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Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served at the…

Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served at the Tudor Court

by Victoria Sylvia Evans

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This book is a brief history of Henry VIII's six wives, with a little extra attention paid to the Ladies who served them. The first part explains the difference between the various types of servants and the layout of the royal household. My problem is that there isn't much about the ladies, except for names, information that is likely to crop up in just about any history of the wives. The story of the Basset sisters, recounted in the Lisle letters, is often quoted. There isn't much evidence here of digging into more obscure sources to bring new facts to light. Evans tell us that lives of Henry's four English Queens "provide an extraordinary wealth of information about the structure and rotation of servants within their Privy Chamber." It doesn't seem to me that much of that information is here. The information is not terribly well organized, either. I don't know why the Epilogue isn't merged with the introductory material, which it sometimes duplicates. The only possible point of an epilogue is to point out that the importance of the Ladies increased when they were serving during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth, Queens in their own right. In addition, there are no orderly lists of the women who served the various Queens, one must skim the entire chapter for names, or do a search if one knows an actual name. Although it is useful to recount some history in telling the tale, I often became impatient as Evans told the stories of the wives, rather than of their servitors. I think it would be more useful to be able to look up a particular lady and see how many Queens she search and for what years, rather than having the organization by the wives. Further, I'd like to know more about the lives of the Ladies. Did they go home from time to time? Live at court with their husbands, if they were married, or did they stay in rooms near the Queen? We are told that they had great influence, but what are some examples? Did male courtiers' wives live at court, even if they had no official position? Could they have guests with them at court from time to time; children, friends, relatives? Were they all on duty all the time, did some or all of them stand in attendance on the Queen at all times during public appearances, or did they take turns? If I were trying to write a book about the daily life of a court lady, I don't think this would be a lot of help. ( )
  juglicerr | Jan 12, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Victoria Sylvia Evansprimary authorall editionscalculated
Sullivan, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Although a great deal of material has been published on Henry VIII's household and the organization of the Tudor court as a whole, the role of women has been somewhat overlooked and even diminished.  (Introduction)
The Tudor court was the place to be for anyone who wanted to build a successful career, but not everyone could be described as a "courtier."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 150040845X, Paperback)

Drawing on a variety of sixteenth-century sources such as manuscripts, household accounts, chronicles and personal letters, Victoria Sylvia Evans explores the role of ladies-in-waiting at the Tudor court. - What responsibilities did ladies-in-waiting and maids of honour have? - What was required to be selected as a lady-in-waiting? - What did an ordinary day at court look like? - What role did ladies-in-waiting play in the fall of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard? - Who are some of the most famous ladies to have served the Tudor queens? These and many other topics are covered in Ladies-in-Waiting: Women Who Served at the Tudor Court.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

An overview of what life was like in the Tudor Court for ladies in waiting and other attendants to the Queens of the House of Tudor.

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