Monday, March 14, 2011

Giles Tremlett

Giles Tremlett, the Guardian's Madrid correspondent, is the author of Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past.

From a Q & A about his latest book, Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII, with Randy Dotinga at the Christian Science Monitor:

Q: Why do we still care about the Tudors, especially Henry VIII, his six wives, and his children who became monarchs themselves?

There's a very strong connection with the characters. Henry himself is such a massively larger-than-life figure, someone who did everything in multitudes, including wives.

We have a king who is influenced by women, who then goes on to be the father of the first two female monarchs in England, the first two queens regnant. You have a powerful current of female history: women who were power players.

It was also a hugely important era. This is when the split from Rome happens, which defines Britain on into the 20th century, and great things are happening all over the place. Columbus is heading off to the Americas thanks to Catherine's parents, and they've essentially founded a new country called Spain. In the rest of Europe, we have the humanist Renaissance happening. In that sense, it's a very exciting historical period.

Henry VIII is also one of first historical figures about whom we have such vast amounts of information. The same goes for his wives and fellow princes like the French kings.

Q: Why was this time so well documented?

It has to do with the amount of...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue