Siobhan Clarke

A Tudor Christmas
  • A Tudor Christmas

  • Christmas in Tudor times was a period of feasting, revelry and merrymaking ‘to drive the cold winter away’. A carnival atmosphere presided at court, with a twelve-day-long festival of entertainments, pageants, theatre productions and ‘disguisings’, when even the king and queen dressed up in costume to fool their courtiers. Throughout the festive season, all ranks of subjects were freed for a short time from everyday cares to indulge in eating, drinking, dancing and game-playing.

    We might assume that our modern Christmas owes much to the Victorians. In fact, as Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke reveal in this fascinating book, many of our favourite Christmas traditions date back much further. Carol-singing, present-giving, mulled wine and mince pies were all just as popular in Tudor times, and even Father Christmas and roast turkey dinners have their origins in this period. The festival was so beloved by English people that Christmas traditions survived remarkably unchanged in this age of tumultuous religious upheaval.

    Beautifully illustrated with original line drawings throughout, this enchanting compendium will fascinate anyone with an interest in Tudor life – and anyone who loves Christmas.

Siobhan Elizabeth Clarke has a BA in Modern History and has worked for Historic Royal Palaces for seventeen years, writing tours and lectures on Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and the Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace. She lectures abroad for several luxury cruise lines and, within the UK, for the National Trust and various arts and historical societies. Her specialist periods are Tudors and Stuarts and she has featured on BBC Radio Woman's Hour and PBS Television's Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace.

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