Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath

Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath* is a short and fascinating book. I enjoyed it a lot and in its short chapters it touches on all sort of topics, from hair removal, which was pretty gruesome both in how it was done and the reason for hair removal, to how people dress. For me this is a must read book if you are interested in Tudor history. I should point out that McGrath covers the period from 1485 to 1558 and not the Elizabethan period, which I think was the best way to cover the period. One of the other topics described in the book was about courtly love and that was very interesting too, especially as the author decided to add short passages from poems, which was really nice to read.

Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath

Overall I liked the book a lot and it is a good book in this fascinating series. The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that some things were repeated, hence I gave the book 4.5 stars instead of 5. If anyone reads fiction or non-fiction from the Tudor period they need to read this book too. It’s not a subject widely covered, but, of course, it is something that was very important in the day-to-day lives of people living at that point, so it should be known and discussed about.

I wish she spent a bit more time on the new law regarding homosexuality – Buggery Act of 1533 – as, apparently, Thomas Cromwell was very preoccupied with men having sex, which was, in his mind, a sin. Henry VIII’s adultery was not as sinful for Cromwell though… Although it is a short book and its aim was to give a wide view and not an in-depth view on specific topics.

Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword History
Year it was published: 2022
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History – Tudor
Pages: 176

About the author: Following a first degree in English and History, Carol McGrath completed an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre, Queens University Belfast, followed by an MPhil in English from University of London. The Handfasted Wife was shortlisted for the Romantic novel of the Year. The Woman in the Shadows, a best-selling historical novel about Elizabeth Cromwell, wife of Henry VIII’s statesman Thomas Cromwell, was republished by Headline in 2020. She is writes Historical non-fiction and fiction.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.



2 thoughts on “Sex and Sexuality in Tudor England by Carol McGrath”

    • The Tudor one is different than the Ancient Rome, due to the different styles of the authors. It’s really nice to see that in the series. I hope you enjoy it if you get it. 🙂 xx

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