Why study the Tudors? This dynasty has a special place in English history because it presided over the transition from medieval to modern (or so most historians, but not all, argue). In addition, the major figures, especially Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, have long fascinated historians and the general public. This period also contained the Reformation in England that separated the English church from the papacy in Rome.
The Tudors have transcended the sphere of history, for they are now the rock stars of contemporary media. In movies, novels, and television series the Tudors live on, achieving notice unmatched by any other family. This course will examine the contemporary fame of the Tudors, try to separate fact from fiction, and set the Tudor century in appropriate context.