This volume examines the development of two sovereign nations over seventy-four momentous years, from the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey in England and the majority of James V in Scotland to the succession of James's grandson to the throne of England in 1603. The author provides a narrative introduction to sixteenth-century English and Scottish history, focussing on the political and religious developments in both countries while considering also economic, social, cultural and educational change.The book incorporates recent work on topics such as Reformation settlements in both countries: the destruction of Anne Boleyn and Mary Queen of Scots: the characters of Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I and James VI: French intervention in Scotland: and the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Common issues explored include the tensions between centre and periphery: the relationship between monarch and subject: the developemnt of bureaucracies and 'reformed religion': and shifting attitudes towards Ireland. Throughout the narrative, the author reflects on the reliability of historical evidence, highlighting key interpretative issues for readers new to the period.
Mark Nicholls is Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts at Cambridge University Libraray. He received an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is the author of Investigating Gunpowder Plot (1991). He previously worked at the National Army Museum in Chelsea and edits the Journal of the Society for the Army Historical Research.