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

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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 lik 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.


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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 lik 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    The title is misleading. Instead of being about the actual ladies in waiting, who they were, duties performed and such, they were in the back drop. Reading this book you go through the Queen's scandals. How certain ladies supported or betrayed them during these times. Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn take up a large portion of this book. The rest of the wives were just blown through. It seemed as if we are told which main ladies were in the service of the Queen at that time,then moved onto th The title is misleading. Instead of being about the actual ladies in waiting, who they were, duties performed and such, they were in the back drop. Reading this book you go through the Queen's scandals. How certain ladies supported or betrayed them during these times. Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn take up a large portion of this book. The rest of the wives were just blown through. It seemed as if we are told which main ladies were in the service of the Queen at that time,then moved onto the next Queen. The author also kept referring to a source he denounced as being incredible. Gossip.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Doll

    I was expecting some interesting details about the actual duties and day-to-day responsibilities of these ladies. Not a re-hash of everything I already know about Henry 8's unfortunate long line of wives and the women who served them. I learned absolutely nothing. I was expecting some interesting details about the actual duties and day-to-day responsibilities of these ladies. Not a re-hash of everything I already know about Henry 8's unfortunate long line of wives and the women who served them. I learned absolutely nothing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is a subject I'd loooove to read a book about, but as it's apparently either self-published or POD, there's no information on the author - on her historical training, etc. I would love to see this expanded into a fuller volume, with perhaps a little less reliance on Alison Weir's works, though as I come from an academic background I'm a bit biased. The big problem is that there's not a whole lot of evidence on many of the Ladies-in-Waiting themselves, so aside from a fewvery important prima This is a subject I'd loooove to read a book about, but as it's apparently either self-published or POD, there's no information on the author - on her historical training, etc. I would love to see this expanded into a fuller volume, with perhaps a little less reliance on Alison Weir's works, though as I come from an academic background I'm a bit biased. The big problem is that there's not a whole lot of evidence on many of the Ladies-in-Waiting themselves, so aside from a fewvery important primary sources, most of it is (well-done) guesswork. The author can hardly be blamed for a lack of written sources 500 years ago...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hanna (lapetiteboleyn)

    It's an interesting read, but it is also 80% focused on the courts of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. The other wives are lucky if they get a couple of pages, and at times Evans gets so caught up in retelling abbreviated versions of each Queen's story that she forgets the Ladies in Waiting all together. It's an interesting read, but it is also 80% focused on the courts of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. The other wives are lucky if they get a couple of pages, and at times Evans gets so caught up in retelling abbreviated versions of each Queen's story that she forgets the Ladies in Waiting all together.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin Foster

    I commend this book for being easy to read and one can put it down and pick it up again with relative ease. However the book seems to focus too much on Henry VIII and his six wives rather than the ladies-in-waiting, who are pushed into the background. I understand that the royals had an important part to play in the roles of ladies-in-waiting but this book seems to be off balanced in its focus.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bryson

    During the reign of King Henry VIII it was an honour and a position of status and privilege to serve upon the King’s most intimate needs. Much has been written about these men that served the King, their duties, responsibilities, their rise and fall and their relationship with one of England’s most well-known kings. However there has been little written about the women that served each of Henry VIII’s wives and he was known to have six wives in total! As with the intimate court of the King the Q During the reign of King Henry VIII it was an honour and a position of status and privilege to serve upon the King’s most intimate needs. Much has been written about these men that served the King, their duties, responsibilities, their rise and fall and their relationship with one of England’s most well-known kings. However there has been little written about the women that served each of Henry VIII’s wives and he was known to have six wives in total! As with the intimate court of the King the Queen also had a court of her own and this was filled with women who served the Queen in various roles, often becoming quite closer to their mistress. These women, many of whom became more than just a lady in waiting, but a close friend and confidant of the Queen, have often been over looked in history by their male counterparts… that is until now. Evan’s book is a fascinating look at the women who spent much of their lives at court serving the six wives of Henry VIII. To serve the Queen and to be part of her court was one of the greatest honours and positions a woman of the Tudor period could aim to achieve. It was a great responsibility to serve the Queen as to be part of her court was to be close to the Queen and to come to know her most intimately. Evan’s book looks at the various roles that women could hold within the Queen’s court, including Maids of Honour and Ladies in Waiting. She describes the duties and responsibilities of these positions as well as a typical day for a woman that served the Queen, a day that would often start before the Queen woke and end long after she had gone to bed. These positions within the Queen’s court were highly sought after and families would often position, bribe, and offer gifts and other favours in return for a recommendation for their daughter, sister or other female member to be accepted into the Queen’s court. From here Evan’s moves on to discuss the many women that had the honour and responsibility of serving each of Henry VIII’s Queen’s. Logically she starts with Katherine of Aragon and the ladies that served her, many coming from Spain and staying on to serve their Queen through the most difficult of times. After the death of Katherine’s first husband, Arthur Tudor, she and her ladies fell upon hard times but her ladies stayed by their mistress and served her through her second marriage and then during the great hardships when Henry VIII sought an annulment of his marriage to Katherine. This was an extremely difficult time for the women who had stayed with Katherine of Aragon for over twenty years and yet they remained loyal to their Queen, even referring to her with the title of Queen even when it was forbidden. Evens then discusses the women that served the rest of Henry VIII’s wives, from Anne Boleyn to Jane Seymour onto Anne of Cleves (who also brought several ladies in waiting with her from her homeland of Cleves), through to Henry’s final two wives Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. It is fascinating to know that with each new Queen many of the women that served the previous Queen moved seamlessly to their new mistresses court and even at times became favourites of the new Queen. Women were a vital part of the Tudor Court and many women of the court came from the Queen’s household. Henry VIII was famous for choosing three of his future brides from the court of his previous wife, this as well as being close to the Queen and having her ear and being able to seek favours for family members are all reasons as to why positions within the Queen’s court were so valuable. Evans book is extremely well written and researched and gives a wonderful insight into the roles and responsibilities of the women that served each one of Henry VIII’s Queens, from her Maids of Honour to her Ladies in Waiting. Evans describes in detail the makeup of the Queen’s court, the various roles that each woman held, what a typical day would have been like for the women that served the Queen as well as providing information about these women and giving the reader an insight into their lives and history. Evans also talks about each Queen and their relationship with the women that served them. It is evident that a great deal of research has gone into this book and I feel that it is a must have for any bookshelf and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Tudor history and women’s history.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jen Hodgson

