Researching the Tudor Period? Check out Ruth Goodman

If you’re writing a story set in the Tudor period, you might check out books, articles, and youtube videos by Ruth Goodman. I first came across her work in the article, “Getting Clean, the Tudor Way,” where she discusses daily cleansing habits of people during that time as well as modern experiments to see how well those habits worked (apparently people didn’t necessarily stink as badly as rumor would have it!).

Since it was an interesting and well-written article with a unique perspective, I looked her up and found out that she has consulted with museums, attractions, movies, and the BBC (check out her wikipedia article to read more). That makes her seem like a pretty reliable resource.

It also turns out that the article is an excerpt of her book, How to Be a Tudor: a Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life, which I assume focuses on what her website calls her specialty – the nitty gritty aspects of daily life. As a writer, I consider the everyday details of life one of the most important aspects of worldbuilding and often the hardest information to find without poring through tons of books and picking out a little bits here and there. So a book that focuses on that is pretty intriguing, and if that excerpt is any indication, her books should be readable and interesting rather than dry and boring (an unfortunate tendency of too many history resources).

Has anyone read her book or seen some of her other work? What did you think? Or do you have other resources on the period that you recommend?

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