Historical People

Ms Ironbeard, King Hans and the failure of a royal marriage

Sometimes, I start out by researching one person and end up fascinated by another. In this particular case, I wanted to know more about Hans II, King of Denmark and Norway (“And Sweden!” he adds, but as he was only king here for like three years, I see that as more of a parenthesis) This …

Ms Ironbeard, King Hans and the failure of a royal marriage Read More »

Dance, Salome, dance!

Sometimes, hubby and I spend several hours over the weekend solving crosswords. He is much better at it than I am, mainly because there are so many words/clues that only exist in the rarefied world of crossworders (is that even a word?) and he has been solving crosswords for yonks. Today, one of the clues …

Dance, Salome, dance! Read More »

A slow march into permanent night – of a queen’s death

I have previously written about Eleanor of Castile, but in that post I focussed on the children she birthed. And lost. She lost most of them, unfortunate woman that she was. This post is about her last few years—mainly because that’s where I’ve been spending time with her, as my latest novel is set 1287-1290, …

A slow march into permanent night – of a queen’s death Read More »

When Poppa met Rollo – Cathie Dunne gives us an insight into 9th century politics

Some weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of reading Cathie Dunne’s book about Poppa of Bayeux and her hubby Hrolfr, a.k.a. Rollo (To us Swedes, he is Gånge-Rolf, so named because he was so big and strong no horse could carry him, hence he had to walk. Gånge means walker) Anyway: I realised I …

When Poppa met Rollo – Cathie Dunne gives us an insight into 9th century politics Read More »

What is in a name? A desire to rebel?

One of the huge benefits of writing historical fiction is all the tangential little research excursions. In my upcoming release, Her Castilian Heart, I needed a location for dire deeds. I knew roughly what I wanted—an abandoned, ruined castle—but in 1289, not all that many medieval castles were abandoned or ruined as they were still …

What is in a name? A desire to rebel? Read More »

Adding a dash or two of ice to history

I have spent the last few days thinking about ice. Partly, this is because it’s been very, very hot—so hot, I wouldn’t have minded a pile of crushed ice to roll around in. And then, of course, there are all the news reports about the disappearing ice—in the Artic, in the Himalayas, in Antarctica. Everywhere, …

Adding a dash or two of ice to history Read More »

An expensive folly – of an impressive castle and its somewhat less impressive master

Today, I am taking you on a guided tour through the past of one of Sweden’s most imposing surviving baroque castles, Läckö. I’ve had this castle on my bucket list for yonks—being a 17th century enthusiast sort of makes a visit mandatory—and some days ago, I finally made it there, standing for a silent moment …

An expensive folly – of an impressive castle and its somewhat less impressive master Read More »

The matter of an infected Scottish marriage and its consequences

I wrote this post several years ago, but it remains a favourite of mine, mainly because the idea of mary Queen of Scots and John Knox working together as marriage counsellors is so…wow? Impossible? So, I give you Mary and John and their efforts to save a failing marriage! These days, we tend to have …

The matter of an infected Scottish marriage and its consequences Read More »

Forget-me-not – or a flowery take on an usurpation

Ask anyone what flower they associate with the House of Lancaster, and chances are they’ll answer a rose. And yes,  during the War of the Roses, Lancaster had a red rose as a badge. Their fierce opponents, the House of York, sported a white rose. And by now all of those who know your history …

Forget-me-not – or a flowery take on an usurpation Read More »

A softer approach – or when Edward I did his peace dove act

Edward I of England is one of those historical characters that tend to inspire a lot of ambivalence. This man, who chose to have “Hammer of the Scots” inscribed on his tomb was many things: dutiful son, loving husband, harsh conqueror, efficient ruler, capable warrior, devout Crusader, ruthless when he felt wronged—and once upon a …

A softer approach – or when Edward I did his peace dove act Read More »