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Tracy Borman Author and Historian

Tracy Borman is an author, Tudor historian, broadcaster and joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces the charity that manages Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Hillsborough Castle. She is also currently Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust, a charity that encourages children to visit and learn from historic properties, and was recently nominated Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln.

Tracy often appears on television and radio, and is a regular contributor to history magazines, notably BBC History. She lectures on her books internationally.  

She has written a number of historical biographies, including: Henry VIII and the Men who Made Him: The Secret History Behind the Tudor Throne; Elizabeth’s Women: the Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen; and Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant. Tracy also wrote King's Mistress, Queen's Servant: The Life and Times of Henrietta Howard - which has been adapted into a BARDEUM experience for Kensington Gardens.

She has particular expertise in the 16th century, but has also researched and written about the 11th, 17th and 18th centuries. She specialises in Tudor monarchs and their courts, courtiers, the private lives of monarchs and the history of witchcraft.

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Combining the magic of history, travel and storytelling by allowing visitors to not just see the sites, but step inside their stories. 

App Store Bardeum

‘A deliciously inviting way to explore one of the most atmospheric places in London. At once entertaining and informative, this is a stroll in the best of company through the elegant, eccentric world of the early Georgian court.’

Sarah Gristwood, best-selling Tudor biographer, novelist, and broadcaster


'Told through the eyes of an extraordinary woman, Tales of a Mistress is a masterpiece of storytelling from Tracy Borman. Evocative, authentic and extremely entertaining.'

Nicola Tallis, British Historian and author

"Tracy Borman has written a fabulous experience. Brings the Georgian Gardens back to life. Full of fascinating details on the Georgian period. I loved it!”

Dr. Elizabeth Norton, historian and author

Tales of a Mistress an audiovisual tour of Kensington Gardens in London

"Good day to you and welcome to Kensington Gardens. It is the year 1734 and King George II reigns over England. Kensington Palace is the center of court and its gardens are the place to be seen.

"Forgive me, but before we progress, I must ensure that you are dressed appropriately.  You do not want to suffer the humiliation of being turned away by His Majesty’s gatekeepers for not being of sufficiently genteel appearance. 


"I am Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk, Mistress of the Robes to Queen Caroline and, er, companion to her husband, King George II. You might say I serve two masters, although in very different ways. But more of that later. For now, let us enjoy the gardens." 


Step inside the true Tales of a Mistress as you stroll through the park with the King's longest serving mistress and delight in her knowledge of the gardens as well as her intimate familiarity with life in the Georgian Court.


Frances Gorges Trilogy: The King's Witch (2018); The Devil's Slave (2109); and The Fallen Angel (2020)


"Once again, Tracy Borman has given us an outstanding page-turner, a stunning novel of the corrupt and dangerous Jacobean court, in which a courageous heroine pits her wits against a very nasty and determined villain. This is historical fiction at its absolute best. A fitting end to a fabulous trilogy!" ― Alison Weir

‘A compelling tale of corruption, danger and coruscating suspicion, The King's Witch carries the reader right to the heart of James I's court – and casts a dazzling new light onto one of the most dramatic moments in British history.'  - Sarah Gristwood

Henry VIII and the men who made him: The secret history behind the Tudor throne (2018)


"Henry killed two queens, but also two chief ministers, two dukes, a marquess, two earls, several barons, and various abbots, bishops, musicians and politicians - most of whom he had previously treated as friends. Borman is a steady guide to this sad compendium of tyranny ... always alive to the scuttlebutt of the 16th-century court."  - Sunday Times

"In this stunning book, Tracy Borman proves yet again that she is at the top of her field. It's an outstanding work of historical artistry, a brilliantly woven and pacy story of the men who surrounded, influenced and sometimes plagued Henry VIII. Borman is in complete command of the vast source material, and affords us a new perspective on a king who has dominated the national consciousness for centuries - no mean achievement. Masterful, and hugely impressive, this is one Tudor book you must not miss!"  - Alison Weir

The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty (2017)


"Tracy Borman's eye for detail is impressive; the book is packed with fascinating courtly minutiae... this is a wonderful book." - The Times

"Borman is an authoritative and engaging writer, good at prising out those humanising details that make the past alive to us." The Observer

Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII's most faithful servant (2015)


'This deeply researched and grippingly written biography brings Cromwell to life and exposes the Henrician court in all its brutal, glittering splendour.' -Kate Williams, Independent

"Elegant...her prose, as ever, glides beautifully along." ― Sunday Times

Witches: James I and the English Witch Hunts (2014)


"Gripping… Stirring witchcraft, politics and sexual perversity into the cauldron of a superstitious age, Tracy Borman seasons her brew with suggestions of poisoning and the black arts." -- Iain Finlayson ― The Times

"Tracy Borman has written a thorough and beautifully researched social history of the early 1600s, taking in everything from folk medicine to James I’s sex life." -- Bella Bathurst ― Observer

Matilda: Wife of the Conqueror, First Queen of England (2012)


"Tracy Borman tells this story with a steady eye and a steady hand, tracing what can be known of Matilda's part in the events that were to change the course of English history." -- Helen Castor ― Literary Review

"Borman shows that Matilda was a capable regent and political operator... Matilda remains relevant: one legacy is her bloodline, which still rules in Britain today." ― Sunday Times

Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen (2010)


"It’s a challenge to cast fresh light on figures such as Anne Boleyn and Mary Tudor, but Borman rises to it… Perhaps Borman’s most significant achievement is to have given us and innovative exploration of the implications of Elizabeth’s gender for her queenship, and a new perspective on this most closely studied of reigns"--BBC History Magazine

King's Mistress, Queen's Servant: The Life and Times of Henrietta Howard (2010)


"It is the great strength of Tracy Borman's engaging new biography that, like Alison Weir and David Starkey before her, she manages to throw new light on the influence and careers of women in European courts." -- Stella Tillyard, Sunday Times

"Borman has certainly found an unsung and unusual heroine, what elevates her biography above the others in its genre is the author's sense of humour." - Times Literary Supplement

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