This seminal period of British history is a far-off world in which poverty, violence and superstition went hand-in-hand with opulence, religious virtue and a thriving cultural landscape, at once familiar and alien to the modern reader. John Matusiak sets out to shed new light on the l... ives and times of the Tudors by exploring the objects they left behind. Among them, a silver-gilt board badge discarded at Bosworth Field when Henry VII won the English crown; a signet ring that may have belonged to Shakespeare; the infamous Halifax gibbet, on which some 100 people were executed; scientific advancements such as a prosthetic arm and the first flushing toilet; and curiosities including a ladies' sun mask, 'Prince Arthur's hutch' and the Danny jewel, which was believed to be made from the horn of a unicorn. The whole vivid panorama of Tudor life is laid bare in this thought-provoking and frequently myth-shattering narrative, which is firmly founded upon contemporary accounts and the most up-to-date results of modern scholarship. 'Everything you wanted to know about the Merrie England of the Tudors and some things you probably did not. If the Tudors seem far removed, they are also curiously modern. They had spectacles and metal prosthetic arms, while a 'fuming pot' was but a prototype Air Wick. Matusiak's mini essays accompanying the photographs are perfectly sculpted and the book is beautiful to hold.' - Charlotte Heathcote, The Sunday Express
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