British History 1485-1603

Update on the post I published in October last year, about my reading list for University – British History 1485-1603. I studied this subject during the Michaelmas term and at the beginning of the Hilary term. The books you can see in the picture were on the reading list I received before starting University. After I started my studies I received a much longer list, with more books on different subjects. The books without number, marked with an *, are the ones I read, but weren’t on the first list, either from the second list or books I had at home.

British History 1485-1603

I did not read all of them, but I looked at all the books. From some I’ve read only a few pages to almost half of the book, over 150-200 pages. If I didn’t finish the book, I did not make a review for it.

To make it easier for my readers, who might be interested in Tudor History, I’ve added the number of stars I gave each book, from 1 to a maximum of 5. This rating is highly subjective, as you can imagine. My rating is accompanied by a one sentence description too.

Books for British History 1485-1603: Course texts

1. Tudor and Stuart Britain by R. Lockyer
2. The Emergence of a Nation State. The Commonwealth of England 1529-1660 by A.G.R. Smith
3. Tudor England by John Guy

These three books are the course texts, all really good, but I haven’t read any cover-to-cover as two of them cover the Stuart period too. I mentioned before that I had to read each week a few chapters from two or all three of them. I read all the required material, even if the information was similar, up to 100 pages for the weekly seminar.

Books for British History 1485-1603: Other books

1. Henry VII’s New Men and the making of Tudor England by S. Gunn
2. New Worlds, Lost Worlds, The Rule of the Tudors 1485-1600 by Susan Brigden – 4 stars. It is a good book on the Tudors, with plenty of information.
3. The English Family, 1450-1700 by R. Houlbrooke
4. The Mid-Tudor Crisis, 1545-65 by D.M. Loades – 5 stars. It is a short and very enjoyable book.
5. English Reformations: Religion, Politics and Society under the Tudors by Christopher Haigh – 5 stars. It is an entertaining book that sheds light on the biases regarding the reformation.
6. Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor by Eamon Duffy – 5 stars. I’ve enjoyed this book a lot as it shows the people were not as Protestant as it was assumed until recently.
7. Tudor Rebellions by Anthony Fletcher – 5 stars. Short and filled with details and dates, just the perfect book for someone studying this subject.
8. Images of Rule: Art and Politics in the English Renaissance 1485-1649 by D. Howarth – 5 stars. This is a very interesting book and beautifully written. I think is worth reading.
9. Towns in Tudor and Stuart Britain by S.M. Jack
10. Tudor England and its Neighbours by Glenn Richardson, Susan Doran – 5 stars. Each chapter is authored by a historian, on different aspects of the Tudor England.
11. The British Problem 1534-1714 by B. Bradshaw and J. Morrill
12. Women in Early Modern England by S. Mendelson & P. Crawford
13. The Oxford illustrated history of Tudor and Stuart Britain by John Morrill – 5 stars. It is a compilation of chapters on different aspects of that period, each one authored by another historian.
14. Shakespeare’s London by Stephen Porter – 5 stars. A great, but short guide to London in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
15. England and Europe by Susan Doran – 5 stars. A concise and great book for anybody studying history.
16. Tudor Economic Problems by Peter Ramsey – 5 stars. It’s a great little book about the economic problems the Tudor faced. I highly recommend it, if you are interested in the subject, obviously.
17. The Tudors by Siobhan Clarke, Linda Collins – 5 stars. It is a good starting book, a commercial book. But it has plenty of pictures which make it very interesting for historians too.
18. The Domestic Revolution by Ruth Goodman – 5 stars. A fascinating insight in how domestic life changed with the change in fuel. From Elizabeth to Victoria.

Books for British History 1485-1603: Biographies

1. Henry VII by S. Cunningham – 4 stars. Cunningham compares Henry VII’s reign with Edward IV’s often, so it is an interesting angle to view the history.
2. The Reign of Henry VIII – Personalities and Politics by D.R. Starkey – 3 stars. Interesting view of the reign and the factions, but too harsh at times.
3. Henry VIII by J.J. Scarisbrick
4. Henry VIII by L. Wooding – 5 stars. Wooding views Henry’s role in politics as more active than other historians, giving a different view on his reign.
5. Edward VI by Jennifer Loach – 5 stars. It is a great book, lovely to read.
6. Mary Tudor by J.M. Richards – 5 stars. Offers a different view on Mary. I highly recommend it.
7. Elizabeth I by C Haigh – 5 stars. It is organized on different aspects of her reign and it is a very helpful book. His style of writing is lovely and it can be enjoyed by a non-historian too.
8. Elizabeth I by J.E. Neale
9. Elizabeth I and Her Circle by Susan Doran – 3.5 stars. The book is biased towards Elizabeth and I don’t agree with some of the things mentioned there.
10. Henry VIII and the men who made him by Tracy Borman – 3.5 stars. Too many assumptions made by her means the book is a bit too biased for my taste.
11. Elizabeth I by Wallace MacCaffrey – 4 stars. A good book, easy to read, but biased.

1 thought on “British History 1485-1603”

  • You have a good system set up here and it’s nice to see that you’re really enjoying most of what you’re reading so far!

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