It’s Tudor time!

The six wives of Henry VIII from a boxed set of The Tudors series

I stumbled on a marathon of “The Tudors” on Showtime a few months ago while doing some spring cleaning. I find the “real housewives” of Tudor times in England infinitely more fascinating than those eating up screen time, and the real lives of cast members, of late.

Yesterday my husband James happened upon news of an event titled “An Afternoon with the Tudors” taking place at the ASU Memorial Union (Pima Room #230) Sat, Aug 20. It’s being presented by ASU’s chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The free event features armored combat and arts demonstrations from 11:30am to 1:30pm and 3:30pm to 5:30pm. ASU professor Rethe Warnicke, Ph.D., an expert in England during the time of the Tudors, will give a 2pm lecture. Warnicke was called upon by Showtime to “give historical depth to the fictionalized series.”

While waiting for Lizabeth to finish an activity Friday morning, I visited a few websites to up my Tudor I.Q. — using my cell phone to scroll through a long timeline of British history from the BBC. In some ways, Tudor times weren’t so different from our own.

Rulers wrestled with growing numbers of poor citizens, enacting laws more or less favorable towards those whose means were dwindling due to diverse factors –a burgeoning population, harsh growing conditions, inflation and more.

Issues of church and state arose as religious and secular rulers jostled for power, and Henry VIII achieved recognition as the supreme head of the church — abandoning Rome altogether to form a separate ecclesiastical entity, which didn’t entirely settle the matter.

“An Afternoon with the Tudors” at ASU has heightened my interest in such things, and I plan to learn more by reading Warnicke’s books on Tudor women. I’m told her most recent project is “Wicked Women of Tudor England.” Move over, Jersey Shore.

Now, when I get a hankering for Middle Ages and Renaissance fare, I’ll know just where to find it — with the ASU chapter of SCA, which has dubbed itself “The College of Brymstonne.” Seems they often attend period-theme events featuring tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, hands-on workshops and such.

The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe. I’m told that members, who number more than 30,000 worldwide, enjoy creating and dressing in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Don’t we all?

— Lynn

Note: Photo above from Photos from Saturday demonstrations by local members of the Society for Creative Anachronism have been added below.

Coming up: Review: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

SCA member sewing grommets onto a corset…

SCA members demonstrating wood carving…
Prized period medallion and chain…
SCA member embroidering her coat of arms…
SCA members demonstrating rapier work…
Teddy bear modeling a period mask…
Lessons in bum rolls and other underpinnings…

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