100 books like The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII

By Steven Gunn,

Here are 100 books that The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII fans have personally recommended if you like The English People at War in the Age of Henry VIII. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of How to Be a Tudor

Toni Mount Author Of How to Survive in Tudor England

From my list on survival in Tudor England.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 a guide to being a Tudor, everything from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night. Ruth Goodman gives us all the details of everyday life.

History very often concentrates on the lives of the rich and famous, the kings and queens, but it's the life of the ordinary person that always interests me. And this book fully illuminates that.

Known to many as a TV presenter, Ruth writes in an easily readable style.

By Ruth Goodman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How to Be a Tudor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I. A celebrated master of British social and domestic history, Ruth Goodman draws on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions to serve as our intrepid guide to sixteenth-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this "immersive, engrossing" (Slate) work pays tribute to the lives of those who labored through the era. From using soot from candle wax…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 Sunne in Splendour

Cheryl Fury Author Of Tides in the Affairs of Men: The Social History of Elizabethan Seamen, 1580-1603

From my list on firecrackers in early Tudor historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a History professor at a Canadian university. My research focuses on long-dead English sailors. I’m interested in how they “navigated” the challenges of their lives ashore and afloat. I’ve written a number of books and articles. My first book, Tides in the Affairs of Men: The Social History of Elizabethan Seamen, 1580-1603, examines the lives of seafarers during a period of intense maritime activity. If you want to “meet” those in the maritime community, this is the book for you. Since its publication, I’ve followed many of those sailors from the Elizabethan period into the early seventeenth century. I’m writing a book on diet, disease and disorder in the East India Company.

Cheryl's book list on firecrackers in early Tudor historical fiction

Cheryl Fury Why did Cheryl love this book?

Much like Tey’s book, the author raises questions about Richard Plantagenet and whether he was the much-maligned monster of Shakespearean imagining. I love SKP’s books as they draw you into the narrative and keep you entertained for hundreds of pages. 

I started reading every novel of Penman’s I could get my hands on when I was in my PhD. Reading had become a chore – something I did for my research. I had forgotten how to read for fun. My roommate in grad school had been a librarian and reminded me that books weren’t just something you “mine” for information. I am grateful she introduced me to Sharon Kay Penman’s works. 

Both Tey and Penman’s books were published decades before the discovery of Richard III’s body under a Leicester car park in 2012. A detailed autopsy did answer some of our questions about whether he had a misshapen body portrayed…

By Sharon Kay Penman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This special thirtieth anniversary edition of the bestselling The Sunne in Splendour, features an author's note from Sharon Penman.

Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, was seven months short of his nineteenth birthday when he bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, earning his legendary reputation as a battle commander in the Wars of the Roses, and ending the Lancastrian line of succession.

But Richard was far more than a warrior schooled in combat. He was also a devoted brother, an ardent suitor, a patron of the arts, an indulgent father, a generous friend. Above all,…


Book cover of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity by Jill Lepore

Amy Belding Brown Author Of Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

From my list on New England’s forgotten conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical fiction set in New England and based on the lives of real people. My New England roots go back to the 1630s when my English ancestors first came to the region so I’m steeped in its traditions and literature. I love doing the research for my books, especially when my characters lead me in new directions. I spent ten years digging into the conflict between the Puritans and the indigenous Natives and in the process discovered a largely forgotten story that has long-lasting implications for our day.

Amy's book list on New England’s forgotten conflict

Amy Belding Brown Why did Amy love this book?

When I was researching my novel, I read many books on King Philip’s War, and Jill Lepore’s The Name of War is the best by far. Written in a readable prose style, and filled with detailed descriptions of events, the book riveted me from the first page. I also found myself returning to it time after time for clarification and specific information. I love the way it takes a deep dive into the origins and unfolding of the hostilities as well as looking at its long-lasting aftermath. It also includes a compelling account of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity and release as well as tracing James Printer’s activities.

By Jill Lepore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

BANCROFF PRIZE WINNER • King Philip's War, the excruciating racial war—colonists against Indigenous peoples—that erupted in New England in 1675, was, in proportion to population, the bloodiest in American history. Some even argued that the massacres and outrages on both sides were too horrific to "deserve the name of a war."

The war's brutality compelled the colonists to defend themselves against accusations that they had become savages. But Jill Lepore makes clear that it was after the war—and because of it—that the boundaries between cultures, hitherto blurred, turned into rigid ones. King Philip's War became one of the most written-about…


Book cover of Enigma

Lance Hawvermale Author Of The Beekeeper's Bullet

From my list on historical action and some occasional kissing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the son of a pacifist poet and a Marine veteran of Vietnam. Perhaps because of this contradiction, I’ve been unable to find any occupation satisfying outside of writing. I spent my formative years with imaginary friends I met in libraries. My love of faraway places, romance, and war continues to this day. I write stories of strangers meeting under bleak conditions and finding the strength in each other to win the day.

Lance's book list on historical action and some occasional kissing

Lance Hawvermale Why did Lance love this book?

Related to my love of libraries is my adoration for codes and puzzles and secretive things. This novel is a fictionalized account of World War II codebreakers who race against the clock to break an unbreakable Nazi cipher. The hero’s life is complicated by the arrival of a beautiful MI5 officer...

