100 years of splendour and squalor
From the arrival of Henry Tudor and his army, at Milford in 1485, to the death of the great Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this was an astonishingly eventful and contradictory age. All the strands of Tudor life are gathered in a rich tapestry - London and the country, costumes, furniture and food, travel, medicine, sports and pastimes, grand tournaments and the great flowering of English drama, juxtaposed with the stultifying narrowness of peasant life, terrible roads, a vast underclass, the harsh treatment of heretics and traitors, and the misery of the Plague.
Jasper Ridley gave up his practice at the bar to become one of the leading historical biographers of England, and his most recent book, Lord Palmerston, was awarded the James Tait Black Prize. He has twice stood for Parliament, and his personal experience of political affairs has given him added insight into the career of the most successful of Nineteenth-century revolutionaries. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.