As you may be able to tell from the amount of history related books I review on here it is one of my favourite things (after reading). The best part being, of course, that it is something which I can combine with reading (and one of my other top hobbies, cooking, but more on that later). If I can say as well that I love to learn new things then you will not be surprised to hear that when I saw a free online course called England in the Time of Richard III I signed up straight away. The course is a MOOC (a massive open online course) taught by an academic from the University of Leicester and offered by an organisation called FutureLearn. And, so far, it has been great fun.
The reading and activities set for the course have been fascinating – so far we have covered the Wars of the Roses, peasants & farming, books, literacy & printing and death & commemoration – and, strictly speaking, they haven’t taken more than the three or four hours a week quoted in the course outline. Although I have spent a lot longer than that on the discussion boards – I always was a great talker, even online – and of course on all the extra reading that I have done as a consequence of all that chatting.
Here is a selection of the books I have either read so far or, in the case of The Sunne in Splendour, hope to read in the near future. So many people on the course have recommended the Sharon Penman that I know I’m going to have to read it but, at over 1200 pages, I think it will have to wait until I don’t have a to-read pile taller than I am! I have been making a spreadsheet of all the books which have cropped up in various conversations throughout the course – for anyone interested in reading more on this fascinating subject I have attached the list (so far) to this post.