Fascinating article about Tudor re-enactment at Kentwell Hall in Suffolk BBC News: Upstairs, downstairs.
Last weekend I travelled back in time to a place where the worlds of those with lavish lifestyles were of necessity closely intertwined with those who provided them with all their everyday needs - the year was 1588, the place, Kentwell Hall in Suffolk.
Each summer for the past 30 years, Kentwell Hall has been transformed by owner Patrick Phillips and his wife Judith into a living replica of itself in a given year during the 16th Century. For three weeks continuously, between 200 and 400 volunteers, steeped in Tudor history, ranging in age from infants to sprightly octogenarians, live and breathe the period from dawn to dusk.
The article is about the disconnection between the wealthy and the poor, which was not possible in Tudor times. Kentwell Hall is a beautiful red brick building in Long Melford. Their Tudor re-creations web page has some video clips from their DVD for schools. They do several re-creations through the year, but the summer one is biggest with three to four hundred people involved.
I've been reading about Medieval times lately (William Manchester "A World Lit Only By Fire" and Norman Frank Cantor "In the wake of the plague"), and Tudor times seem positively civilised in comparison.