By Robert Harris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Enigma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 1943, and a team of cryptanalysts led by Tom Jericho have broken the Enigma code of Hitler's U-boats. But inside the code-breaking centre, a woman disappears and authorities suspect the presence of a traitor, it is only when Jericho himself falls under suspicion that he must unmask the spy.


Book cover of War at the Edge of the World

Duncan Lay Author Of Bridge of Swords

From my list on rampaging Romans bathed in barbarian blood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a fascination for Roman history, having been born in the UK, and visiting Hadrian’s Wall. I have read many, many works of both history and historical fiction about Rome. To me, these five are the most memorable. Obviously the story has to be fantastic but it's important to be accurate. The opening battle in Gladiator annoyed me because the Romans never broke lines to fight man to man with barbarians. The concept of the Celts living among the rubble of the Empire, of being surrounded by things they cannot understand helped inspire my Empire Of Bones series. I even have a gladius sword and use it to inspire my own battle scenes. 

Duncan's book list on rampaging Romans bathed in barbarian blood

Duncan Lay Why did Duncan love this book?

This starts the Twilight Of The Empire series as Aurelius Castus—known as Knucklehead to his troopsslaughters his way across the Roman Empire. It’s gritty and believable and starts with an absolutely eye-popping fight. And then it just gets better from there.  

We meet Castus as a simple soldier but he becomes a Centurion and then a senior officer as the series develops and his concern changes from just staying alive and slaughtering his enemies to complex moral and political issues. But don't worry, no matter what uniform he wears, he still swings a sword with the best of them.

By Ian Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War at the Edge of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once a soldier in an elite legion from the Danube, newly promoted centurion Aurelius Castus now finds himself stuck in Britain's provincial backwater. But when the king of the Picts, the savages beyond Hadrian's Wall, dies under mysterious circumstances, Castus is selected to command the bodyguard of a Roman envoy sent to negotiate with the barbarians. What starts as a simple diplomatic mission ends in bloody tragedy, and soon Castus and his men are fighting for their lives-and it isn't long before the legionnaire discovers that nothing about his doomed mission was ever what it seemed. The first book in…


Book cover of In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars, 1793-1815

Martin Hutchinson Author Of Britain's Greatest Prime Minister: Lord Liverpool

From my list on Regency politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

More than 40 years ago, I first started writing a book on great ‘Tory’ leaders throughout history, several of whom were inexorably tied to this Regency period. Having never lost interest in the topic I continued to study the period and its political life and found a way to parlay experience from my career in finance and international business into a biography of the most economically proficient Prime Minister Britain has ever had. Research for that biography as well as for future Industrial Revolution-related books on which I am currently working has resulted in a broad and fruitful list of books on the period's politics.

Martin's book list on Regency politics

Martin Hutchinson Why did Martin love this book?

Jenny Uglow looks at the Napoleonic Wars period from the bottom up -- what life was like, how political issues affected the person in the street. Bankers, clergymen, working men and women, manufacturers, and statesmen all play roles in her narrative. Through the letters and diaries of ordinary people, she produces a vibrant picture of life in a period of unprecedented political, social, and economic turmoil. She still ends with the Battle of Waterloo, but Waterloo as experienced by the junior officers and enlisted men. A fascinating book, that shows how high politics and world events affected ordinary people and is highly accessible to general readers.

By Jenny Uglow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In These Times as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The sharply-observed characters and constant pricks of humour make this book seem almost as if Jane Austen had written a history of her own times." (Lucy Worsley The Times). We know the thrilling, terrible stories of the battles of the Napoleonic wars - but what of those left behind? The people on a Norfolk farm, in a Yorkshire mill, a Welsh iron foundry, an Irish village, a London bank or a Scottish mountain? The aristocrats and paupers, old and young, butchers and bakers and candlestick makers - how did the war touch their lives? Every part of Britain felt the…


Book cover of Jackdaws

Ulff Lehmann Author Of Shattered Dreams

From my list on to help deconstruct tropes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love history and stories. Over the years I realized stories are part history and part character. I still don’t know in which ratio, but a story without characters or history is boring. A world, any world, needs history as much as characters because the story develops from their interaction. As a writer I always ask why. It’s the quintessential question. Any character is there for a reason that must be linked to history in some form. It’s cheap to say, “they’re there because it suits the plot.” And all of these books give us both history and character(s). And then some.

Ulff's book list on to help deconstruct tropes

Ulff Lehmann Why did Ulff love this book?

In history class, we only learned about the abstracts of World War II, and then only from the criminal’s side, with very few lessons being dedicated to the other victims. Not only does this book allow you into the French Resistance against Nazi occupation, its main character is a woman! It’s obviously fiction, and the ending is still the fall of Nazi Germany, but you sweat along with the characters. It’s wonderful to see a completely ruthless female warrior take the fight to a vile enemy. Especially for me as a German, it was a great read.

By Ken Follett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his own bestselling tradition of Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Ken Follett delivers a breathtaking novel of suspense set in the most dangerous days of World War II.

D-Day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clariet, the stakes have never been higher. A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) responsible for sabotage, Flick has survived to become one of Britain's most effective operatives in Northern France. She knows that the Germans' ability to thwart the Allied attack…


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