St Mary’s historian publishes book exploring famous Anglo-French meeting

A new book about a major Renaissance event, the Field of Cloth of Gold, where King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France met in 1520, has been published by a leading early-modern historian at St Mary’s University College.

Dr Glenn Richardson, Reader in Early-Modern History and Academic Director ofPhilosophy and History at the University College has published The Field of Cloth of Gold with Yale University Press. The book explains the reasons for the meeting, considers the major logistical effort required to assemble the 12,000 guests and recounts its series of tournaments, banquets and festivities which astonished the rest of Europe. Richardson’s book has been well received in the national press for its wealth of detail and anecdote and for the way it explores the meaning of the event. He argues that the Field was far more than just a piece of showy elitist theatre or the cynical charade it has long been considered.

Dr Richardson is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, having published extensively on Tudor England’s political and cultural relations with Continental Europe. He said, “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to write the book. It deals with one of the most fascinating episodes in sixteenth-century history and I hope it shows something at least of how Renaissance monarchy actually worked.”