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Historians write away 'Tudor' era

The Tudor period in England's history usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, but the term 'Tudor' was hardly used in the 16th Century and its obsessive modern use by historians and writers generally gives a misleading impression of the period, an Oxford historian says.

Cliff Davies of Oxford University's History Faculty and scoured official papers, chronicles, poems, plays and pamphlets for the 'Tudor' name but found it hardly used as a designation of the monarchy until the last years of Elizabeth's reign, and even then sparingly.

Of the many poems written to mark the death of Elizabeth and the accession of James I in 1603, only one talks of a change from 'Tudor' to 'Stuart', a university release said. Davies suggested that terms like 'Tudor England' and 'Tudor monarchy' used by historians and in TV and film dramas give a false impression of glamour and unity to the period from Henry VII to Elizabeth I, and that historians need to rethink many assumptions about 16th Century England. 

He said: 'The word 'Tudor' is used obsessively by historians, but it was almost unknown at the time.' 
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