Not What You Thought You Knew

The people of Tudor England

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Not What You Thought You Knew is a brand new podcast from HISTORY that challenge our preconceptions of the past. In episode 1, we look at how Tudor England may have looked a lot different than we previously thought.

The podcast is hosted by cultural historian, Dr Fern Riddell whose books include, The Victorian Guide to Sex and Death in Ten Minutes, an explosive account of the Suffragette bomber. As well as an author, she's worked as a historical consultant for acclaimed BBC drama Ripper Street and has appeared as an expert historian on TV and radio internationally.

Isotope and DNA research concluded that amongst the crew of the Mary Rose were sailors of North African heritage

Fern's infectious enthusiasm for her subject takes the history you learned in school and turns it on its head. Not What You Thought You Knew's, flagship episode launches on the subject of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's warship that sank, July 9 1545, on leaving Portsmouth harbour to engage in battle with a French invasion fleet.

Now, you may know about the story of the Mary Rose, you may even have visited in Portsmouth but a brand new research project undertaken presented in The Many Faces of Tudor England exhibition, shines a fresh light on our understanding of the ship and its crew. Specifically isotope and DNA research concluded that amongst the crew of the Mary Rose were sailors with North African heritage. Not only does this impact on our understanding of the Mary Rose but changes our perception of Tudor England which was more ethnically diverse than many imagine.

Joining Fern in The People of Tudor England, are Dr Alex Hildred, marine archaeologist and Curator of Ordnance and Human Remains at the Mary Rose Trust who discusses the research and her experience in diving the wreck. To give context on the racial diversity of Tudor England, Fern speaks to Dr Oneyka Nubia, British writer, law lecturer and historian whose book Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, describes the lives and history of black British Tudor across the UK.