessories, and her glossary.

By Maria Hayward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rich Apparel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

English dress in the second half of the sixteenth century has been studied in depth, yet remarkably little has been written on the earlier years, or indeed on male clothing for the whole century. The few studies that do cover these neglected areas have tended to be quite general, focusing upon garments rather than the wearers. As such this present volume fills an important gap by providing a detailed analysis of not only what people wore in Henry's reign, but why. The book describes and analyses dress in England through a variety of documents, including warrants and accounts from Henry's…


Book cover of All the King's Cooks: The Tudor Kitchens of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From my list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Why did Kirsten love this book?

Peter Brears takes us ‘below stairs’ at the court of Henry VIII and into the kitchens that fed and waited on up to 1000 people a day. Structured around the different rooms that made up the kitchen, he details the food and drink that was being produced and gives a snapshot of the ordinary people working there. The book is nicely illustrated with sketches of Tudor implements and methods of cooking. For anyone who wants to try eating like a Tudor, the book concludes with a selection of recipes, all of which have been trialed in the kitchens at Hampton Court and adapted for the modern kitchen.

By Peter Brears,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the King's Cooks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Possibly the first industrial complex to be operated in England, the kitchens at Hampton Court Palace were highly organised and built to feed the whole of King Henry VIII''s household. Brears traces their history & functions in this illustrated volume.'


Book cover of England's Other Countrymen: Black Tudor Society

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Author Of The Man Behind the Tudors: Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

From my list on everyday life in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I am a historian and historic buildings consultant with a longstanding interest in 15th and 16th century England. In addition to my own work on memorials, funerals, and the Howard family, I have worked as a researcher and consultant for television and books, including being a production researcher for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. 

Kirsten's book list on everyday life in Tudor England

Kirsten Claiden-Yardley Why did Kirsten love this book?

In this thought-provoking book, Onyeka Nubia encourages us to re-examine Tudor concepts of race and ethnicity in Tudor (and Stuart) England without assumptions based on post-colonial narratives. What emerges is a nuanced picture of complex interactions, attitudes, and prejudices. As well as studying the writings of Tudor scholars, theologians, and authors, Nubia looks at the lives of individual Africans in England, showing that they weren’t “strangers” but lived as part of English communities - whether in cosmopolitan London parishes such as St Botolph without Aldgate, or in rural villages.

By Onyeka Nubia,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked England's Other Countrymen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tudor period remains a source of timeless fascination, with endless novels, TV programmes and films depicting the period in myriad ways. And yet our image of the Tudor era remains overwhelmingly white. This ground-breaking and provocative new book seeks to redress the balance: revealing not only how black presence in Tudor England was far greater than has previously been recognised, but that Tudor conceptions of race were far more complex than we have been led to believe.

Onyeka Nubia's original research shows that Tudors from many walks of life regularly interacted with people of African descent, both at home…


Book cover of The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England

Toni Mount Author Of How to Survive in Tudor England

From my list on survival in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I’ve studied and written about the Tudors for many years including a monthly article in Tudor Life magazine, plus I’ve written several successful books looking at the lives of ordinary people in history and now, my first full scale look at the Tudors. The Tudor period is one of the best known in our history and is dominated by so many well-known and fascinating characters but my interest rests with the ordinary folk and how their lives changed so fundamentally in this time. The dissolution of the monasteries changed everyday life for many and marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning of a more enlightened time. 

Toni's book list on survival in Tudor England

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

Ian Mortimer gives us a fascinating insight into Elizabethan life, and I think this edition of his Time-Traveller’s Guide is as entertaining and informative as the others in the series.

I really enjoyed the details of everyday life, such as what would be in the kitchen or larder, although sometimes the lists were a little long. I enjoy the format of this type of book being written as a travel guide, it is educational as well as easy to read.

By Ian Mortimer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A fresh and funny book that wears its learning lightly' Independent

Discover the era of William Shakespeare and Elizabeth I through the sharp, informative and hilarious eyes of Ian Mortimer.

We think of Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558-1603) as a golden age. But what was it actually like to live in Elizabethan England? If you could travel to the past and walk the streets of London in the 1590s, where would you stay? What would you eat? What would you wear? Would you really have a sense of it being a glorious age? And if so, how would that glory…


Book cover of A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England

Toni Mount Author Of How to Survive in Tudor England

From my list on survival in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I’ve studied and written about the Tudors for many years including a monthly article in Tudor Life magazine, plus I’ve written several successful books looking at the lives of ordinary people in history and now, my first full scale look at the Tudors. The Tudor period is one of the best known in our history and is dominated by so many well-known and fascinating characters but my interest rests with the ordinary folk and how their lives changed so fundamentally in this time. The dissolution of the monasteries changed everyday life for many and marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning of a more enlightened time. 

Toni's book list on survival in Tudor England

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

I enjoyed this study of all the many places of interest with a Tudor connection, from sumptuous palaces to the new theatres, and from forbidding castles to ruined abbeys.

Professor Lipscomb takes us on a journey revealing some hidden treasures and details of fascinating characters that won’t be known to everyone.

By Suzannah Lipscomb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join historian Suzannah Lipscomb as she reveals the hidden secrets of palaces, castles, theatres and abbeys to uncover the stories of Tudor England. From the famous palace at Hampton Court where dangerous court intrigue was rife, to less well-known houses, such as Anne Boleyn's childhood home at Hever Castle or Tutbury Castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned, follow in the footsteps of the Tudors in the places that they knew.

