Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Paperback available HERE
Ebook available HERE
The coronations of Henry VIII tell us a great deal about this extraordinary monarch. They reveal how he saw himself and how he wanted to be seen by others - both his own subjects and foreign rulers.
Henry was never shy about ceremony, display or extravagance. He enjoyed displays of pomp and ceremony as a way of getting across to his subjects messages about himself, his reign and how he saw his role in the world.
Few ceremonies offered as great a canvas on which to paint such images as does a coronation. It was, and remains, the premier ceremony in English royal life. In Henry's time it was an event of supreme political significance as well. Monarchs in Tudor times held real power in a way that they don't today. The coronation was a vital element in the political life of the nation.
Even in Henry's time it was an ancient ceremony with features and elements of ancient importance and ritual significance. But it has never been a static ritual. Henry felt free to change the ceremony of coronation to suit his own purposes - not just once but several times.
The people he invited, the roles he gave them and even the clothes he ordered them to wear were all deeply symbolic. No detail too small for Henry's eye. He was a huge man in more ways than one - larger than life and with a massive sense of his own impression. And he was determined that others would agree with him.
Most monarchs only go through one coronation ceremony. A few manage more than that, but generally only if they happen to be monarch of more than one country. James Stuart, for instance, was crowned King of Scotland in 1567 when he was only 13 months old. He was then crowned King of England in 1603 after inheriting that throne from his cousin Queen Elizabeth I.
This book looks at the coronations of King Henry VIII. It shows us how the coronations reveal so much about this greatest of all English monarchs.
About the Author
Rupert Matthews is a freelance writer of books on a variety of subjects. He has been writing books for some years and has had more than 150 titles published in 30 different languages. Some of those books have been for grown ups, but others have been for children aged 5 upwards. He has also presented TV shows and performed on radio as well.
Rupert Matthews has written more than a hundred history books for adults and for children. His works show a great attention to detail and frequently take a new and refreshing look at the subjects in hand. He is able to provide artwork references and to check artwork for accuracy. He is also able to produce maps and very often photos as well.
Rupert tweets as @HistoryRupert;
Monday, 16 January 2017
The Female Pope: The True Story of Pope Joan
For many centuries it was accepted almost without discussion that the priesthood, and pastoral work more generally, was exclusively a male domain. Women had a role within the Christian Church, as nuns or lay workers, but the giving of the sacraments was seen as a male preserve. And yet for centuries rumours and legends have swirled about that one woman did get to be pope in Rome. The Catholic Church has always denied the stories, but they refuse to go away. It is now time to look anew at these old stories and try to discover the truth that lies behind them. In this book Oliver Hayes looks at the legends of a Female Pope and uncovers the startline truth that lies behind them.
Chapter 1 - The Legend of the Female Pope
Chapter 2 - The Legend under Scrutiny
Chapter 3 - The Real Female Pope
Buy it HERE
Thursday, 12 January 2017
We tend to take buttons rather for granted these days. They are the ubiquitous fastener in all our wardrobes. We do them up in the morning without much thought. But in fact the humble button has been essential to the Western World for centuries. It made possible tailoring and fashion as we know them today. Without the button we would be quite undone.
We use buttons on shirts, jackets, skirts, dresses, suits, overcoats and a host of other clothing. These days they are so cheap that many people give them little regard. When you buy a shirt, blouse or jacket it comes with buttons already on it. When the garment wears out most people chuck out the buttons along with the item of clothing. Only a few of us bother to keep the buttons - mostly on the grounds that they "might come in handy one day". They rarely do, of course, because the next garment we buy also has buttons.
The modern wardrobe would be lost without buttons. It can come as a bit of a shock, therefore, to learn that humans had been coping without buttons perfectly well until fairly recently. Indeed, buttons are a surprisingly modern invention.
Not so very long ago nobody used buttons to do up their clothes. And when buttons did first come in they were not treated as lightly as they are today. Time was when buttons sent out important social messages about status, occupation and wealth.
The button has a long and distinguished history. But to understand just how crucial the button is, we need to start back before it had been invented.
Title: The History of Buttons
Author: Rupert Matthews
Format: 196 x 132 mm landscape
Extent: 58pp (10pp colour)
How to Order:
Send a cheque made payable to "Rupert Matthews" for £5 per book, plus £2.90 postage and packing for up to 7 books, to:
8 Fir Tree Close
The books "The History of Christmas Food" and "Winter God: The Authorised Biography of Father Christmas" are also available at £5 each.
Friday, 6 January 2017
Imagine 1066, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s epic journey to his date with destiny.
Imagine being part of King Harold’s army, did it rain, was it dry? Three days of marching, the nights were drawing in, the noise, the fear and a battle to face – a camp at Rochester, a camp at Bodiam and a final climb to Caldbec Hill.
The 14th October 1066 is one of the most emotive dates in English history and Harold’s march to the Battle of Hastings is the stuff of legends.
You too can follow in King Harold’s footsteps, along his most likely route to the Battle of Hastings, by walking 1066 Harold’s Way, a walk that starts at Westminster Abbey and finishes at Battle Abbey, East Sussex.
Accessible by public transport, there is nothing to stop you sharing the experience of 1066 Harold’s Way, through London, Kent and East Sussex.
The guidebook for this 100 mile long distance walk is readily available from Waterstones, Amazon, Foyles and other bookshops.
Find out more HERE