Interview with Rebecca Larson, Tudors Dynasty

Editor’s Note: After several member and browser requests, Queenanneboleyn.com is delighted to welcome Rebecca Lawson, owner and operator of Tudors Dynasty to the website. Do get yourself a cup or tea or glass of wine and enjoy learning about Rebecca’s website, blogs, podcasts, online course (which for those enrolled goes live tomorrow!), as well as her interest in Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley.
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Rebecca, Queenanneboleyn.com is excited to invite you to the website. Please tell our browsers about your popular Tudor History blog at Tudors Dynasty? When did you establish the website, and what motivated you to do so?

We all have our stories about what got us into Tudor history, right? For me, it was a very slow progression. It started with family tree research (2004) and a possible connection to the Tudors, and then in 2007 the first episode of The Tudors aired on Showtime, and I was hooked! From there, I began reading Jean Plaidy books which eventually led to Philippa Gregory novels and so forth. For eight years I just read as many Tudor books as I could get my hands on.

In 2015, I started following Tudor pages on Facebook – I watched closely to what those pages were posting, and eventually (after persuasion from my husband) I opened a Twitter account, quickly followed by a Facebook page. All I knew at the time is that I had something to say and I was ready to say it. That’s when I started the blog. Little did I know what a huge success my blog and social media would become. It’s mind boggling, truly. I am so grateful for all my followers. So grateful.

On your website, you also host a a phenomenal series of podcasts highlighting the extensive knowledge of a variety of renowned Tudor History experts. (I was particularly intrigued with your conversation with Dr. Joanne Paul about Saint Thomas More.) Please tell our browsers more about your Tudor History podcasts, who has participated, and also any future episodes we should be sure we don’t miss. 

The first episode of my podcast went live in February 2017. When it first began it was me doing two weeks worth of constant research, writing, recording and editing. After awhile it got to be too time consuming and was cutting into my family time. That’s when I switched to interviews.

When I began with interviews I stayed within my comfort zone and interview authors I had gotten to know over the years. From there I built my confidence up to ask Dan Jones to be a guest. He was the big fish that I really wanted because I’m a huge fan of his work, but especially his social media presence. When I asked him I didn’t even expect a response. Honestly. He really didn’t know who I was at this point, other than brief exchanges. When he agreed to be on the show I was so proud of myself for taking the chance. For not being afraid to ask. My sales training has always taught me that you don’t know until you ask – so why not ask? What is the worst that can happen? They say no? He doesn’t know this, but he gave me the confidence I needed to ask Tracy Borman, and to ask all my other guests. All because I asked a simple question.

Since that time I have had some amazing guests on the podcast: Tracy Borman, Nicola Tallis, Gareth Russell and so many more amazing historians and authors! The future looks bright for the podcast. I have some more wonderful interviews coming up this season, including an interview with Suzannah Lipscomb – who is the last on my list of big names that I wanted to talk to. I’m not sure how I keep up, or where to go from here.

Rebecca, as you know, Queenannebolyn.com hosts my blog “The Tudor Thomases”. Many of our browsers I am sure would be interested to know that you have a particular interest in Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, so much so that you host a blog highlighting his life story and also administer the Facebook page “The Thomas Seymour Society”. Why do you find him so fascinating? Can you share with browsers some misconceptions we often have of this often misunderstood Tudor Thomas?

What’s not to like about Thomas Seymour? Haha. To be fair, he kind of fell into my lap. I had been approached in October 2016 about writing a book. A publisher had seen my blog and wondered if I could do a book for them. I thought, “sure, why not!?” I immediately knew that I wanted to write about Mary Howard, Duchess of Richmond – she always fascinated me. Love her story. The response I received was, “sorry, we already have someone writing a book about her.” I was bummed, but quickly recalled that I had just read a few books about Kateryn Parr, and that the parts about Thomas Seymour had intrigued me – I wanted to learn more. That’s where it began. From there I had decide on fiction or nonfiction. I couldn’t decide so I’m doing both, and not very well I must admit. I’m in the last round of edits on the fiction book and still working on more research and writing of the nonfiction. The fiction book will be a way for me to fill in the gaps or explain things like, ‘why didn’t he marry until 40?’ It has been great fun. The purpose of my nonfiction book is to clear the air. To look at the 33 charges against him and investigate them. I also believe I know who is responsible for his execution and that of his eldest brother, Edward.

The Thomas Seymour Society is a way for me to spread the truth, as I know it. I am translating old documents to see if something has been missed, but as anyone who transcribes old Tudor documents knows, it’s not easy to do when the handwriting is illegible.

The one thing that I hear over and over about Thomas is that he molested the Lady Elizabeth. While we truly have no solid evidence to go either way, I am a firm believer that things did not happen as they were reported. He did not molest her. He did not rape her. Those two things can very easily get my blood boiling. Oh, and he didn’t attempt to kill the King! Why on earth would Thomas Seymour kill his nephew? His connection to power. If it wasn’t for Edward’s birth, we honestly would not know as much about Thomas’ life.

These are all things that I am fighting against, as well as centuries of lies and propaganda that has been regurgitated, over and over again.

Beginning tomorrow, you will be hosting a Tudor History Course at Tudors Dynasty. The anticipation of this course is so popular that enrollment is now closed as 1000 people have signed up. Tell us all about the course, please!
A couple of months ago I was doing a type of ‘vision board’ for Tudors Dynasty, and I had the idea of a course. I know my followers love my quizzes, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach, set the story straight and have a quiz at the end. The Tudor Course is like no other course that is available on the Tudors. My ‘coaches’ (including yourself!) have done an amazing job putting together information that is teachable and easy to understand. The quiz is not timed, but if you take all the courses you WILL get a certificate at the end. I was absolutely blown away by the response I received!
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Rebecca, do you have any future projects you would like to share with us?
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I will be a presenter at Tudorcon this year! I was signed up to speak last year but life got in the way, so I’m excited to meet all my Tudor friends in Pennsylvania this October for Tudorcon! Other than that, my books will be my priority moving forward, but I will still be coming up with interesting topics and guests for the Tudors Dynasty Podcast as well as lining up some guest writers for my blog. Who knows what else the future holds.
ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST
Rebecca Larson

Rebecca Larson is the owner and operator of TudorsDyansty.com, PlantagenetsWeekly.wordpress.com, StuartsWeekly.wordpress.com, ThomasSeymourSociety.com, and host of the Tudors Dynasty Podcast. Rebecca created the Tudor Course and launched it in January 2020 to Tudor fanatics around the world.

Other Queen Anne Boleyn “QAB” Interviews here

Beth von Staats

is the owner and administrator of QueenAnneBoleyn.com. Blogger of "The Tudor Thomases", Beth specializes in writing magazine articles, online historical articles, short stories, and flash fiction.