    A good overall read this one but it covered a lot of areas that I've read about before in many other books regarding Henry VIIIs 6 queens. I was disappointed not to read more detail about the daily lives and routines and ceremony that the ladies in waiting would have performed although there was some background into named ladies at court who would have served. It was only in the epilogue that the author then mentions that women had a much more pivotal role during the reigns of Queen Mary and Que A good overall read this one but it covered a lot of areas that I've read about before in many other books regarding Henry VIIIs 6 queens. I was disappointed not to read more detail about the daily lives and routines and ceremony that the ladies in waiting would have performed although there was some background into named ladies at court who would have served. It was only in the epilogue that the author then mentions that women had a much more pivotal role during the reigns of Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and that was an important if not vital part of life and politics for the men hoping to advance and succeed. I would be wary of picking up that edition if written by the same author as I think that the same amount of detail lacking in this one would also be in anything written about the forementioned queens, so I will look at other authors who have written in this field too. If you are new to the topic then this would be a good one to start with.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    This is more of a retread of the Six Wives of Henry VIII rather than focusing squarely on the ladies-in-waiting of the Tudor court. Evans pleads lack of materials, but I think, in different hands, this could have been an interesting lens to reexamine the Tudor court. Speaking of which, the subtitle is also misleading as the focus is all on Henry VIII’s reign, rather than the entire Tudor era. There is only one or two mentions of the ladies-in-waiting in general to Mary I and Elizabeth I, and noth This is more of a retread of the Six Wives of Henry VIII rather than focusing squarely on the ladies-in-waiting of the Tudor court. Evans pleads lack of materials, but I think, in different hands, this could have been an interesting lens to reexamine the Tudor court. Speaking of which, the subtitle is also misleading as the focus is all on Henry VIII’s reign, rather than the entire Tudor era. There is only one or two mentions of the ladies-in-waiting in general to Mary I and Elizabeth I, and nothing on Elizabeth of York’s ladies-in-waiting. An OK general overview of Henry's six wives with some focus on the women in their orbit.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leif C. Crowe

    HERSTORY...AT LAST! Growing up in an earlier generation, women were rarely mentioned in our history textbooks. I would wonder "what were the women doing while their husbands, fathers, and brothers were making history?" The first several times I asked, the teachers were flabbergasted. I was told very busy taking care of home, hearth, husband, and offspring. They had no time to branch out and pursue social issues or government. HERSTORY...AT LAST! Growing up in an earlier generation, women were rarely mentioned in our history textbooks. I would wonder "what were the women doing while their husbands, fathers, and brothers were making history?" The first several times I asked, the teachers were flabbergasted. I was told very busy taking care of home, hearth, husband, and offspring. They had no time to branch out and pursue social issues or government.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ann Boytim

    Interesting reading about the habits, customs, qualifications and duties of the Ladies in Waiting to the Queens in Henry VIII times. Henry VIII chose some of these women himself but mostly his wives did the choosing and these were coveted positions. Stories also of the various wives of Henry VIII and their fates.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jules Ramsay

    Great and informative Great and informative book, as a reader I felt I was there in the moment of the glad and the sad days and what was entailed being born a female, then to enter and work for "the firm - royalty" Thankyou Victoria Sylvia Evans for writing this great book. GO Well Great and informative Great and informative book, as a reader I felt I was there in the moment of the glad and the sad days and what was entailed being born a female, then to enter and work for "the firm - royalty" Thankyou Victoria Sylvia Evans for writing this great book. GO Well

