Anne Somerset

Two scenes in Henry VIII’s Psalter, illuminated by Jean Mallard, depict the king as David: (right) in the role of penitent and (left) fighting the mighty Goliath of Pope Paul III

Tudor, by Leanda de Lisle - review

10 August 2013 9:00 am

The Tudors, England’s most glamorous ruling dynasty, were self-invented parvenus, with ‘vile and barbarous’ origins, Anne Somerset reminds us

Rogues’ gallery: 
Georgiana was ‘a liar, cheat and exploiter of her friends’; her husband, the fifth Duke, was ‘an insensitive and autocratic brute’; while her son was ‘manically self-absorbed’

The Devonshires, by Roy Hattersley - review

4 May 2013 9:00 am

Anne Somerset wonders why Roy Hattersley chose to write a history of a family he so clearly disapproves of

An Elizabethan ‘blade’ automatically wore a sword as he went about town

The strange potency of things

10 November 2012 9:00 am

Building on the success of his acclaimed Radio 4 series and bestselling book A History of the World in 100…


What did he see in her?

2 June 2012 6:00 pm

When King George I came over from Hanover in 1714 to claim the crown he had inherited from his distant…

A conflict of wills

21 October 2009 12:00 am

It might seem odd that Eric Ives, the acclaimed biographer of Anne Boleyn, should turn his attention to another executed Tudor queen, Lady Jane Grey.

House-building and husbandry

20 August 2005 12:00 am

Bess of Hardwick has usually been viewed as a hard-hearted schemer, an unscrupulous woman who triumphed in male-dominated Tudor England…

Tricky regime change

7 May 2005 12:00 am

At Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in April 1603, the predominant emotion among the spectators was relief. For the past 45 years…

The woman in black

24 January 2004 12:00 am

Catherine de Medici was, quite literally, the original black widow. After her husband, King Henri II of France, was accidentally…