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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

How to be a Tudor by Ruth Goodman

How To Be A Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Everyday Life - Ruth Goodman

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. If I have any complaint, it is that I wish she had included a few more topics, such as courting, worship, and other not necessarily daily parts of life.


Those habits and struggles that are explained are thoroughly delved into. Goodman does not simply describe what historians believe these people did, she went out and did it herself. When she talks about Tudor era people using linen clothes to clean their bodies rather than daily showers, she goes on to add that she tried this method for THREE MONTHS and nobody noticed! She has cooked food in Tudor era ovens, raised grain for authentic bread, brewed Tudor ale, and woven rush mats. Her experience and dedication are extraordinary and her insight is priceless.


This is a great resource for anybody writing about the Tudor era or who simply wishes to have a greater understanding of history.