Tudor England - Vol. 1

Tudor England - Vol. 1

Tudor England - Vol. 1

Tudor England - Vol. 1

Excerpt

No apology is offered for presenting the first volume of yet another History of England. The historian writes history for the same reason that the poet writes poetry -- because he must. Nevertheless, each retelling of an old story must justify itself.

The present work seeks to combine (1) a factual narrative of events, showing clearly who did what and when; (2) a generous provision of notes (which the general reader can ignore if he wishes) to guarantee statements in the text and to guide students wishing to pursue particular points further; and (3) a gallery of illustrations portraying the chief actors of the period and providing a pictorial survey of the main activities of the people.

I had originally planned a text-book in perhaps two volumes, but in the course of writing it proved impossible to do justice to the subject without enlarging the scale, with the inevitable result of delaying completion. In the end it was found advisable to publish this Tudor section first, though out of its place, with the hope that the preceding periods, at least, will follow in due course. Owing to the great rise in prices while the book was going through the press it has unfortunately been found necessary to issue this section in two volumes.

I acknowledge with particular gratitude the kind and invaluable help given me by Mr C. K. Adams, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, with regard to the portraits. I hope that I have not unwittingly mistranslated his expert advice in a field particularly full of pitfalls. I am also indebted to the officials of the British Museum and of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, for advice on many points, and to the curators of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, for advice on portraits in their care. My debt to the great masters of the past, and to the lesser lights, both then and now, who have cultivated Tudor studies will be apparent on every page.

A few words may be added in explanation of the omission of some important personages from the illustrations and of the choice of portraits for some others. Cardinal Morton, Margaret Tudor, William Tyndale, Katharine Parr, Bishop Hooper, Lady Jane Grey and Edmund Spenser are unrepresented either because no portraits of them have survived or because those usually attributed to them are now found to represent other sitters or to be extremely doubtful. Margaret Beaufort has been represented by No. 551 in the National Portrait Gallery (the No. 1488 sometimes reproduced for her having been found to have been made up at a later date), Katharine Howard by the miniature at Windsor Castle (of which another version is owned by the Duke of Buccleuch), the portrait at the National Portrait Gallery, No. 1119 (the original of which is at Toledo, U.S.A.) being rejected as doubtful. On the other hand, the Holbein drawing of John Colet has now been freed from earlier doubts as to the identity of the sitter, and Mr Michael Robinson of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, has identified the Hilliard miniature of Lord Charles Howard of Effingham now in that Museum and formerly owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The Duke of Northumberland has been represented by Lodge's engraving of the portrait then owned by Sir John Shelley Sidney but not now, I am informed, in the collection of Lord De L'Isle and Dudley at Penshurst. I was unfortunately unable to trace the terracotta bust attributed . . .

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