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How To Be a Tudor

(How to Be #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,557 ratings  ·  400 reviews
On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I.

Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, Goodman serves as our intrepid guide to 16th-century living. Proceeding from dayb
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published 2015 by Viking
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This review is about football mostly. The book had quite an original format as the author delineated what the average Tudor citizen would be doing at that hour. There are so many books on the Tudors that I wasn't surprised I didn't learn much but what I did learn was that the most popular sport then was still the most popular sport in the UK. But although the name is the same, the game is quite different.

Back then the pitch was the common ground between two villages. The object was to capture th
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bettie
Excellent coverage of the Tudor day, from dawn to dusk. Covers everything from why inheriting the second best bed wasn't an insult (beds were very valuable items) to the Tudor belief in "female testicles." Since it covers a great range of subjects, I found some more interesting than others, but in general, a very entertaining and informative read.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With so many books about the Tudor period available, there are surprisingly few which actually deal with the normal population. In fact, fiction is sometimes better than non-fiction in giving you an idea about how people lived – with authors such as C.J. Sansom and his Shardlake novels painting an evocative picture of the period. However, most of the history books I have read concentrate on the, admittedly, larger than life characters that were in power during those time. Ruth Goodman admits tha ...more
In the same vein as her earlier book "How to be a Victorian" and Ian Mortimer's "Medieval Time-Traveller", Ruth Goodman provides an insightful, interesting and at times funny and rather unsettling view of our ancestors' lives.

From rising from bed - which could be straw on a mud floor, a paillasse or a rope strung bed to a tester with curtains and feathers - until bedtime we get a birds-eye (or rather Tudor's eye) view of the life people led in this remarkable, influential and much written about
This was an amazingly different book that was quite a fun read for nonfiction. Goodman takes research a step deeper than most, truly immersing herself in the Tudor lifestyle.

As the name of the book indicates, the book is set up like an outline of a typical day in the life of average Tudor era people. Beginning with waking up with the sun, Goodman discusses what people wore, what their beds were made out of, how they kept clean, and every other aspect of life. Well, maybe not every other aspect.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Once again, Ruth Goodman didn't disappoint: her attention to detail reflects in both her writing style and structure of the novel. If you want to know more about life in Tudor era, this book will definitely tell more than you could even ask for. Plus Ruth Goodman participated in a very cool tv series called Tudor Monastery Farm which you can check out for more visuals of that period.
There are hundreds (probably more like thousands) of books/texts/writings available focusing on the lives of major Tudor-era figures. However, these ‘celebrities’ were a minority in the population so what about the common, everyday folk? What were their lives like? Ruth Goodman visits (and lives!) the lives of people just like you and me during the Tudor period in, “How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life”.

Ruth Goodman is n expert when it comes to historical accuracy and reenactmen
This was fascinating. As with her book on the Victorian Age (How to Be a Victorian), this is well-organized, well-written, and well-edited. I liked it so much I bought it.

As a contrast to the Victorian book, which I was reading in parallel, life was slower to change in Tudor times. There were laws about things you wouldn't expect, such as the sumptuary laws, which (among other things) decreed how much yardage, of which fabric, and at what price could be bought by people at different levels of s
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after how much I loved How to be a Victorian and found it just as good! Ruth truly knows her stuff and I love how she’s tried a lot of Tudor styles, recipes and Tudor type things herself! It’s not only great to read about Tudor time’s in the personable way she does but also the experiences in modern times of trying Tudor techniques.

I love these books because they’re written in a way where you can truly put yourself into the Tudor life, learning how to dress, what they’d eat, what yo
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Ruth Goodman is one of my favourite historians, and I've enjoyed watching her in the following documentary series: Tudor Monastery Farm, Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm and Full Steam Ahead.

In How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life, Ruth covers every stage of the day: sleeping, when to rise, washing, dressing, breakfast, education, dinner, men and women's work, leisure time and activities, supper and bedtime.

Goodman packs a punch into these 300 pages and her experi
Packed with detail, but rarely bogged down in it. This book did an excellent job of making Tudor-era lifestyle real and, to some extent logical. Did they take baths? No. But did they have other ways to stay clean? Apparently yes and the author used them for months with good results. Meals, clothing, chores, careers, church, and pasttimes -- she covers them all and often mixes in her own experiences. She knows first-hand how well using rushes to cover the floor works. I have never heard of the au ...more
Peter Damien
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As completely meticulous and as organized as her last book, "How to Be a Victorian," this book was one that I read practically out loud, sharing so many interesting facts from it. It's a DENSE book, but Ruth Goodman is such a passionate, clear, talented writer that she never ever loses you in the density.

I read it in conjunction with watching "Tudor Monastary farm," which is the perfect combo. Not only of brilliant history and life, but then you get Ruth's bursting enthusiasm and geekiness abou
Helene Harrison
Review - I found this book to be a little gem of interesting facts about normal life under the Tudors. Most books on the Tudors look at the monarchs and the court, but this one looks at a rather different angle with sections on clothes, living conditions, towns, occupations, education and more. It's a great addition to any Tudor library to give you some extra background information on conditions in the 16th century. However, it could do with some background on some of the noble houses like Hever ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is there a way to give this book more than a 5? Far and away the most useful book on everyday life in 16th century England I have ever read, and in over 40+ years, as a writer of novels set in that period and my own everyday life book, I have read hundreds of books on all aspects of Tudor life. It is also a wonderfully entertaining read. Ruth Goodman doesn't just give facts, she explains the logical reasons behind them.
I like this series quite a bit! Sometimes, Goodman can go on tangents about subjects she finds particularly interesting (the minute details of Tudor dress, namely) that....are not very interesting. Overall, though, I love the format of this series, the level of historical detail, and the hands-on research behind it (curious about bathing with a dry, rough linen ONLY for 3 months? Goodman tried it!).
Stephanie Kline
This was an incredibly well-researched book about my favorite time period. Following the average Tudor man and woman through a “day in the life” in the 16th century was fascinating, to say the least.

