In The Private Lives of the Tudors, Tracy Borman delves deep behind the public face of the monarchs, showing us what their lives were like beyond the stage of court. Drawing on the accounts of those closest to them, Borman examines Tudor life in fine detail. What did the monarchs eat? What clothes did they wear, and how were they designed, bought, and cared for? How did they practice their faith? And in earthlier moments, who did they love, and how did they give birth to the all-important heirs?
Delving into their education, upbringing, sexual lives, and into the kitchens, bathrooms, schoolrooms, and bedrooms of court, Borman charts out the course of the entire Tudor dynasty, surfacing new and fascinating insights into these celebrated figures.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The royal bedding ceremony was subject to a similarly strict set of rules as the marriage ceremony and wedding feast. At around 8 o’clock in the evening, the bride was escorted to her chamber by her ladies, who undressed her and put her to bed. The groom, meanwhile, was stripped down to just his shirt – an undergarment that would have reached to at least mid-thigh and, in Henry’s case, would have been delicately embroidered. Then, accompanied by his gentlemen attendants, musicians, priests and bishops, he joined his wife in the bedchamber. The clerics would pronounce their blessings, and then a concoction of wine and spices would be served. Known as the void or voidee, this was a mixture of expensive sweet and sharp spices such as pepper, saffron, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. It was thought to be beneficial to health and digestion, as well as sweetening the breath and engendering strength and courage.
The onlookers were often slow to leave. Sometimes, they demanded to see the naked legs of the couple touching, which in some cases was accepted as a sign of consummation. Others expected to witness the royal newlyweds kissing or embracing. It was a crude reminder that a royal body was the property of the state; its functions of great interest to the people of the realm. Even after the throng of courtiers had bidden the couple goodnight and left the chamber, some may have lingered outside the closed door, straining their ears for any sound that might indicate the act of consummation was underway.