Leanda de Lisle

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

Pragmatism and procrastination: how Elizabeth I got her way

22 November 2014 9:00 am

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

23 August 2014 9:00 am

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 

18 January 2014 9:00 am

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

17 August 2013 9:00 am

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

15 June 2013 9:00 am

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

25 May 2013 9:00 am

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


His dark materials

3 March 2012 10:00 am

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

Against all odds

1 October 2011 12:00 am

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


Progress at a price

7 April 2010 12:00 am

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

7 April 2010 12:00 am

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

2 July 2008 12:00 am

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

The return of the maypole

30 May 2007 3:43 pm

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

The plot thickens

2 May 2007 5:28 pm

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


7 June 2006 1:37 pm

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


14 May 2005 12:00 am

The trouble with country life is that it is so unhealthy