These chapters start with waking, move through bathing, dressing, breakfast, chores, education, work, dinner, playing, supper, and bedtime. The author goes into impressive detail about everything from how a woman sewed shirts, to how bread was baked, to the medically “correct” sexual positions to us
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-history
Interesting little look at daily life in Tudor England.

If that period interests you, then you should definitely give it a go.
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Far from superficial it's a great overview of many aspects of Tudor-era daily life; some areas will likely appeal to a reader more than others. Audio narration matched text well.

Re-read 2019
I picked this up when I saw that Hoopla had it as well as her newest book. Still one of my favorites.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved Ruth Goodman on the various TV shows she was on for the BBC. I got hooked when watching Wartime Farm. So when I had heard that she was going to be writing a book I could not wait to read it. Due to college classes, I, unfortunately, had to put it off and wasn't a part of the hype behind it. Since I am a history major and this is a part of the histo
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads, audio
Both edifying and fun to read. The author is a consultant on movies, museum installations, etc. and her love for and fascination with Tudor lifestyle was infectious. On Tudor bathing habits: they wanted to smell good but keep the air away from their skin; faces, necks, hands, and feet got cleaned regularly, perhaps not the nether regions. Interesting aside: Goodman claims she went three months without bathing and only put on fresh linens to recreate Tudor practices, and that an acquaintance did ...more
Carolina Casas
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tudor era comes alive!

Ruth Goodman weaves a tale of kings, queens, peasants, artisans, and other peoples from the late fifteenth, sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
The book illustrates how people's views on sex, religion, childbirth, education, marriage and other things varied and they often had to do with their social background as well as who was king at the time. Issues such as work, immigration, cleanliness are also addressed, including dispelling common held beliefs about these
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether fact or fiction, I can't deal with most Tudor history anymore, at least as it deals with prominent figures. Too much cruelty, too much injustice, too much inaccuracy/speculation (the fiction). I'm done with it. This book, however, was brilliant. Yes, please, to the social history. A really fun look at how most people lived their daily lives as the title says from dawn to dusk. In addition to her academic knowledge, the author has actually tried most of the tasks and activities she descri ...more
G. Lawrence
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. An in-depth, incredibly well researched and often humorous guide to everyday Tudor life from dawn to dusk. Really recommend this to any fan of history and the Tudor period in particular. Very much centered on the life of the working people, with a dash of life at court thrown in. In particular, if you've ever wanted to know how to starch a ruff, make pottage, or construct Tudor underwear, you'll adore it.
I often think that it is the details of everyday life which bring history to life
Rob Thompson
How to Be a Tudor is billed as "a dawn-to-dusk guide to Tudor life." The author, Ruth Goodman, commits herself to her research. She shares her experiences of lower- and middle-class daily habits. The text covers the late fifteenth, sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. She carefully explains people’s views on sex, organized religion, and childbirth. Then goes into detail about education work, immigration, cleanliness, food and clothing. As she experienced many of these practical aspects of ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I'm working through my historical non-fiction shelf, I find myself being more harsh with these works than I would be with any other sort of non-fiction work. So even though I might not be the intended audience, I tried to look at the book as objectively as I could.

I think Goodman did a thorough job in her research for this work, and there were definitely some interesting things that I had not heard before. The contents of the book were very interesting and I enjoyed the writing style, which
May 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
3 1/2 stars

A lot of the historical fiction I read takes place during the Tudor/Elizabethan time period, focusing on the “court.” How to Be a Tudor explains in detail what life was like for everyone else, right down to their underclothes. As a BBC presenter, the author has experienced many of the things she details, so when she tells you that Tudor England probably wasn’t excessively whiffy (as opposed to, say, Medieval Paris), she knows whereof she speaks.

I can see this being rather a dry read,

Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Not gonna lie, but I found this soooo boring.

It lacked the enthusiasm and fascination for the period that was very in your face in How to be a Victorian. I think it was a mixture of that and just being in a little bit of a slumpy reading mood that made me dislike this book. I never wanted to pick it up and I started to skim over a lot towards the end, only honing in on certain stuff. I'm also not that heavily invested in the Tudors so I don't know, it's a tricky one.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite approachable by a general audience. I particularly enjoyed the bits about food and fashion, other sections were still interesting but didn't feel like they had enough depth. I always think Ruth Goodman is very personable, so it may just be that she did a good job of making the subject seem intriguing.
Ally Kumari
This is a very accessible and interesting account of every-day life in Tudor times, and for once focused on the majority of the population rather than the royalty and court. I appreciated the author´s dedication and personal experiences which she provides, making some truly enlightening "discoveries" for the 21st-century-minded me.
Prima Seadiva
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Library audiobook, reader pretty good.
This was a rather fast listen. The author goes through a Tudor "day". She describes how various tasks and activities occurred focusing on multiple levels of society and to some extent how they intersected.
For some tasks, such as how clothes were constructed worn and maintained or how bread and ale were made at home she goes into a lot of detail.
Some of these she has learned and replicated herself in order to better understand. Other areas are more streamli
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Tudor History Lovers: January 2017 - How to be a Tudor, by Ruth Goodman 5 62 Jan 25, 2017 01:27PM  

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