tudor books archaeology


Come and browse my website and let me share my passion for the medieval and Tudor periods with you. Maybe you have read some of my books or are just looking for some information on the period. Please do have a look round - and don't forget to sign the guestbook, any comments and suggestions are most welcome!

First, a bit about me. I have loved history and, particularly the Tudor dynasty and the queens of England since first picking up a book about the kings and queens as a child. I got into archaeology as a teenager and studied Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, focussing particularly on the medieval period.

During my degree I was awarded two scholarships by my college, New Hall, for my work and eventually attained a double first class degree. After leaving Cambridge, I completed a masters degree at Oxford University in European Archaeology. The focus was again on the medieval period, with my dissertation on the Anglo-Saxon sculpture of the South Saxon kingdom. 

 elizabeth norton

As an archaeologist, I have had the opportunity to work at a number of fantastic sites, including digging at a Bronze Age settlement site on the banks of the Danube in Hungary. I was also a member of a university research group in the Algerian Sahara, carrying out a survey of the prehistoric rock art there and travelling with the local Tuareg people.

My first book, She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of England spanned the period of English history between c.800 and 1558, combining both my interest in the Anglo-Saxon period and reawakening a fascination with the Tudor period. Short biographies of four of Henry VIII's wives then followed (Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession, Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love, Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII's Discarded Bride and Catherine Parr). I then moved back into the medieval period with a biography of Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort. Each of these biographies is intended to be short and to the point: I wanted to tell their stories.

Another way of telling a historical subject's story is through the sources themselves and this was the idea behind my next book: Anne Boleyn, In Her Own Words and the Words of Those Who Knew Her. This acts as a companion to my biography of Anne and is a collection of the letters, dispatches, chronicles, poems and other documents that are commonly used by historians to tell the story of Anne's life. I hope you find it useful!

Also, look out for England's Queens: The Biography. This is my most ambitious work to date and contains a brief biography of every English queen and king's wife from Raedburh (or Redburga) in the ninth century to Elizabeth II. There are also a few earlier queens in there too!

I have also written a biography of Bessie Blount, Henry VIII's mistress. Bessie has not been studied in depth since the early twentieth century and I have uncovered a great deal of new information about her life, as well her family and children. Bessie's time as a royal mistress, whilst important, was only one aspect of the life of this fascinating and complex woman.

The Boleyn Women, was recently released, which is a history of the women of the Boleyn family from their peasant origins at Salle in Norfolk until the death of Elizabeth I - the daughter of a Boleyn woman.

My most recent book is Elfrida, The First Crowned Queen of England, which is the first ever biography of the most important Anglo-Saxon queen. It has been a major labour of love for me, based on my work on Anglo-Saxon history from my archaeology days I have worked on it, as a side project, for the past seven years.

I am currently carrying out academic research at King's College, London into the Blount family of Shropshire (of which Bessie Blount was a member). This will touch upon the family's interest in and reaction to the changes of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in England. As part of this, I will be contributing journal articles and giving papers at academic conferences. Eventually I should be awarded a PhD!

I am currently working on the first ever biography of Elizabeth Boleyn, the mother of Anne and Mary and a woman present and involved in many of the events of the reign. Further details of this are on my Current Projects page or on my agent's website (www.andrewlownie.co.uk). 

Finally, I also write articles for magazines, journalnd websites and am available for talks, events and book signings. I have also appeared as an expert on television, including programmes for Sky Arts and the National Geographic channel. I live in Kingston upon Thames, near Hampton Court Palace, with my husband and two sons.


elizabeth norton 

 tudor books