December 4, 2016

The Tudor Tailor’s Christmas crackers – a sell-out success, a second language and a very special offer

The Queen's Servants

The Tudor Tailor is celebrating the five-year anniversary of the publication of The Queen’s Servants this month with some exciting announcements. The book was published in December 2011 and almost five years to the day the last copy has gone. The revised second edition is hot off the press today and a new and exclusive offer which may fit many a Christmas stocking is original artwork from the book by Michael Perry, which is now available to buy for the first time.

The complete sale of the first print run is testament to the number of people who found The Queen’s Servants attractive and helpful. Sales have been steady since publication so there was no question that a second edition was necessary. This presented a useful opportunity to correct mistakes that escaped notice in the first edition, and to make improvements in response to comments by readers. The most significant change is the expansion of the index of key terms into a comprehensive glossary. In addition, ambiguities have been clarified, typographical errors have been corrected and instructions have been streamlined.

The other big news is that The Tudor Tailor is planning its first foreign-language edition. Melina Munz, who was an intern at The Tudor Tailor during her undergraduate studies in history and English at Tübingen, has translated The Queen’s Servantsinto German as Die Diener der Königin. Not only will this put the information within reach of many additional readers but the discussions over terminology provoked by the translation process led to many of the improvements in this second edition in English.

Caroline Johnson’s detailed exploration of nearly 200 handwritten entries in Latin and English documents from 1485 to 1520 paints a vivid picture of the styles of dress worn at Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon’s court. The evidence from orders to tailors and purchases of materials by the Great Wardrobe provide clues for the garments provided for ladies attending the queen and her children. The book features patterns for a whole gentlewoman’s wardrobe by Ninya Mikhaila, line drawings and diagrams by Michael Perry, and statistical evidence for typical colours and fabrics for gowns and kirtles suitable for the lowest-born attendants working in the royal nursery to items Queen Katherine wore – some during her many pregnacies. The clothes demonstrate a transition between the flowing lines of the late medieval period and those of Henry’s later years when French gowns and hoods became the characteristic wear of the elite.

The patterns provide guidance on the reconstruction of a complete set of clothes for a gentlewoman at the turn of the century including several styles of smock, a typical kirtle, and two styles of gown with a range of sleeve variations. Bonnets, pastes and frontlets are the usual items of headwear issued to gentlewomen during the era. Suggestions for recreating these are also provided. The data analysis shows the typical fabric and colour choices for gowns and kirtles in the royal accounts, which are clearly illustrated in charts with the relevant patterns.

The Tudor Tailor is offering discounts on the new English-language edition of The Queen’s Servants and the full-size patterns based on the same research. These cover gentlewomen’s clothing at court, including attendants and liveried servants – from 1485 to the time Henry VIII cast Katherine aside in the 1520s. These offers are available until 15 December or while stocks last.

  • The second edition of The Queen’s Servants is available at an introductory price of £15 (a saving of £2)
  • A deal on the new edition of The Queen’s Servants purchased with a copy of The King’s Servants offers both books at £25 – a saving of £7 on the usual price.

The Tudor Tailor is spreading yet more Christmas cheer with the first offer of original paintings by Michael Perry commissioned for the book in collaboration with Caroline Johnson to reflect her research findings. This is an exciting one-off offer which makes the perfect gift for a special someone who appreciates exclusive artwork reflecting cutting-edge research in 16th century dress. Visit our online shop to view the illustrations which are available here.

Please note the last posting dates for Christmas are:

Wed 7 Dec – Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)

Thurs 8 Dec – Caribbean, Central and South America

Sat 10 Dec – Australia, Greece, New Zealand

Weds 14 Dec – Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland

Thurs 15 Dec – Canada, Finland, Sweden, USA

Fri 16 Dec – Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland

Sat 17 Dec – Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg

Weds 21 Dec – UK 1st Class Royal Mail