I’ve been interested in history all of my life – when I was a small child my mother used to read me stories about King Arthur, which then progressed to Henry VIII and his six wives, and I’ve been hooked ever since! I’m particularly interested in fifteenth and sixteenth century history – everybody loves the Tudors! I am constantly trying to broaden my horizons though, and I love learning about new people and periods.
Let me introduce myself – my name is Nicola Tallis and I am a British Historian. I was born in Cardiff, but I have spent most of my life living in Wiltshire. However, you are more likely to find me sat at my computer in the British Library or the National Archives, or perusing the treasures of a stately home or castle.
I graduated from Bath Spa University with a first class BA Hons. degree in History in 2011, and from Royal Holloway College, University of London in 2013 with an MA in Public History. In 2013 I began studying for my PhD at the University of Winchester, where I have also taught History to undergraduates. My thesis, entitled ‘All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445-1548’, examines the jewellery collections of the Queen’s of England, and the role of jewels during this period. It’s fascinating stuff! I completed my PhD and became Dr Tallis in January 2019.
I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a varied career in the history and heritage sector since graduating. I completed an internship with the interpretation department at Hampton Court Palace, which led to further work with the curatorial department providing research for their 2013 exhibition, Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber. I have also volunteered with the National Trust at Montacute House, delivering their education programme to schoolchildren. I have worked as the curator at Sudeley Castle, and featured prominently on BBC’s Countryfile in April 2013, guiding at Sudeley. You can watch a clip of my appearance by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sTtshpISXU
I have also worked as a historical researcher, most notably for Sir Ranulph Fiennes whilst he was working on his 2014 book, Agincourt: My Family, the Battle and the Fight for France. Since 2013 I have been extremely privileged to have been working as the resident historian for Alison Weir Tours – it’s a job I absolutely adore!
I’ve also written for a number of history magazines on a variety of topics. My article about the fall of Lady Jane Grey was the cover feature for the November 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine, and my piece about Elizabeth’s Rival was the cover feature in November 2017. I’ve also written pieces for All About History and Explore. Additionally, I’ve been interviewed by BBC Radio Leicester, BBC Radio Wiltshire and Talk Radio Europe.
I spent three years researching and writing a biography of Lady Frances Brandon, mother to Lady Jane Grey – as of yet it has not been published, but I hope that it will be at some point in the future! My first book, Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, is a new non-fiction biography, and was published by Michael O’Mara Books in the UK, and Pegasus in the US. My second book, Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester, was published by Michael O’Mara Books in the UK in 2017, and in the US with Pegasus in 2018. It is the first ever biography of one of the great Elizabethans.
You can follow my progress by ‘connecting’ with me via my social media channels below.