The Tudor period has been a part of history that has interested me since I first heard about it in primary school. I was eight or nine years old and we had to recreate Tudor homes with cardboard boxes, paper and paint. While recreating the houses, we learned all about Henry VII and the Battle of Bosworth and then onto Henry VIII and his six wives.
At the time the lessons were short and we quickly moved onto a different part of history. But the stories stayed in my head. It would be four years later when I would cover the time period again, and this time in more detail.
Henry VIII’s six wives were the main focus and I learned the rhyme that most now know: “divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived.” We also briefly covered Edward VI and Mary I before moving onto Elizabeth I and her Golden Age. I found it fascinating and wanted to learn more, but there was only so much school could do. School had a fixed time slot to stick to, so it meant research.
With so much other schoolwork and extracurricular activities, that research didn’t happen for a few more years. I would know the stories in the back of my head, but had to focus on technology, geography, politics and the other subjects that I chose to take. It was a few years ago that I fell in love with writing again and started making money online. I finally had the time and reason to start researching into my favorite time period. But I learned so much more than I ever did in school. I soon realized just how biased my lessons were.
If my lessons were so biased, I could only imagine how others’ lessons were. You see, history is written by the victors. You’ll have heard about the finding of Richard III’s body in the Leicester car park, and will have heard how the Tudor dynasty twisted the kind of guy that he was. We’ll never know his true personality or whether he had anything to do with those poor Princes in the Tower (another story for another time). With that in mind, you can understand that Mary I’s story was written by Elizabeth I’s supporters and those who came after her. You’ll have heard of the nickname “Bloody Mary” because of the almost 300 Protestants that she burned at the stake, but you may not realize that that nickname didn’t come about until years after her death! History is biased and as I started to research deeper, I realized just how much that was the case.