The Tudor Roses

The Tudor Roses

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Ten Questions From The Tudor Roses to Author Amy Licence

Amy Licence


Amy Licence is a very talented author who has already published several titles; In Bed With The Tudors, Elizabeth of York and Anne Neville. She also has a forthcoming book, Royal Babies: A History 1066-2013, due to be released next month.



We at the Roses decided that we'd like to know a bit more about the lady behind the books so we approached Amy through her publisher Amberley Publishing and she very kindly agreed to a grilling from us - well, to be asked a few questions! So, cast your eyes down the page and you will find Amy's very interesting answers to the earth shattering questions we asked her; especially question eight!



  1. What first made you want to write books?


I’ve always written; I made the decision at the age of eight that I wanted to be an author and wrote my first full length book, a novel, at the age of eleven. It’s just what I love doing most, I do it every single day and I don’t feel quite like me if I’ve not been able to write. Addiction perhaps?



  1. When putting the pictures in your books what made you choose those particular ones?


I do think the images in a book are important; it’s often the first thing we turn to when we’re considering buying one. I wanted a balance of familiar images with some unusual ones, so tried to seek out a few images that hadn’t been used in other books on the period. I particularly love the stained glass image of Elizabeth that is on the cover of the biography, as I wanted something totally different and eye-catching.

  1. What’s your favourite era and why?


Definitely late Tudor and early Medieval, I suppose the century straddling 1450-1550, it just feels like home. I’ve strayed into different eras at various times and felt a bit anachronistic.



  1. Who is you least favourite person from history?


I don’t really have historical favourites, so I don’t have least favourites. I get interested in anyone I research, so I suppose it would just be those who I know less about at the moment- so many fascinating figures from the past and so little time. Having said that, for my least favourite, I could name anyone of the twentieth century dictators who caused endless unnecessary suffering.



  1. Who would you most like to meet from history and what’s the one question you would ask them if you could only ask one?


There are many people I’d like to be able to interview from the past, which would make my life a little easier, but there’s one clear winner, no question. I’d ask Richard III to talk me through his version of the events of 1483.



  1. What prompted you to write about the bedroom antics of the Tudors?


Giving birth! When I had my first son, I started wondering what it must have been like for women in the past to have gone through that without pain relief etc. I set out writing a history of midwifery and the birth experience and this gradually broadened to include fertility, marriage and sex- the title of the book might be a little misleading or perhaps it is people’s assumption that “in bed with” must relate to sex- it’s more about the bed as a location for symbolic rites of passage. But I am also interested in the “behind the scenes” nature of history, all the little domestic details and personal questions that form everyday life but don’t necessarily get recorded.



  1. If you could find one bit of evidence from history that would finally settle a long standing historical debate what would it be?


There are lots of possibilities here, including evidence about the Princes in the Tower, but I think I would like to know about the letter Elizabeth of York reputedly wrote, which was discovered by Buck in the seventeenth century. I’d like to see the original and find incontrovertible evidence regarding the authorship and content. I suspect I’ll be waiting a long time for this though.



  1. Costa or Starbucks?


Wherever is nearer, cheaper and less crowded. I don’t actually drink coffee, so it’s wherever has the better cake!



  1. What is the funniest historical thing that you have read or heard?


I’ve spent a lot of time reading remedies and cures from the past and their medical texts contain a lot of ingredients and ideas that we would find ludicrous today- such as powdered unicorn horn. I recently found one midwifery text from the eighteenth century which claimed that it was perfectly natural for babies to be born after 7 months or after 11! Apparently this was because the “seed of different men” ripens at different rates like corn! However, I’m sure there will be things that we believe today that future generations will raise eyebrows at.



  1. What is your next up and coming project, or projects?


I have a book on Royal Babies coming out this July, which looks at the circumstances of royal pregnancies, deliveries and midwifery from 1066-2013. It’s quite a broad period to cover, so I chose 25 babies and looked at them in detail, it became almost an alternative narrative of English history told through the eyes of expectant mothers. At the moment, I’m researching a book on Cecily Neville, mother of Richard III and Edward IV (among others).




A big thank you to Amy for taking the time to answer these questions for us as we know you are pretty busy at present with your new book release date next month.

If you enjoyed Amy's Q&As keep checking back on our blog as Amy will also be writing a guest post for us in the very near future - we cannot wait!


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