TudorFest 2013!


Yesterday I dropped a few hints about my reading list for the Fall Readathon. And that, my friends, is where TUDORFEST 2013, comes in. What the hell is Tudorfest, you ask?

This is the brainchild of The Literate Housewife (you knew A Reader's Respite just wasn't smart enough to come up with this on our own, right?).  Now that all the Tudor nonsense spawned, I suppose, by Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl has finally (dear God, FINALLY) died down, The Literate Housewife and I decided we kinda sorta missed the dysfunctional little bastards (the Tudors, that is, not Gregory...ahem).

The Tudor horrors we've all been subjected to over the past few years have been, admittedly, a trying time for all historical fiction buffs. We've been assaulted with salacious Tudor porn on television and far too many forgettable novels to count.  We've seen alternative Tudor histories, historical Tudor mysteries, and just plain bad history.

Thankfully, nestled among the avalanche of Tudor mania, were wonderful gems that kept many of us coming back for more: Cate Blanchett's unbelievable screen portrayal of Elizabeth I, Hilary Mantel's award-winning series about Thomas Cromwell, and the recent release of Elizabeth Freemantle's impressive debut novel, Queen's Gambit.

But with historical attention now riveted on another dysfunctional royal dynasty these days, The Literate Housewife and I found ourselves a little nostalgic for Henry and his brood. Thus, TUDORFEST 2013 was born.  Audiobooks seemed like the best way to make our way down memory lane so we came up with a general list of books, authors and narrators we were pretty certain would make this an enjoyable Tudor feast.

Here's what we came up with:

This non-fiction look at the life and reign of the first Tudor king, Henry VII, was released last year and seemed like a good place to start, especially since it is narrated by our fav voice belonging to Mr. Simon Vance.

Although we have both read this second installment of Mantel's series, it's worth another go. It's a first listen for me...and yes, you guessed it, another one narrated by Simon Vance.

Okay, it's a whopper, weighing in at +31 hours, but it's narrated by Kate Reading, one of the best!  And we've agreed in advance if we're not loving it early on, we're tossing it and that's the end of Liz for us and we move on to the next victim in our Tudor line which is.....

Yes, another whopper. Margaret George is incapable of writing a short novel. Donada Peters narrates this oh-my-God 42 hour audiobook all about Elizabeth's unlucky-in-love cousin north of the border in Scotland.

So how long does TudorFest 2013 last?  With the length of these audiobooks, we can assume it will usher in 2014.  But I think it's a fabulous idea and cordially invite anyone who might feel so inclined to jump in for a book with us.

You can find us over on Twitter! #TudorFest2013

Head on over to The Literate Housewife and see what she has to say about the entire thing....oh, and wish her a happy birthday while you're there!


  1. I've listened to Winter King and Mary Queen of Scots -- both good. although you'll likely have a lot to say about the Mary book. I haven't read or listened to the Elizabeth book.

    1. I think I read the Mary book years ago, but it's pretty hazy in the memory. Poor lady...you want to love her, but she made the dumbest decisions a Queen could make, lol. Don't know how I'm going to fit this all in seeing as - thanks to your suggestion - I am ass deep in in the Rutherfurd audiobooks. :P

  2. This sounds exciting! I absolutely love Margaret George and maybe a foray into her audiobooks read by a great narrator is the perfect way to jump into fall? We'll see :)

    1. I do too, MaryKate. I still want to listen to The Autobiography of Henry VIII next year sometime. I have a hard copy but think the audio will be more fun.

  3. I love the gif! Holy cow it's irreverent and perfect for TudorFest2013! Now I'm embarrassed that I haven't looked at my blog since Sunday night. I will post about TudorFest2013 on Friday, even though I'm not in any way, shape, or form going to match the brilliance of the assembly line beheadings. :)

    I have the audiobook for Queen's Gambit. Unless I'm completely Tudored out, I may pick that up after Mary, Queen of Scots.


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