Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore (Revised and Expanded)

Tudor Roses by Alice Starmore.  ISBN: 978-1606600474.  Hardcover. Calla Editions; Revised Expanded edition (November 8, 2013).

There are a couple of things that I can tell you right off. First, this edition has no sweaters for men. So the Henry VII and Henry VIII sweaters are missing. Second several of the women’s sweaters have been revised. There’s also a couple of new sweaters for women in the Tudor line.

[Reviewing Note: I own the original Tudor Roses, 1998 edition, and will try to give my impressions as to the changes as I go through this new edition. Note that I’m reviewing a digital advanced reader copy so while I have photos and text information, I can’t comment on instructions as this copy not formatted for reading the knitting instructions and all the charts are missing and formatting was problematical.

4/28/17 Update: I bought a copy of the newly revised hardcover edition of Tudor Roses because I feel in love with a couple of the new sweaters, now seeing others in these new richer saturated colors — well I found myself willing to buy this copy.]

Below is a photo of what I mean by richer colors. The photo from the new book is on the left and the old book on the right. Photo were snapshots with my phone’s camera with flash.

Comparison of Mary Tudor Sweater in new and old book

A major difference is the sweater photos in the 1998 version were mostly taken outdoors in natural settings. This new edition is more controlled with studio photographs (several of each knitted item) against a black backgrounds. This makes for more uniformity in displaying the knitted items and keeps the focus on the pattern, style, and colors.

All of the women’s sweaters from the 1998 version are in this version though the color choices have changed for many of the sweaters. There are also several new sweaters each named for a woman important to the Tudor line: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Lady Mary, and Mary, Queen of Scots. Though some of the sweaters for the women have changed as the sweater on the cover of the new edition is Jane Seymour’s and in the 1998 edition her sweater was a pullover.

Here’s a partial list of the differences between the 1998 version and this edition:

  • Elizabeth of York’s sweater has also changed to be more of a bolero or vest instead of the original longer length though the stitch pattern is basically the same.
  • Margaret Tudor’s sweater is shown in a cream and the sleeve pattern has been changed while the body is the same.
  • Anne Bodeyn’s sweater has changed to a stunning fitted jacket that draws the eye with a contrasting thin stripe detail.
  • Katherine Howard’s sweater is the same but the color is now dark blue with a liter blue for the diagonal stripes giving it a bit more drama.

Each section starts with a short letter from the point of view of the woman featured, giving a flavor of who she was and how she viewed her place in the world. I found these short notes to be touching and to bring this woman to life as a person not just a historical figure. Reading these notes made it easier to see how the sweater fit with their personality and position which added an extra layer of enjoyment to the book.

I’d suggest going to the Amazon website and take advantage of the Look Inside feature to determine if you wish to purchase this book. It is a beautiful edition with just enough changes to make it worth purchasing even if you do own the 1998 copy. However, others may have a different view of buying a new edition of an already owned pattern book. Check it out and decide for yourself.