Threads of Majesty: Kings, Cardinals, and Carpets in Henry VIII’s England with Dr. Lauren Mackay

Threads of Majesty: Kings, Cardinals, and Carpets in Henry VIII’s England with Dr. Lauren Mackay


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

 For Henry VIII and his court, the Islamic realms of the 16th century conjured up images of exotic and luxurious silks, spices, carpets, textiles – an endless source of fascination and delight. As the connection between the two realms deepened through expansion and greater mercantile opportunities, English society, from Dukes, to Cardinals, to Kings, coveted Ottoman and Persian culture: their art, textiles, and carpets became highly sought–after symbols of wealth and power.

 The halls of the great Tudor palaces and Castles boasted large-scale tapestries and richly-colored Ottoman textiles, and royal inventories overflowed with oriental carpets. We have detailed accounts of Henry VIII’s opulent and costly Turkish-themed banquets, his royal chief advisor Cardinal Wolsey’s impressive (and coveted) collection of textiles, among the surviving portraits of wealthy Tudor families and nobility surrounded by their luxurious oriental rugs.

 Led by Early Modern expert, Dr. Lauren Mackay, this conversation will weave together this vibrant, colorful intersection of East and West into the broader Tudor narrative. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of 16th-century oriental culture, textiles, dress, and carpets which flowed through the trade routes of Venice and Antwerp, from Istanbul, Shiraz, and Tabriz, to Henry VIII’s “sceptered Isle.”

Eager to learn more about Tudor England with Context? Click here for additional information about this series. 

Dr. Lauren Mackay is an Early Modern historian, author, lecturer, and historical consultant. Her books include "Among The Wolves of Court," "The Wolf Hall Companion," and "Inside the Tudor Court." Her fourth book, "Thunder Through the Realms: Five Kingdoms and the shaping of Early Modern Europe" is due out late 2022 with Bloomsbury Publishing. Lauren has appeared as an expert for several historical documentaries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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