In the corridors of power and the courtyards of country houses we meet the passionate but tragic Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII's last wife, Lady Jane Grey the nine-day…


Book cover of The Tudors: A Very Short Introduction

Toni Mount Author Of How to Survive in Tudor England

From my list on survival in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I’ve studied and written about the Tudors for many years including a monthly article in Tudor Life magazine, plus I’ve written several successful books looking at the lives of ordinary people in history and now, my first full scale look at the Tudors. The Tudor period is one of the best known in our history and is dominated by so many well-known and fascinating characters but my interest rests with the ordinary folk and how their lives changed so fundamentally in this time. The dissolution of the monasteries changed everyday life for many and marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning of a more enlightened time. 

Toni's book list on survival in Tudor England

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

This is an indispensable summary of sixteenth-century English history, but it’s not as short as you might expect (the second edition actually includes greater content). The facts are well-researched, and the details are concise.

If you know nothing of the Tudors this is a good place to start, but being ‘very short’ it will leave you wanting to know more.

By John Guy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tudors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The monarchs of the Tudor period are among some of the most well-known figures in British history. John Guy presents a compelling and fascinating exploration of the Tudors in the new edition of this Very Short Introduction.

Looking at all aspects of the period, from beginning to end, he considers Tudor politics, religion, and economics, as well as issues relating to gender and minority rule, and the art, architecture, and social and material culture of the time. Introducing all of the key Tudor monarchs, Guy considers the impact the Tudor period had not only at the time, but also the…


Book cover of Terrifying Tudors

Toni Mount Author Of How to Survive in Tudor England

From my list on survival in Tudor England.

Who am I?

I’ve studied and written about the Tudors for many years including a monthly article in Tudor Life magazine, plus I’ve written several successful books looking at the lives of ordinary people in history and now, my first full scale look at the Tudors. The Tudor period is one of the best known in our history and is dominated by so many well-known and fascinating characters but my interest rests with the ordinary folk and how their lives changed so fundamentally in this time. The dissolution of the monasteries changed everyday life for many and marked the end of the medieval period and the beginning of a more enlightened time. 

Toni's book list on survival in Tudor England

Toni Mount Why did Toni love this book?

This entertaining book is aimed at children but could really be enjoyed by everybody as a light-hearted introduction to the Tudors.

I think the whole Horrible Histories series shows that history can be fun and is a great place for children to start to look into the past. I enjoy looking at history from another perspective: how horrible can it be?

By Terry Deary, Martin Brown (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Terrifying Tudors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Discover all the foul facts about the Terrifying Tudors with
history's most horrible headlines.
All the foul facts about the Terrifying Tudors are
ready to uncover, including:



who invited Queen Lizzie to visit his brand new toilet

and what you get when you sew the front of a chicken to the back
of a pig





Fully illustrated throughout and packed with horrible
stories - with all the horribly hilarious bits included



with a fresh take on the classic Horrible Histories
style, perfect for fans old and new

the perfect series for anyone looking for a fun
and informative read

Horrible…


Book cover of Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Kenneth L. Campbell Author Of The History of Britain and Ireland: Prehistory to Today

From my list on British and Irish history with a wide range of topics.

Who am I?

I have a Ph.D. in British history and have taught a variety of courses on the topic for the past 40 years. Since first visiting Scotland on a study tour in 1981, I have been to Britain and Ireland both multiple times and have spent extended periods of time there. From Shakespeare to the Beatles, from the Norman Conquest to the Second World War, from Roman Britain to Brexit, I have found each period of British and Irish history endlessly fascinating and sharing my passion with students and readers has been one of the great joys of my life. 

Kenneth's book list on British and Irish history with a wide range of topics

Kenneth L. Campbell Why did Kenneth love this book?

If there is any one book that has changed the way I view early modern British history, Kaufman has written that book.

Kaufman has written a series of mini-biographies here of Black residents of Britain during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries that predate Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and demonstrate just how wide-ranging the Black British experience was during this period. The book challenges many preconceptions, especially the association of Blacks with slavery that really only emerged in England after the Tudor period.

The stories of the individuals featured in this book have much to teach us, not only about this early period, but about the Black contribution to British history in general and the need for historians to write them back into that history.

By Miranda Kaufmann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Tudors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018

A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer

A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England...

They were present at some of the defining moments of the age. They were christened, married and buried by the Church. They were paid wages like any…


Book cover of Woodsmoke and Sage: The Five Senses 1485-1603: How the Tudors Experienced the World

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Author Of Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served Anne Boleyn

From my list on by Tudor historians.

Who am I?

I’m an author, researcher, and historian writing about Tudor women. As a woman myself, I’m naturally interested in what life was like for those who came before me, and I’m very passionate about writing the lesser-known, forgotten women back into the historical narrative of the period. We all know about Henry VIII’s six wives, his sisters, and daughters, but there were other women at the Tudor court whose stories are no less fascinating.

Sylvia's book list on by Tudor historians

Sylvia Barbara Soberton Why did Sylvia love this book?

What did Tudor England look, sound, or smell like?

This is an innovative work from Amy Licence, historian of women's lives. Using the five senses, she skilfully plunges readers into sixteenth-century England, letting us see, hear, smell, taste, and (almost) touch the Tudor world like we've never experienced it before.

By Amy Licence,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Woodsmoke and Sage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditionally history is cerebral: what did they believe, what did they think, what did they know?

Woodsmoke and Sage is not a traditional book.

Using the five senses, historian Amy Licence presents a new perspective on the material culture of the past, exploring the Tudors' relationship with the fabric of their existence, from the clothes on their backs, the roofs over their heads and the food on their tables, to the wider questions of how they interpreted and presented themselves, and what they believed about life, death and beyond. Take a journey back 500 years and experience the sixteenth century…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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