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. Not only is a revised second edition hot off the press today but a German version is now available via a Kickstarter campaign. Don’t hesitate to pledge your support.  And, last but not least, 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 Servants into 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.

An exciting aspect of this project is that the finance for the German edition is to be raised with a Kickstarter project. Visit the funding site here for details of how you can help The Tudor Tailor take this leap. The target sum is £5,000 which will provide 500 initial copies of Die Diener der Königin.

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


2 Choosing TQS fabrics.JPG x300

Ninya and The Queen’s Servants author Caroline Johnson considering options for reconstructing the garments featured in the book


3 CJKirtlePinning x300

Ninya at work on a damask kirtle for Dorothie Lenthorpe (aka Caroline) based on a 1513 warrant providing clothes for her as attendant to Henry VIII’s sister Mary


4 Dorothie's pleats x300

Ninya fitting Dorothie’s gown made from 12 yards of 22-inch-wide russet silk satin, edged with (faux) mink at neck, cuffs and hem as specified in a warrant of April 1514, when her mistress was Princess of Castile


5 The team 17Sept2011_TT103 x300

Jane, Caroline and Ninya at the photoshoot for The Queen’s Servants


6 ILHFNov2011 x300

Ninya dressing in a gown based on one issued to the nursery staff in 1488 (made from three yards of 60-inch-wide violet cloth) and Jane wearing a gown (made from 10 yards of 22-inch-wide black camlet edged with 1½ yards of 22-inch wide crimson velvet) representing Lady Anne Percy’s livery in 1497