Not Just the Tudors

By History Hit Network

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Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks about everything from the Aztecs to witches, Velázquez to Shakespeare, Mughal India to the Mayflower. Not, in other words, just the Tudors, but most definitely also the Tudors.

Each episode Suzannah is joined by historians and experts to reveal incredible stories about one of the most fascinating periods in history. 

Episode Date
Banqueting like a Tudor

The Tudors loved a good banquet, to show off their wealth and social status. Guests were plied with the most superb food, made from the most expensive ingredients and displayed in the most outrageous way. Professor Suzannah Lipscomb meets Brigitte Webster to find out more about what the Tudors served at their banquets, how these feasts influenced the habits of the time, and how the availability of sugar - which was thought of as a medicine - transformed their lives (and their dental health!)


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May 10, 2021
The Aztecs: Human Sacrifice, Birth, and Sex

What we know about the Aztecs of Mexico often comes from the accounts of their Spanish conquerors. But the Aztec culture was far more sophisticated than the European invaders chose to portray. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock about the real reasons behind Aztec ritual sacrifice and cannibalism, and their com beliefs about the afterlife, childbirth, gender roles and sexual norms.


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May 06, 2021
John Lyly: The Queer Shakespeare

John Lyly's name may not be so familiar. He was a playwright and poet writing at the same time as Shakespeare and, in his day, was more famous than the Bard himself. Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Dr Andy Kesson about Lyly's radical and, frankly, queer works: his plays in which Queen Elizabeth was compared - at court! - to the lesbian poet Sappho, and in which the marriage of two girls dressed as boys is approved by Venus, goddess of love. Why has Lyly been forgotten? And why might he just be the alternative Shakespeare for our times?


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May 03, 2021
Bridewell: The Palace that became a Prison

In the heart of Shakespeare's London, there was a palace that had become a prison: Bridewell. Professor Duncan Salkeld has explored the records of this notorious destination for the poor and the indigent, vagrants, prostitutes, and the idle. In this episodes of Not Just the Tudors, he shares with Professor Suzannah Lipscomb his fascinating findings about the wayward and the unruly . These include 'Black Luce', a brothel madam probably of African heritage, who has been suggested as a candidate for the 'dark lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets.


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Apr 29, 2021
An Early Modern Teenage Werewolf

The witch-hunts of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe are well-known. But did you know that some 300 people were convicted of being werewolves? In this revelatory podcast with Dr. Jan Machielsen, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb travels back to 1603 to find out more about the moving case of Jean Grenier, a self-confessed teenage werewolf from the Basque region of France. Who was he? And what were the tragic circumstances that led to his conviction?


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Apr 29, 2021
Velazquez and the Spanish Court

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Laura Cumming - author and art critic for The Observer - about Velázquez, arguably the greatest genius of Spanish painting. They particularly discuss one of the world's most remarkable paintings - Las Meninas ('The Ladies in Waiting'), how the artist rose through the stifling, gilded court of Philip IV, and the way in which Velázquez dignified everyone he painted - from the King himself through to some of the most vulnerable members of his court.


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Apr 29, 2021
Henry VIII's Billionaire Wardrobe

Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustinian described Henry VIII as the 'best dressed sovereign in the world'. The King spent the equivalent of £2 million a year on clothes. In this episode with Professor Maria Hayward, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb gets to grips with the sumptuous garments, the fabrics (and exaggerated codpieces) that made up the Tudor king's wonderous wardrobe.


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Apr 29, 2021