Historical People

His empress, his love – of Isabel, matriarch to the Spanish Hapsburgs

Early in March of 1526, Isabel of Portugal finally got her dream prince. At last! The groom, Holy Roman Emperor Carlos I (or Charles V, depending on who you’re asking) had originally been less than interested in the match with his first cousin, and for years Isabel had waited for the man to come to […]

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Struck by the arrow – of love and its consequences

The day Camila met Ladislao, she was eighteen. He was a year or so older—and a Jesuit priest. The year was 1843, the place Buenos Aires, and as Ladislao had been appointed the family  priest, they saw a lot of each other. Ladislao was a friend of Camila’s older brother, also a Jesuit priest, and

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Oh woe, my toe!

Today’s post is about an ailment, namely gout. Why? Because I discovered some months ago that Edward I, a larger-than-life presence in my upcoming rlease, apparently suffered from this disease. Now, In Sweden gout has pejoratively been known as “portvinstå” – portwinetoe – and was assumed to afflict only very sedentary, very rich, somewhat obese,

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One son died young, one became an earl, one a bishop and one an abuser – the life of a medieval mother

Today, we’re going to spend some time with a woman called Elisabeth. Back in her day, there were many, many Elisabeths. And Eleanors. And Matildas. Our Elisabeth had the misfortune of a somewhat burdened surname. Being a de Montfort in 13th century England was not necessarily a good thing—at least not after the battle of

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The king’s lady – of Nicholaa de la Haye, defender of Lincoln, as presented by Sharon Bennett Connolly

Today, dear peeps, we’re going to be spending time in medieval England, more specifically in the reign of King John. This time and place was a man’s world where women rarely got more than a passing mantion by the (male) chroniclers. There were exceptions of course, and one such exception was Nicholaa de la Haye,

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Evil deeds and their grisly consequences – of crime and punishment

During the past summer, I did something I’ve been planning to do for years: I visited Kalmar Castle, which is one of the older castles in Sweden. Initially built in the 13th century, it reached its full glory as a Renaissance Palace in the 16th century, but nothing really lasts for ever does it? The

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The abducted bride – the story of Ingrid Svantepolksdotter

Today, dear peeps, we’ll be lingering in 13th century Sweden. (Blame it on a recent road trip, which had me passing places that were once seats of power in the nascent kingdom of Sweden, now mostly are backwaters . . .) Now, the reason why this story caught my eye was because of a name:

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The consequences of not keeping it in your pants – a medieval morality

Once upon a time there was a king named Valdemar. Okay, we might need to slow down as there have been quite a few kings named Valdemar, especially in Denmark. Not so much in Sweden, though, and this particular king was Swedish. Sweden in the 13th century was not Sweden as it is today. Huge

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When Isabella of Austria became Elisabeth of Denmark – the story of a young queen

In Sweden, Kristian II of Denmark has the not-so-flattering epithet ”the tyrant”. After all, it was because of his duplicity that the streets of Stockholm ran red with blood one cold November night in 1520 as one after another of the Swedish nobles who’d fought against Danish dominion were summarily executed. In Denmark, obviously, he

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From royal prince to mendicant friar – the story of Jakob of Dacia

In one of my recent posts, I wrote about Hans II of Denmark and his wife, Kristina. Not a marital union that ended all that happily—not after Hans became so infatuated with the fair Edle he forgot that key word discretion, thereby humiliating his loyal wife before the entire court. Well, so thought the queen

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