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Why the Tudors fell for courtly love

Sarah Gristwood considers how the Tudor monarchs used medieval ideas about courtly love for their own ends 

A set of Tudor faces laid out on playing cards

In medieval Europe, the nobility were entranced with courtly love, a genre of literature that saw chivalrous knights performing heroic deeds to protect and serve their lovers. But as Sarah Gristwood argues, these tropes later captured the hearts and minds of the Tudor dynasty, who used ideas about courtly love to further their own agendas.


Sarah Gristwood is the author of The Tudors in Love: The Courtly Code Behind the Last Medieval Dynasty (Oneworld, 2021).