'Twas The Night Before Tudor Christmas (Paperback)
"Anne longed for a taste of a sweet, scrumptious food, Some rose-scented marchpane would secure her good mood...
What happens when King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn bump into the Lord of Misrule late on Christmas Eve? Find out in this Tudor-themed retelling of Clement Clarke Moore's classic Christmas poem.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas is far more than a poetry book. It includes more than 30 original Tudor-inspired activities, games, ideas and recipes to bring a twist of Tudor to your modern Christmas And it's sumptuously illustrated by Kathryn Holeman.
A compendium and Christmas keepsake - you'll use it again and again.
How did you get into Tudor history?
The headless ghost of Anne Boleyn beckoned me with her six-fingered hand. I was immediately enthralled. I first read a grim version of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn, in a children's magazine when I was young. It wasn't terribly accurate but it was entertaining and drew me to this life-long obsession with all things Tudor.
Why did you choose to write a Christmas-themed Tudor history activity book?
I have wanted to write a more child-friendly Tudor story with Anne and Henry for years. Christmas is a time of year filled with magic, love and fun. This created a perfect backdrop for a fictional glimpse at the royal couple during a happier time in their lives.
I enjoyed rewriting the poem first. Soon, ideas for bringing twists of Tudor history (not historical re-creations) to a modern Christmas began filling my mind. I adore history and my aim was to create original activities and recipes appreciated by history enthusiasts and by all the guests at a party.
You have taken many photos of your Christmas activities and recipes. Do you have a favourite one?
My heart lies with my Tudor dollhouse and it's been a great way to share history with my children.
My family, however, has told me repeatedly that their favourite is the Peacock Gingerbread Cookies. They love the coordinating tale of how the Tudors ate peacock, cooked but served in their raw skin and blue feathers. Of course, my feather-free cookies have icing which makes them popular.
Who do you think this book is aimed at?
This Tudor activity book was created for all to share their passion for the past with their children, parents, family, and friends in a fun way.
The book can also be enjoyed alone by anyone who loves the Tudors and will be a fun resource for homeschoolers. My hope is that families will enjoy this book together, creating new Christmas memories and traditions.
This book will undoubtedly be a Christmas favourite and be used again and again. What unexpected thing did you discover when writing it?
As long as I've been carrying around history books, there have always been cookbooks beside them. Born with the spirit of an inventor, it had been ages since I simply cooked and baked for fun. I had fun creating modern recipes with Tudor twists.
Can you describe what makes this book special?
The illustrations by Kathryn Holeman are fantastic. Her illustrations have breathed life into my words. I love how her characters capture the fictional essence of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, the Lord of Misrule and even Anne's little dog Purkoy She illustrated a Tudor family tree too, which is a highlight.