The Tudors in Love: The Courtly Code Behind England’s Famous Royal Dynasty
The Tudor era’s courtly love dramas have captivated readers, historians, and dreamers for centuries. However, courtly love can be deadly. For both monarch and courtiers, the stakes often were higher than just flirtation and romance. From Henry VIII’s marriages, after he declared himself the ‘loyal and most assured servant’ of Anne Boleyn, to Elizabeth I’s virginity and description by her courtiers as a ‘goddess come to earth’—courtly love affected the ups and downs of English politics and diplomacy.
Historian and author Sarah Gristwood will reveal to Royal Oak the way courtly love both made and marred the Tudor dynasty. She will illustrate how the Tudors reenacted the roles of the devoted lovers and capricious mistresses featured in medieval romances and poems—especially from the French court. She also will describe the heartbreaking history of a few royal women trapped by politics—and betrayed by courtly love. Finally, Sarah will dissect the codes of courtly love and desire and demonstrate how these romantic obsessions irrevocably shaped Tudor politics, the British monarchy, and international diplomacy.
Sarah Gristwood, Best-selling Author and Historian
Sarah Gristwood is a graduate of Oxford University. A former journalist, she contributes to newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph. She is a media commentator for Sky News, CNN and the BBC on royal and historical affairs. She also has contributed to documentaries on the Royal House of Windsor, the Queen’s speeches, the Queen Mother, the legacy of Admiral Nelson, Inside Balmoral, and Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh. Gristwood is the author of five books about 15th and 16th century. Among her best-selling titles: Arabella: England’s Lost Queen; Elizabeth & Leicester; Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the War of the Roses; and Game of Queens. She has also written a number of books on iconic 20th century figures–from Winston Churchill to Elizabeth II and Beatrix Potter to Virginia Wolf—and has been shortlisted for the Marsh Biography Award and the Ben Pimlott Prize for Political Writing. She is the author of two historical novels an. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the RSA.