Dr Janina Ramirez

Cultural Historian. Broadcaster. Author.

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

Clip |  Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings | BBC FOUR


The Private Lives of Medieval Kings is now available on the BBC Store, featuring all three episodes of the acclaimed BBC FOUR series.

Written and presented by Dr Janina Ramirez, the series explores the magnificent Royal Collection of manuscripts at the British Library. Now exhibited for the very first time, these remarkable volumes give us a unique insight into the private lives of medieval monarchs.

Follow Dr Janina Ramirez as she explores the story of the medieval monarchy, as revealed through the British Library’s Royal Manuscripts collection. By using her unique expert knowledge to decode these manuscripts, Dr Ramirez offers us a unique insight into the lives of long-dead kings.

From the rueful footnote detailing Edward II’s demise – ‘I am called the tumbledown king and all the world mocks me’ – to Henry VIII’s scribbled love notes to Anne Boleyn in the margins of his Bible, we see a succession of kings battling to shape an unruly nation and sometimes fighting for their lives.

This epic story spans 800 years – from the unification of England under the Anglo-Saxons, right through to the 100 Years War with France, and ending with the brutal magnificence of Henry VIII.