Leanda de Lisle

The divine mask slips: Queen Elizabeth I in old age, weary after a lifetime of inaction (English school)

Elizabeth I, queen of the waiting game

Women are ‘foolish, wanton flibbergibs, in every way doltified with the dregs of the devil’s dunghill’. So a cleric reminded…

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell wearing ‘the George’, by Hans Holbein

Thomas Cromwell: more Tony Soprano than Richard Dawkins

The travel writer Colin Thubron once told me that to understand a country and its people he first asks, ‘What…

Both menacing and warm: Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell

The Thomas Cromwell plays would be stronger if they made him weaker 

Three things you might not expect of the RSC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Tudor novels. First, Mike Poulton’s plays have…

Ann Boleyn

Anne Boleyn’s last secret

Why was the queen executed with a sword, rather than an axe?

Tinselled royal: ‘Elizabeth I when a Princess’, c.1546, attributed to William Scrots

Royal bling with the Tudors at the Queen’s Gallery and the V&A

Leanda de Lisle revels in two exhibitions celebrating Tudor and Stuart fashion

Deadly rivals: Richard III (left) and Henry VII

Bosworth, by Chris Skidmore - review

Although Richard III was five foot eight, his spine was so twisted he stood a foot shorter. Imagine him hacking…


His dark materials

Like the dyslexic Faustus who sold his soul to Santa, the life of John Dee was a black comedy of…

Against all odds

There is something of Gordon Brown in the older Henry VII: an impression of darkness, of paranoia and barely suppressed…


Progress at a price

I was sitting recently with a former US marine by one of the huge open windows on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon.


A Tudor mystery unravels

The fate of Lady Mary Grey, Queen Elizabeth’s prisoner and a potential heir to the throne, has never been resolved. Now Leanda de Lisle tells all

A keen sense of duty

Leande De Lisle on Stephen Alford's biography of William Cecil

The return of the maypole

The return of the king follows a death. As the Lord Protector of the three kingdoms draws his last breath…

The plot thickens

John Adamson’s The Noble Revolt asserts the crucial role of political ideas in the coming cataclysm of the English civil…


Researching the dead can feel like being buried alive with them.


The trouble with country life is that it is so unhealthy