1st Edition

Power and Politics in Tudor England Essays by G.W. Bernard

By G.W. Bernard Copyright 2000

    Characterised by an interest in the nature and expression of power, this collection of essays by George Bernard combines a number of previously published pieces with original studies. Chapters range from detailed studies of aspects of the political and religious history of the reign of Henry VIII to more general accounts of early-modern architecture, the development of the Church of England, and a polemical attack upon 'postmodern' historiography. The role of the nobility is a major theme. Emphasis is given to their social, economic, political and ideological power and the ways in which they exercised it in support of the monarchy. In-depth examinations of the falls of Anne Boleyn and Cardinal Wolsey and the relationship of the King and ministers challenge widespread views concerning the significance of factionalism. Analyses of such key events indicate that Henry VIII was very much in charge. Likely to provoke considerable debate, this stimulating collection is an important contribution to Tudor history.

    Contents: Introduction; The continuing power of the Tudor nobility; The fall of Wolsey reconsidered; The fall of Anne Boleyn; Elton’s Cromwell; Court and government; The downfall of Sir Thomas Seymour; Amy Robsart; Architecture and politics in Tudor England; The Church of England c.1529-c.1642; History and Postmodernism; Index.


    George Bernard is a Reader in the Department of History at the University of Southampton. He is the author of War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England (1986) and the editor of The Tudor Nobility (Manchester 1992). He is currently preparing a major study of the Henrician Reformation.

    'Bernard's provocative essays refocus scholarly attention on important questions.' H-Net Reviews '...a valuable collection of twelve clear and perceptive essays.' Northern History '... vigorous and incisive questioning of established orthodoxies and widely accepted interpretations is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.' English Historical Review 'The historiography of the period is richer for this.' History