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! My particular areas of interest are the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the history of jewellery. 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’, examined the jewellery collections of the Yorkist and early Tudor queens, and the role of jewels during this period. It’s fascinating stuff! I completed my PhD and became Dr Tallis in 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, and I have also volunteered for the National Trust. I have worked as the curator at Sudeley Castle, and featured prominently on BBC’s Countryfile in April 2013, guiding at Sudeley. Additionally, I’ve worked as a historical researcher, and since 2013 I have been one of the resident historians for Alison Weir Tours. I’ve also written for a number of history magazines, including BBC History Magazine, History Revealed and Explore.
I spent three years researching and writing a biography of Lady Frances Brandon, mother to Lady Jane Grey – I never published it, but I was able to draw on my research when I completed my first book. Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, is a non-fiction biography, and was published in 2016 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. Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch, was published by Michael O’Mara Books in the UK in 2019, and by Basic Books in the US in 2020. I am currently working on my fourth and fifth books, due to be published in 2023. The title of one has yet to be announced, but the other is based on my doctorate. All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445-1548: Power, Majesty and Display will be published by Routledge.
You can follow my progress by ‘connecting’ with me via my social media channels below.