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Level 5

5AAH3018 Tudor England: Politics, Religion and Culture 1485-1603

Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor (2018/19):  Dr Joan Redmond & Dr Anna Field
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
Assessment: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%), 2 x 2,000 word essays (15% each) & 1 x oral presentation (10%)

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment by the following methods: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%); 2 x 2,000 word essays (15% each); 1 x 1500 word essay (10%)

N.B. This module cannot be taken in conjunction with 5AAH2025 Tudor England: Politics, Religion and Culture 1485-1603 due to overlap of content. 

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years

This module aims to give students a detailed understanding of the history of England between 1485 and 1603, looking in particular at the interaction between politics, religion and culture. It will provide students with an appreciation of the ways in which Tudor government, church and society responded to an array of profound challenges as the impact of unprecedented political crises, ideological changes and cultural transformations was felt at every level. By making connections between areas of history which are often viewed separately, students will be empowered to reach new levels of awareness about the interrelationship of different forms of historical causation. The course also aims to give students a close acquaintance with a series of important issues in this area, from debates about ‘new monarchy’ and the English Reformation to developments surrounding gender, popular culture, literature, poverty and many other topics. By the end of the course the students will have an in-depth knowledge of the period, a solid grasp of the historical debates, an ability to analyse sources within a detailed historical context, and a new capability for making connections between different areas of the discipline.

Provisional teaching plan

Semester 1

1: Introduction
2: Daily Life in Tudor England
3: Henry VII and the pursuit of stability
4: Printing, education and humanism
5: Henry VIII and the desire for glory
6: Royal Supremacy and Reformation
7: The power of words: literature and politics
8: The power of counsel and consensus: parliaments
9: Visual politics: art and architecture
10: Edward VI and the crafting of authority

Semester 2

11: A political arena: Tudor London
12: Poverty and Disorder
13: Mary I and the construction of queenship
14: England’s place in Europe
15: The myth of Elizabeth
16: ‘This stage-play word’: drama and politics
17: Protestantism and Providentialism
18: Catholicism and Nonconformity
19: Popular Politics
20: Conclusion

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these books is not mandatory.

A. Ryrie, The Age of Reformation: The Tudor and Stewart Realms 1485-1603(2009)

P. Marshall, Reformation England 1480-1642 (2003)

S. Brigden, New Worlds, Lost Worlds (2000)

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