5-Questions for a Listener

One of the fun things we like to do is discuss our passion, right? Over on Patreon I aksed my patrons to answer the following questions. If you would like to participate in these conversations, head over to Patreon, and consider becoming a patron!


Alison MacEachern

Like most people who were forced to learn just names and dates, history was a subject I hated in high school and I purposely avoided it in college.  My dad died young, and it changed me into not wanting to waste a second I had on this Earth.  I started wanting to know everything about everything, and in a search for deeper meaning in life, began to study the beginning and nature of universe, physics and time, human evolution and theories of how we got to be who we are as a species.  It led me back to history, but history the way I wanted to learn it.  History is not a linear chart of names and dates and events.  It is a woven, ever expanding web of human emotion, stories of triumph and tragedy, decisions made with best intentions, or when someone is backed into a corner. I pretend I am in the story, muse about how I would react, what the smells and sounds would be like.  We take for granted that life was always the way it is now.  But no matter how different the age of time, we can find connection that the stories of history are guided by the same human emotion that we possess.

Our first listener submitted answer was by one of my patrons on Patreon,
Alison MacEachern.

Here are Alison’s answers to the five questions I posed:

1. What is your favorite time in history?

Besides the time of the Plantagenets through the Tudors, I would have to say I am fascinated by the time when modern humans were not the only species of humans out there. There are such long gaps in what we assume to have occurred, migrations and gene mixing and such, yet these people were living their day to day like we do now. It’s a time that is shrouded in such mystery and degraded evidence, I could only imagine what it would be like to witness the first interactions between Homo sapiens and Neanderthal, or the Denisovans. Did they even know they were meeting a different species? Did they even know what that meant?

2. Who is your favorite person from the Tudor era (1485-1603)?

This was the hardest question and the one I saved to answer last. I have so many for so many reasons, and Anne Boleyn tops the list as I answered in the last question. So Anne aside, if I had to pick one and only one I would pick Katherine of Aragon. I think her childhood in Spain, being raised by two powerful monarchs in their own right, one being a warrior queen was completely fascinating, and she must have taken for granted that she lived in paradise when she moved to England. She was born to be a queen, she fulfilled her duty in every way, and rose to the occasion with the Battle of Flodden. Was is awkward for her to kill her sister in law’s husband? Sometime I feel like her life and story is glossed over for decades in between marrying Henry and then being cast aside. There was so much more to her life. And when she was discarded she STILL performed her duty as much as she could given her circumstances. She had an inner strength that I admire.

3. What is your favorite Tudor era book? (Fiction or NonFiction)

What is your favorite Tudor era book? (Fiction or NonFiction) I learned so much from Leanda de Lisle’s “Sisters Who Would be Queen”. I knew a few little snippits of the life of Jane Grey but nothing of her sisters. I cannot believe how cruel Elizabeth I was to Catherine and Mary- to keep them from their husbands, but then again it was a different era and paranoia about the succession was always on Elizabeth’s mind.

4. What is your favorite Tudor series or film?

As far as sticking to actual historical fact, PBS Masterpiece “Virgin Queen” was a great depiction of the life of Elizabeth I, from right before her accession to her death. And I know this is not always historically accurate but the HBO series “The Tudors” was just plain eye candy. From JRM to Henry Cavill to Natalie Dormer and all the beautiful costumes and settings, I’ve watched it twice!

5. If you could travel back in time (and safely return) to observe one event in Tudor history, what would it be?

Anne Boleyn’s coronation hands down. When we look at history we look at it backwards, knowing the end. This day was a fresh start, a triumph, and in Henry and Anne’s eyes the potential for a long awaited heir and a release of pressure for the dynasty. She was pregnant with Elizabeth I, and it would be amazing to touch that story too- before it even began. No one could have imagined the road that day would take them. There would be so many nobility that I’ve read about there too. Plus, more than anything- I want to see what their voices sounded like and what their actual faces looked like!!

Anne Boleyn’s Coronation Procession

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