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About Melita

Hello, and welcome to my website. My name is Melita Thomas, and like many people, I have a passion for history, particularly the medieval, Tudor, and Stewart periods in Britain and Europe.

How I became an author and a historian

Although I first became hooked on history as a child, after watching the BBC’s Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R, with the incomparable Glenda Jackson, I did not read the subject at university. Instead, I became a Chartered Surveyor and worked in the real estate industry for many years – including a role at the Millennium Commission, contributing to projects such as the Dynamic Earth Centre, the Falkirk Wheel, and, dear to my Welsh heart, the Millennium Stadium (now the Principality Stadium) in Cardiff.

In 2014, I decided it was time to fulfil a long-held ambition and write a book. Having failed miserably to finish any of a number of novels, (not forgetting the biography of Mary I that I started when I was nine) I concluded that a change of tack was needed and signed up to a Guardian/East Anglia University Masterclass in Writing Biography, planning to write a book about a lesser-known member of the Tudor royal family. As part of my research, I took a trip to Scotland with a friend, Deborah Roil. Disappointed by the paucity of good on-line information about the Tudor or Stewart periods, we decided to set up our own website, and hence Tudor Times was born. I loved (and still do love) writing content for the site, and contributing articles to magazines such as BBC History Extra. This led to a conversation with the publisher, Amberley, and the birth of my first completed book The King’s Pearl: Henry VIII and his daughter Mary.

One of the lessons that I learnt during the writing of the book was the importance of rigour in historical research and writing. To develop the skills I needed to do justice to the people and times I write about, I undertook a Master’s in Historical Research at the Institute of Historical Research, part of the University of London. My degree dissertation was ‘The Medieval Queens of England and the City of London’, exploring how the queens’ relationship with the capital city affected their success, or lack of it, as queens-consort, and that of their husbands as monarch. A second book, The House of Grey: Friends and Foes of Kings, followed, then admittance to UCL for doctoral research. I am using social network analysis to look at the life and reign of Mary I – you can find more about this here. I am now also a post-graduate member of the Royal Historical Society.

Melita Thomas

Meanwhile, Tudor Times has gone from strength to strength and Deborah and I have authored four gift books: Tudor Book of Days, Tudor Book of the Garden (my favourite, as I am a keen gardener), Queen Elizabeth I Book of Days, and Mary Queen of Scots Book of Days. These are all available from Deborah has also branched out into a magazine, Tudor Places.

My latest book is 1000 Tudor People. Three years in the making, it is a compendium of biographies of one thousand people who flourished during the Tudor period: as well as individuals famous and infamous, it includes lesser-known people from all walks of life. There is more about it here.

Work on my doctoral thesis is progressing, and I have a contract for a new popular history book with Amberley – watch this space for details. I am also contributing to a group of themed articles for the Royal Studies Network Journal, for publication next year. There will be more on that on my research page in due course.

New book ‘1000 Tudor People’ out now

Monarchs and magicians, politicians and philosophers, kings, criminals, musicians, and gardeners: learn about one thousand men and women from all walks of life who flourished during the Tudor period. 

About the book: New Book

I really enjoy sharing my research, through academic conferences, live book talks, podcasts with Tudor bloggers and writers, and articles either in Tudor Times, or for other publications. If you are interested in a talk, an interview, or an article, contact me using the form. I also love answering quirky research questions – please send me any questions you might have, using the Ask Melita form. I cannot promise to track down the answer, but I do promise to try. I also love the genealogy of the royal and noble houses of Europe from the middle ages through to the early modern period. I have a database of well over 20,000 people, so if you need a family tree for your publication, let me know - I may be able to help. Family trees previously researched can be purchased at the Tudor Times shop

In my spare time, I am attempting to walk around the whole coast of Britain – it is going rather slowly, but is very enjoyable. I find walking is a great way to let a piece of writing mature in the back of my mind. You can follow my progress here. Melita's Coast of Britain Walk