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stella Chang

    Well researched but Very well researched book, but read more like segmented research paper than a book. This is definitely for the Tudor fanatics, and not for someone looking for a novel to enjoy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nisha

    The book had an interesting premise and started out well, but then it devolved into a retelling of The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pam Shelton-Anderson

    These ladies-in-waiting typical did not generate a lot of extant records on their own but are usually seen through the lives of those they served so I was not too bothered about so much focus on Henry and his wives. After all, the events of the principals impacted their associates profoundly. I did like the information on the day to day life at this court. It was decently researched but I felt there was a little too much reliance on the works of more recent authors in lieu of this author's own a These ladies-in-waiting typical did not generate a lot of extant records on their own but are usually seen through the lives of those they served so I was not too bothered about so much focus on Henry and his wives. After all, the events of the principals impacted their associates profoundly. I did like the information on the day to day life at this court. It was decently researched but I felt there was a little too much reliance on the works of more recent authors in lieu of this author's own assessment. Also, though the title indicates Tudor court, it is only for the reign of Henry VIII. As the book says, the most interesting ladies-in-waiting were in the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I but none of that is part of this work.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Wojtaszek

    A quick, entertaining and informative read about the lives of Tudor queens and their ladies-in-waiting (and other servants). I enjoyed the intimate details of their lives that could be picked up here and there as well as the entire scope of the book, and the theme of the rise of importance of women at court. Although I wish the text had continued on into the courts of Henry VIII's two daughters, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, it was a wonderful introduction to the times and has spurred me to le A quick, entertaining and informative read about the lives of Tudor queens and their ladies-in-waiting (and other servants). I enjoyed the intimate details of their lives that could be picked up here and there as well as the entire scope of the book, and the theme of the rise of importance of women at court. Although I wish the text had continued on into the courts of Henry VIII's two daughters, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, it was a wonderful introduction to the times and has spurred me to learn more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

    Molto istruttivo. La prima parte del saggio delinea i requisiti e i compiti delle "ladies-in-waiting" e delle "maids of honor" delle regine Tudor. La seconda parte dovrebbe focalizzarsi sulle figure storiche che hanno rivestito il ruolo di lady-in-waiting presso le mogli di Enrico VII ma, in realtà, è per lo più incentrata sulle regine stesse. Questo è l'unico motivo per cui non ho dato 5 stelle. L'autrice si distingue da altre colleghe per la capacità di non abbandonarsi a sciocche romanticheri Molto istruttivo. La prima parte del saggio delinea i requisiti e i compiti delle "ladies-in-waiting" e delle "maids of honor" delle regine Tudor. La seconda parte dovrebbe focalizzarsi sulle figure storiche che hanno rivestito il ruolo di lady-in-waiting presso le mogli di Enrico VII ma, in realtà, è per lo più incentrata sulle regine stesse. Questo è l'unico motivo per cui non ho dato 5 stelle. L'autrice si distingue da altre colleghe per la capacità di non abbandonarsi a sciocche romanticherie, rifacendosi continuamente a fonti storiche ben documentate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pat K

    When I bought this book, I thought it was historic fiction. However, it reads like an academic thesis on the topic. It starts with the ladies in waiting in the household of Catherine of Aragon and continues through to after the death of Henry VIII and the household of Catherine Parr. I love historic fiction of this era and this book was surprisingly informative and interesting.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    A study into the women who are often forgotten by history A fascinating look into the lives of the women who were witnesses to one of the most exciting and interesting times in English history

  19. 5 out of 5

    Celia Campbell-smith

    Interesting and easy read For those that enjoy learning more about the Tudors this is an easy and enjoyable read. No new information is presented but it does, as the title implies, give more insight as to the day to day life in the palace.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aishuu

    This didn't do much for me. I didn't find a ton of information I hadn't already seen presented in different sources. Instead, it was a vague discussion of the ladies and Tudor culture according to the queens at the time. There just wasn't anything new here. This didn't do much for me. I didn't find a ton of information I hadn't already seen presented in different sources. Instead, it was a vague discussion of the ladies and Tudor culture according to the queens at the time. There just wasn't anything new here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie Bray

    Nice, short read. Quick little read offering a glimpse into the back drop of courtly life! This is a good choice for history enthusiasts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angela Joyce

    Really interesting! That Anne Bassett kept popping up everywhere though; I'd never read quite so much about her before! Still, I enjoyed this. Really interesting! That Anne Bassett kept popping up everywhere though; I'd never read quite so much about her before! Still, I enjoyed this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fiona

    Reasonable book about the tudors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gina Basham

    A lot of good information, well written but a little dry. gbash

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Hukai

    Non-fiction summary of the women who served the Tudor Court during the reign of Henry VIII, including a description of the activities of the court.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marion W. Ingersoll

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scarlet Suen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hughes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christine K. Kelley

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