Did Henry VIII Have a Medical Problem Regarding Procreation?

Henry VIII, Impotence and the Thorny Question of Male Heirs Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England was published in March 2022. In this book, which is full of many gems relating to Sex in the Tudor Era, I also include a theory as to why Henry VIII is known to have had only two male children, neither of whom was … Read More

Tudor Sex 2 Contraception in the Tudor Era

How Did the Tudors ‘Do’ Contraception? Childbirth was joyous but fraught with dangers What if a woman or man wanted to avoid having children during the Tudor Era? Official medicine stayed away from this particular desire on the part of a couple. Folk medicine did not. For as long as people have had sex, despite serious Church objections, there have … Read More

Tudor Sex & Sexuality Tudor Stews

What might you discover if you time-travelled to a Tudor brothel?   During the early modern period ordinary English attitudes to sensuality were probably freer than in many other parts of Europe. Foreign visitors to England from the late fifteenth century to the eighteenth century noted how persons of different sexes greeted each other with a kiss on the lips. … Read More

Elizabeth Cromwell and the Female Cloth Merchants of the Tudor Era

Elizabeth Cromwell and Female Cloth Merchants during the Early Tudor Era   To celebrate the republication on Thursday 25th June of Mistress Cromwell, originally published as The Woman in the Shadows, I have written this article to explain the novel’s background. Mistress Cromwell is set in London during the first three decades of the Tudor Era. Some historians, including myself, … Read More

Medieval Cooking, Is the Stomach a Cauldron?

http://carolcmcgrath.co.uk/medieval-cooking-is-the-stomach-a-cauldron/

Henry III, married to Eleanor of Provence, absolutely loved feasts and pageants. He enjoyed dressing extravagantly and she was a fashion icon during the mid thirteenth century. Eleanor’s coronation feast was lavish. Henry, a man with a grand sense of occasion, was generous and warm-hearted. He spared no expense for his wedding to thirteen-year-old Eleanor and the coronation which followed … Read More

A Thirteenth Century Fashionista, Ailenor of Provence

A Thirteenth Century Fashionista Ailenor of Provence, the heroine of my new book The Silken Rose was a leader of fashion during the thirteenth century. She was an impoverished princess from Provence but once she married Henry III money was no object. Plus her older sister, Marguerite, was married to the King of France and Ailenor, certainly not wishing to … Read More

Thomas Cromwell’s Wife: Elizabeth, Mistress Cromwell

Why Write a Novel about Thomas Cromwell’s Wife ? Having written about Thomas Cromwell’s wife Elizabeth, Mistress Cromwell, I  hear a few whispers of Why Elizabeth Cromwell? Yes, I was inspired by Wolf Hall and look forward to reading the final part of Mantel’s Trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. At this time of lock down due to COVID 19, … Read More

Paddy Leigh Fermor in Heidelberg

Paddy Leigh Fermor in Heidelberg

I have always admired the writing of Paddy Leigh Fermor. He lived in Kalamitsi a short distance from the village in the Mani where I base myself during the summer. I never did get to meet him but  have twice visited the villa he designed himself and part constructed with the assistance of a Greek friend who was a local … Read More

Medieval English Gardens- The Paradise or Love Garden

Gardens and medieval estates are significant in my current work in progress. The Damask Rose is set during the later part of the magnificent thirteenth century.  From the thirteenth century on, the medieval royal court was exceptionally interested in experimental gardening. The Tower of London and the Palace of Westminster possessed extensive gardens, orchards and vineyards. London was full of … Read More

Grey’s Court-A Medieval Manor

In early May, I visited Grey’s Court near Maidenhead in Berkshire, which like Wolf Hall, is a Tudor house with many additions from later centuries. It possesses a series of courtyards, outbuildings, medieval towers, magnificent gardens and a bluebell wood. As I walked around Grey’s Court I thought of how Wolf Hall could have appeared to the eye during the … Read More