Friday, May 28, 2010

Derek Wilson

Derek Wilson is a writer and historian, and is the author of books on Hans Holbein, Francis Walsingham and Henry VIII.

His new book is Tudor England.

Recently I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
Most of my own reading is inevitably work-related. That doesn't mean that I don't derive pleasure from it. I enjoy my research into the highways and byways of the Tudor era. Fortunately, current writing is very rich in books on the period. Just to give you some idea of the enjoyment to be gained by fiction and non-fiction writing on 16th Century subjects here are a few titles I have read over the last couple of years:

John Guy, My Heart is my Own: John is a leading academic historian but in this biography of the 'romantic' Mary Queen of Scots he has produced a riveting study with a crisp narrative and some absolutely vital original research.

Jessie Childs, Henry VIII's Last Victim: This is a really exciting book from a debut author. Jessie writes fluently and revealingly about the courtier-poet, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.

Gregory Walker, Writing Under Tyranny: This is a book to be read in conjunction with Jessie's by anyone who wants to go further into the literary world of Henry Howard, Thomas Wyatt and other writers living and working in the dark shadow of Henry VIII.

Kevin Sharpe, Selling the Tudor Monarchy: This is a wonderful book about the 'media folk' of Tudor England - artists and writers employed by a succession of monarchs to propagate an image of the sovereign. Breathtaking in its scope and a real revelation about Tudor 'spin'.

C.J. Sansom. His series of crime novels set in Henry VIII's England (Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign and Revelation) are an absolute must for lovers of historical fiction. They are beautifully researched unputdownable reads.

These books by authors who can write well and really know how to do their research all bring the 16th century to life and, incidentally, they show up the shortcomings of such fashionable lightweights as Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
Visit Derek Wilson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue