Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Dissertation Topics

Second week of the second semester of my second year and we are already having our dissertations thrown at us. They could have at least asked us how Christmas was first.

At this point in time I have two ideas for my dissertation. Both of which i think should be pretty interesting to do. The first one would be something like 'Henry VII, First Tudor or Last Yorkist?'. The second is a re-examining of the relationship between Henry VIII and his 'big three', Wolsey, More and Cromwell.

I'll say it early in this blogs life. I like Henry VII. I think the recent works done by Grummit, Gunn and Carpenter are really going to re-open H7 and help cast off this myth that the only thing we need to know about him is that he won the Battle of Bosworth and liked money. I mean come on. One of the most interesting things I find about him personally is the very strong Yorkist line that can be traced in his policy making. For some who label him as England's only applicant in the 'New Monarchy' this is something of an inconvenient truth. If historians are going to stop their little late medievalist/early modernist turf war over him, we could be in for some pretty exciting stuff over the next few years.

The relationship between H7 and his ministers is something that has come under a certain amount of scrutiny yet has always proved difficult to define in a manner that everybody likes. The problem comes from the huge powers that Wolsey, Cromwell and More wielded, yet the ease in which H8 got rid of them when they messed up. Some say that the advisers were more or less the monarch during their period of power (read anything Elton every wrote about Cromwell and you see true, pure, unadulterated hero worship) while Henry was busy getting married. Others are starting to say that actually, they could only sustain this power as long as they towed the Henrician line. Like H7, I think there is a lot of room here for discovery.

Bah. Curse you dissertation. You are proving to be annoying already.

17 comments:

  1. Hey, Dan! Nice blog. Sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you. In school, I tried to pick topics I really liked so it didn't feel like work. Good luck on your dissertation!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Dan

    Interesting post & a couple of things I wondered about.

    What do you mean by the "very strong Yorkist line that can be traced in his policy making" & why is that an inconvenient truth?

    Andy

    (from Tudor stuff)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Andy

    There are two basic ways of looking at H7. You can look at him either from the medievalist point of view, or from the tudorist. For many medievalists there is a very strong continuation of Yorkist policy that is evident under Henry VII. H7 is often praised for beginning the process of centralising Government but it was mostly a Yorkist thing. The monarchial travles around the country (I think Henry even went as far as Newcastle), static officers of state and the Council attending upon the King and the Council fo Requests (what we would call the small claims court) were all ideas borrowed from Edward IV and even Richard III. Half of Edward IVs councillors that were alive at Bosworth served Henry, so conitinuity is not really a suprise.

    Personally Bosworth itself provides an interesting topic for this sort of discussion. Richard III wasn't particularly unpopular until he took the Kingship and was seen as usurping the will of Edward IV. The fact that Henry found it so easy to garner support may well show that his contempories viewed him as someone who had strong Yorkist traditions. Thats just my own thought though.

    As for this being an inconvenient truth, this has more to do with Tudor historians and their approach. Christine Carpenter said that when a Tudorist looks at Henry VII he is being studied by someone who may not neccesarily have the tools to do it (because of experience using different types of sources and the like), and they do tend to be rather pretentious in their history.As far as a Tudorist may be concerned (if they decide to look at him at all), Henry is the father of modern England and the herald of a new era in English Government. Francis Bacon's 'History of the Reign of Henry VII' is often incorrectly used to evidence this. Obviously if there is a strong Yorkist line then it is difficult to paint a picture of a revolutionary change. I also feel that henry is somewhat buoyed by the Whigish historical tradition (of which many tudorists are, not really suprising I suppose) rather too much which is not entirely helpful.

    The bottom line really is if you want to know about Henry VII, you read a medievalist. This is slowly starting to change as both schools get over their perceived turf war and start to look at him a bit more ovjectively, but as it stands right now, you have to go further back for a proper study of H7.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bah, apologies for spelling, I havn't gone to sleep yet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good fortune with your blog...enjoyed reading first posts. Anything you can do to enhance my reputation is of course welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Dan
    Me again - Many thanks for taking the time to reply re Henry VII, I have neglected him in my reading so far & must get around to sorting that.

    Once again, Thanks & best wishes

    Andy (from Tudor Stuff)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

    _____________________________

    Dissertation Topics

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi

    Im hoping to do my dissertation on a similar topic. I have not really studied the tudor period in any depth, espeically Henry VII i was wondering if you could recommend any books, that are worth reading.
    Many thanks
    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  9. In this era of web 2.0, we easily get nice & updated information for research purposes... I'd definitely appreciate the work of the said blog owner... Thanks!
    ................................

    written term papers-Term Paper Samples

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dissertation is a formal expositon of a subject and a treatise to an advance point of view resulting from a research. It is usually a requirement for an advance academic degree.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is my Good luck that I found your post which is according to my search and topic, I think you are a great blogger, thanks for helping me outta my problem..
    Dissertation Wtiting help

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have just bookmarked this website in my favorites, thanks for such an amazing post about dissertation topics. I didn’t have much idea about it before but I think, now, I can very well handle it.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such an interesting tpoic about dissertation services writing i really appriciated this wonderful article:)

    ReplyDelete
  14. your post is very interesting and informative.thanks for sharing this blog.affordable dissertation

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good post for dissertation tips. I researched lot of people need dissertation with affordable price .. Its my personal research lots or people search affordable dissertation by google.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Dan! I, too, am interested in history. I wrote a thesis a while ago about the life of Raedwald of East Anglia that live in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. I got a little help with thesis from museum from my area and introduced me to some people that can help. Anyway, what happened to your dissertation?

    ReplyDelete