The Royal Palaces of Tudor England: Architecture and Court Life, 1460-1547

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Yale University Press, 1993 - Architecture - 283 pages
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Why did Henry VIII have sixty houses? How did he feed his court? Why did his later houses lack great halls and chapels? This vigorous and original book investigates the social history of the Tudor court and the life of Henry VIII through the king's own buildings, and interprets these structures through an examination of his public and private activities. Simon Thurley begins by surveying the development of royal residence building from the two-room lodgings of the Plantagenets to the Tudor mansions covering dozens of acres. Then, focusing on the reign of Henry VIII, Thurley explains how and when the king's palaces were used and explores common myths about these buildings and the kind of life that was led in them. Drawing on contemporary accounts, inventories, diplomatic notes, and new archaeological research, Thurley illuminates early Tudor etiquette, hygiene, religion, government, recreation (from tennis and bowling to cockfighting), cooking, and interior decoration. Thurley concludes that this period saw major innovations in both the structure of the court and the form of royal residences - changes that would set the pattern for royal domestic architecture for two hundred years. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and plans, this intriguing book will delight readers interested in architectural and social history.

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The royal palaces of Tudor England: architecture and court life, 1460-1547

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At the time of his death in 1547, Henry VIII possessed over 60 royal residences. Thurley, in his capacity as Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, has thoroughly researched inventories, diplomatic notes ... Read full review

About the author (1993)

Simon Thurley is Chief Executive of English Heritage, with responsibility for the supervision of most of England's historic buildings and sites.

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