Historical People

A Portuguese princess in the Castilian court – or how an exiled wife put horns on her hubby

Some time ago, I wrote about the misfortunes of Blanca of Navarra, a young woman who was to be betrayed by almost everyone who should have her back—including her hubby, Enrique IV of Castile. Now, as those of you who read about Blanca may remember, Enrique had their marriage annulled after 13 years, citing non-consummation …

A Portuguese princess in the Castilian court – or how an exiled wife put horns on her hubby Read More »

The fine art of compensation – or how a medieval king decided to go a-conquering for new land!

Today, dear peeps, we’re going to be spending some quality time with Jaime I of Aragon. He snorts at my use of the Spanish version of his name, which is Jaume in Catalan – and Jaume was a major advocate of Catalan. (Although in his native occitan, his name was Jacme, but let’s not confuse …

The fine art of compensation – or how a medieval king decided to go a-conquering for new land! Read More »

From mushrooms to purported murders

After several weeks of radio silence – I took a much-needed break from everything this summer—I am now suffering from severe “post-writing abstinence”. This is a rather grave condition which must of course be addressed by…taa-daa…writing a new post. Fortunately, over these last few weeks I have collected a list of potential subjects. Oddly, none …

From mushrooms to purported murders Read More »

Entitled, haughty and determined- of a Prussian Iron Lady in the Swedish Court

In 1720, Fredrick William I of Prussia and his wife welcomed a baby girl to the world. She was the tenth (but not the last) child of their union, and as she was a girl, rather than the much desired male spare, I dare  say Fredrick William did not exactly do cartwheels of joy. Still: …

Entitled, haughty and determined- of a Prussian Iron Lady in the Swedish Court Read More »

So much more than a glory-hound – the Earl of Essex as described by Tony Riches

Today, dear peeps, I have the pleasure of hosting one of the stops on The Coffee Pot Book Club’s  blog tour of Essex, Tony Riches’ latest release. When I was given the opportunity to read and review, I more or less leapt at it, despite having a problem with men in puff breeches and hose …

So much more than a glory-hound – the Earl of Essex as described by Tony Riches Read More »

The royal slave – a story of faith in Moorish Spain

Sometimes, I stumble upon my protagonists by chance. Like when I came upon the fate of Teresa while researching my post from last week, about García Fernandez and his beautiful hands. Now, when talking about Spanish history, there is one Teresa that towers over all the others, namely St Teresa, this charming and erudite holy …

The royal slave – a story of faith in Moorish Spain Read More »

Having drool-worthy hands does not keep you safe from false wives…

Today, I am dragging you all the way back to the tenth century, a time when Castile was ruled by a count, when more than half of the Iberian Peninsula was controlled by the Moors. This was the time of the great Muslim caliphate, of the splendour of Córdoba, Zaragoza and Sevilla under Muslim rule. …

Having drool-worthy hands does not keep you safe from false wives… Read More »

Siblings, sieges and assassinations – nothing unusual in medieval Spain

Today, we are going to be spending some time with Sancho II of Castile. Not that his time will be all that long—at times, life (or in this case, siblings) conspire against you. Mind you, Sancho had himself to blame. Sancho’s story starts in Zamora, a fortified town on the river Duero that has been …

Siblings, sieges and assassinations – nothing unusual in medieval Spain Read More »

For the love of his queen – how a medieval king set his wife first

Sometimes, those medieval kings surprise you. Take, for example Sancho IV of Castile. Now, he has a few black marks against him, principally the fact that he usurped the throne, thereby stealing the crown from his young nephew, Alfonso de la Cerda. Sancho, of course, did not feel he had a choice: Castile needed an …

For the love of his queen – how a medieval king set his wife first Read More »

From queen to duchess – the life of a medieval princess

In 1283, little Isabel saw the light of the day. This the latest fruit of the proud House of Ivrea was the first of seven siblings. At the time of her birth, her daddy, the future Sancho IV, was at loggerheads with his daddy, Alfonso X. Why? Because Sancho wanted to become king once Alfonso …

From queen to duchess – the life of a medieval princess Read More »