01 December 2021, The Tablet

Horrible Histories for adults

Horrible Histories for adults

Royal Bastards: The Rise of the Tudors
Sky History

The current royal family should be thankful: their present travails are as nothing to the internecine sibling rivalries of the royal families in the Wars of the Roses. In Sky History’s Monday night three-part docudrama (parts one and two on 22 and 29 November) about this befuddlingly complicated period of history, no opportunity for demonstrating violent action in the fight for power is overlooked. Blood gushes on to cobblestones, horses’ hooves pound, armour clanks, fists thump on trestles and there’s a lot of flagon-swilling and earthy oaths. And because it has put the extraordinary life and career of Lady Margaret Beaufort, kingmaker mother of Henry VII, at centre stage, there’s a disturbing medieval childbirth scene when the 13-year-old Margaret gives birth to the first of the Tudor kings.

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