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Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Thursday, 10 May 2012 09:42 UK

Why is Tudor fiction so popular?

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Why are novelists so fascinated with the Tudor period?

Philippa Gregory, author of best-selling novels on the Tudors, says the period "isn't all frocks and people falling in love" - it is the dark aspects of the time that make novels by authors like Hilary Mantel so engrossing.

"We're interested now in historical realism... the grime of it, as well as the rare moments of glamour at the top."

Tudor historian Dr Robert Hutchinson, believes we recognise "so much of ourselves" in the Tudors. "You can see their faces on the underground or on buses."


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