Published Date

January 1, 2004

From Teaching Difficult Legal or Political Concepts: Using Online Primary Sources in Writing Assignments (2004)

Located at
Reviewed by Sue Patrick

Tudor England is a small site established by Lara E. Eakins. Eakins is not a professional historian but rather an astronomy major who became interested in Tudor England when she was in middle school. As a result, some aspects of the site are well done, but others lack the depth a professional would provide. In addition to providing biographies of the Tudor rulers, the site contains the topics of Life in Tudor England, Tudor Architecture, Who’s Who In Tudor History, Maps, Tudors in the News, Tudors in the Movies, Links of Interest, Chronologies and Glossaries, and Electronic Texts and Documents. In addition there is a search feature, a Student’s Guide to Tudor England (which warns students to consult a library), a list of awards, a bibliography, a mailing list, a chance to become pen pals, a site map, and What’s New.

The list of primary sources in the Electronic Texts and Documents is relatively small (16 total), but it contains some interesting items. The documents focus on the monarchs, including “The Description of Henry VII (c. 1500) from Polydore Vergil’s The Anglia Historica 1485-1537,” “Letter from Princess Elizabeth to Katherine Parr (1544),” “Mary I’s Will (1558),” and “A Private Audience with Elizabeth I (1597) as recorded by Andre Hurault the French Ambassador.” Also in this section are a few links to secondary sources, poetry, and fiction. The Bibliography link from the home page has many more sources listed (but without electronic links).

The biographies of the monarchs are well written. They contain far more information than a typical Western civilization textbook would but far less than would a text on Tudor England. One interesting feature is that the site attempts to describe the lives of the monarchs before they were crowned as well as during their reigns.

Other aspects of the site that teachers might find useful are Tudor Architecture, Chronologies and Glossaries, and Who’s Who in Tudor History. The section on architecture contains a number of illustrations along with information about 11 famous structures. Chronologies include links to Important Dates in Chronological Order, Battles and Rebellions, Ecclesiastical Title Holders, Government Title Holders, Nobility Title Holders, Other European Monarchs and Leaders During the Tudor Period, Parliaments and Speakers of the House of Commons, and Treaties. Each of these pages has simple lists giving information on these subjects. Glossaries, arranged similarly, cover Architectural Terms, Councils, Courts of Law, Food Terms, General Terms, Religious Days, Religions and Religious Orders and Movements, and Religious Terms.

Next section: 17th Century Reenacting and Living History Resources