16th century Spain

The life and loves of Felipe II

If you ask a Spanish person who Felipe II was, they’ll likely tell you he was a great and learned king who rebuilt the Escorial, had major issues with his insane eldest son but managed to do his duty and father a (relatively) healthy heir, Felipe III. In passing, they may mutter something about constant …

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Love – not always pink and fluffy

Edward I comes down through history to us as a man not much given to romantic gestures. This after all, is the man who implemented being hung, drawn and quartered for treason, who expelled the Jews in 1290, and who spent a considerable part of his life hammering the Welsh and the Scots into submission …

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All that glitters…

In 1494, the then pope, the infamous Rodrigo Borgia, brokered the treaty of Tordesillas. As per this treaty, Portugal and the joined kingdoms of Castilla and Aragón divided up the world outside of Europe between them. Hmm. I wonder what the divided world had to say about that? Anyway, due to this treaty, a line …

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The saint in the kitchen

One of my favourite historical persons is St Teresa de Jesus (or St Teresa de Avila as she is also known). I would actually go as far as to say this lady is my favourite saint – but that may of course be because she is one of the few saints I have found interesting …

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