Two studies of the Tudors and the Scottish throne shed light on a far from inevitable unionThe unhurried fashion in which James VI of Scotland ambled south towards London to claim his crown in 1603, stopping off to hunt along the way and arriving six weeks after Elizabeth I died, suggests there was nothing terribly dramatic about the event. The man who would be James I of England, the first Stuart monarch, was certainly in no big rush.Yet this was the end of the Tudor dynasty, one of our longest-held historical obsessions. And it was the seed of the union between Scotland and England – the creation of a political Great Britain that will survive, well, at least until next year’s referendum on Scottish independence. James’s coolness seems almost mocking in the face of our own excitement.The Tudor period between 1485 and 1603 brought cultural, religious and political revolution. But our fixation with the era has as much, if not more, to do with the vibrant individual stories it presents as with the family’s debatable self-image as a dynasty. Exuberant Henry VIII with his six wives, “Bloody” Mary and Elizabeth I, aka Gloriana, all provide compelling narratives. Even dark, grim …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books