Elizabeth I

The first great English artist – the life and art of Nicholas Hilliard

23 February 2019 9:00 am

When Henry VIII died in 1547, he left a religiously divided country to a young iconoclast who erased a large…

Better than the film deserves: Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots

A slog – and why does Elizabeth look like Ronald McDonald? Mary Queen of Scots reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Mary Queen of Scots is a historical costume drama that, unlike The Favourite, does not breathe new life into the…

The Earl of Southampton, to whom Shakespeare dedicated ‘The Rape of Lucrece’. [Getty]

Shakespeare as political pamphleteer

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece is a puzzling and often terrible poem. Lucrece, the devout wife of Collatine, is raped by…

Court in the act: Simon Paisley Day as Sir Walter Raleigh in Ralegh: The Treason Trial at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Join a Jacobean jury at the Globe. Early modern theatre goes immersive – will it work?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Would a modern jury have convicted Sir Walter Raleigh of treason? Kate Maltby considers the evidence

Lettice had the same thin face as Queen Elizabeth I, and the same shock of thickly curled, fiery red hair

The great Tudor catfight

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Apart from glorying in a memorable name, Lettice Knollys has chiefly been known for her connections — with her second…

A three-hour bum-number by a German gas bag: Schiller’s Mary Stuart at the Almeida reviewed

14 January 2017 9:00 am

God, what a dusty old chatterbox Schiller is. Like Bernard Shaw, he can’t put a character on stage without churning…

In 1600 Muhammad al-Annuri arrived in England, as the Moroccan ambassador, to propose an Anglo-Moroccan alliance. Shakespeare probably started writing Othello six months later

Gloriana and the Sultan — England’s unlikely alliance

2 April 2016 9:00 am

The idea for a mechanical cock was never going to work. In 1595 the English ambassador to Constantinople, Edward Barton,…

‘If ever there was a Renaissance Man, John Dee was it’: from ‘The Order of the Inspirati’, 1659

John Dee thought he could talk to angels using medieval computer technology

16 January 2016 9:00 am

John Dee liked to talk to spirits but he was no loony witch, says Christopher Howse

We’re entering a new era for dance - expect big ballets with big stories

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Dance has its own archaeological periods, and 2016’s schedules are confirming what 2015 indicated — that the era of dances…

The top loo books of 2015

21 November 2015 9:00 am

There is not, sadly, a dedicated Trivia Books section in your local Waterstones, although at this time of year there…

Anita Dobson as Queen Elizabeth I in ‘Armada: 12 Days to Save England’

BBC2's Armada has something for everybody - including three yummy female historians

30 May 2015 9:00 am

It has been a while since the BBC really pushed the boat out on the epic history documentary front. Perhaps…

The divine mask slips: Queen Elizabeth I in old age, weary after a lifetime of inaction (English school)

Elizabeth I, queen of the waiting game

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Women are ‘foolish, wanton flibbergibs, in every way doltified with the dregs of the devil’s dunghill’. So a cleric reminded…

A toast to beer, from Plato to Frank Zappa

16 August 2014 9:00 am

‘He was a wise man who invented beer,’ said Plato, although I imagine he had changed his mind by the…

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