A How-To Guide to Living in Historical England

Adina Staff Image

Ever wonder what life was really like for people in the past? What details about daily life do the history books leave out?

Author and Historian Ruth Goodman does her best to answer these questions in How to be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life. Describing herself as a “Historian of the Social and Domestic Life of Britain,”  Goodman focuses her book on the lives of commoners in Tudor England instead of aristocracy and royalty.

This book is a how-to guide to a Tudor day: Goodman begins at dawn when people dress, say their prayers and begin a day of work. As the book and “day” continue, Goodman goes into great detail about washing (or lack thereof), clothing, cooking, ploughing, brewing beer and so much more. Goodman doesn’t just research these everyday practices, she lives them! As a reenactor, Goodman discusses her personal experiences living a Tudor lifestyle from sleeping on rush matts to cooking in a Tudor oven to not bathing for three months!

This book is a great introduction to Tudor England and helps you understand what it was really like in the time of William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth.

How to be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life

Following a typical “day” in Tudor England, Goodman focuses on the common and working classes from dawn to dusk in the time of William Shakespeare. Drawing from extensive research and her own experiences as a Tudor reenactor, Goodman presents a fascinating glimpse into the past.