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  • Published: 5 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241973721
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

How to be a Tudor

A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life

The real Wolf Hall - a time traveller's guide to Tudor England full of fascinating detail

The Tudor era encompasses some of the greatest changes in our history. But while we know about the historical dramas of the times - most notably in the court of Henry VIII - what was life really like for a commoner like you or me?

To answer this question, the renowned "method historian" Ruth Goodman has slept, washed and cooked as the Tudors did - so you don't have to! She is your expert guide to this fascinating era, drawing on years of practical historical study to show how our ancestors coped with everyday life, from how they slept to how they courted. Exploring how the Tudors learnt, danced and even sat and stood according to the latest fashion, she reveals what it all felt, smelt and tasted like, from morning until night.

  • Published: 5 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241973721
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

Ruth Goodman

Ruth Goodman is a specialist in British social history. She appeared as a presenter on all three previous Farm series, and co-authored the tie-in books. She is also a regular expert on The One Show.

Peter Ginn is a trained archaeologist and historian, and appeared in all the previous series. He studied at University College London and has a passion for making the past accessible to all. Tudor Farm is the latest project in his career of 'avoiding a proper job'.

Tom Pinfold is the latest addition to the Farm team. A military historian, he has worked on a number of naval events in Liverpool in conjunction wtih the Royal Navy, and has also worked as an archaeologist at the Museum of London.

Also by Ruth Goodman

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Praise for How to be a Tudor

Wonderful, informative, startling . . . Goodman's unique selling proposition as a historian is that she walks the walk of her time period, even when that walk involves hard labor in a corset and a hoop skirt

New York Times (on 'How to be a Victorian')

If we ever have a female Doctor Who, I shall forward Ruth Goodman's name for consideration, not least because the historian has already done so much time travelling

The Times

Written with such passion . . . will fascinate and inform anyone who is interested in Victorian ways of life

Dr Ian Mortimer, author of 'The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England' on 'How to Be a Victorian'

Immersive, engrossing

Laura Miller, Slate

Engagingly written and awash in the practicalities of life in the age, it presents a vivid, fascinating era of British history and reminds us that we're never as far from the past as we like to think

Genevieve Valentine, NPR

Her enthusiasm is exhilarating and contagious; her writing is clear and clean, sharply observant of tactile details and what they reveal about 16th-century life

Boston Globe

Goodman's latest foray into immersive history is a revelation ... It's the next best thing to being there

Sarah Ferguson, New York Times Book Review

Leisure activities like dancing, gambling, and trips to the bear-baiting arena are brought to life by imaginative readings of primary sources... Common wisdom on everything from the healthiest sleeping position (on the right) to how to conceive a male child (by tying a ribbon around the left testicle) rounds out this engaging, erudite guide

New Yorker

Fascinating immersive history

New York Times

Ruth is the queen of living history, long may she reign!

Lucy Worsley

A deeply researched and endlessly fascinating account of what it was like to live as a Tudor. The narrative is rich in period detail and based upon a thorough review of the contemporary sources, but what makes it unique is the fact that Goodman has put it all into practice - sleeping, eating, washing and dressing like a Tudor. As a result, How To Be a Tudor is one of very few books which can justifiably claim to bring every aspect of this enduringly popular period dazzlingly to life.

Tracy Borman, author of 'Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII's most faithful servant'

Riveting. This is a real "people's history" that takes us straight into the sensate feelings of ordinary life -- the feel, touch, smells, and labour of people living five centuries ago, giving an earthy reality to our enduring fascination with the Tudors

Juliet Gardiner

Always entertaining, and her narrative is often lifted by the fact that she has taken the trouble to experience many of the alien aspects of Tudor life ... This imbues the book with a palpable sense of the texture of our ancestors' day-to-day lives


Most historians simply research the past; she lives it ... she's experienced almost every activity she describes. This book is packed with delicious kernels of knowledge ... all served up by the most delightfully eccentric author I've ever encountered. Seldom have I had so much fun reading history. Seldom have I learnt so much.

Gerard DeGroot, The Times

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