(George W. Bernard)
Male. Education: Oxford University, M.A., Ph.D.
Office—Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, Southampton S017 1BJ, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Educator, historian, and writer. University of Southampton, England, professor of early modern history.
British Academy senior research fellowship, 2003-04.
The Power of the Early Tudor Nobility: A Study of the Fourth and Fifth Earls of Shrewsbury, Harvester (Brighton, England), 1985.
War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525, Harvester (Brighton, England), 1986.
(Editor) The Tudor Nobility, Manchester University Press (Manchester, England), 1992.
Power and Politics in Tudor England, Ashgate (Aldershot, England), 2000.
(Editor, with S.J. Gunn) Authority and Consent in Tudor England: Essays Presented to C.S.L. Davies, Ashgate (Aldershot England), 2002.
Studying at University: How to Adapt Successfully to College Life, Routledge (London, England), 2003.
Editor, with Penry Williams, of Edward VI, by Jennifer Loach, Yale University Press, 1999. Contributor to The End of the Middle Ages? England in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, edited by J.L. Watts, Stroud, 1998. Contributor to periodicals including Oxford Review of Education and Historical Review. Review editor of English Historical Review.
Professor and historian G.W. Bernard has long held a fascination with the Tudor family and the time of its reign in England; he began his writing career with such books as The Power of the Early Tudor Nobility: A Study of the Fourth and Fifth Earls of Shrewsbury; War, Taxation and Rebellion in Early Tudor England: Henry VIII, Wolsey and the Amicable Grant of 1525; and The Tudor Nobility. In a review of The Tudor Nobility, Historian critic Jerome V. Reel, Jr., noted that the book is "valuable in content and varied in methodology and style." And in 2002 Bernard published yet another book on his favored topic: Power and Politics in Tudor England, a collection of essays including discussion of the power of the nobility, Henry VIII as a ruler, and criticism of other historians' interpretations of the subject matter. Indeed, critics agreed with Bernard's iconoclastic conclusions. Mary L. Robertson, writing in Albion, called the collection "accessible" and "enjoyable," and noted that it makes clear the need for a careful reexamination of established beliefs about history. English Historical Review contributor Ralph Houlbrooke concurred with this assessment by praising Bernard's "vigorous and incisive questioning" of accepted thought and deeming the book both "enjoyable and thought-provoking."
Bernard slightly narrowed his field of study with the publication of The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church, which presents a controversial view of Henry VIII's creation of the Church of England. Bernard's Henry is a much stronger, more forceful person than other historians have previously described him. The book, like his previous reinterpretations of commonly held historic beliefs, was applauded by critics. Library Journal critic Benet Exton discussed Bernard's reassessment of accepted facts and suggested that the historian "strongly supports this thesis." In a Spectator review, Jonathan Sumption pointed out the book's "lucidity" and "conviction." Sumption added that while The King's Reformation "makes heavy demands on its readers," it is also "of exceptional interest and importance."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albion, summer, 2002, Mary L. Robertson, review of Power and Politics in Tudor England, p. 295.
English Historical Review, February, 2003, Ralph Houlbrooke, review of Power and Politics in Tudor England, p. 145.
Historian, summer, 1993, Jerome V. Reel, Jr., review of The Tudor Nobility, p. 728.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, January, 2005, Ronald H. Fritze, review of Authority and Consent in Tudor England: Essays Presented to C.S.L. Davies, p. 107.
Library Journal, November 1, 2005, Benet Exton, review of The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church, p. 96.
Spectator, January 14, 2006, Jonathan Sumption, "England's 16th-Century Stalin," review of The King's Reformation, p. 41.
University of Southampton Department of History Web site,http://www.history.soton.ac.uk/ (April 12, 2006), profile of G.W. Bernard.