History

Revisiting my favourites

I was trying to find some of my favourite historical posts on this blog (yes, I do have some posts I like more than others, despite having written them all myself) and found it all something of a trial, so I decided to do a little list: Anna’s own historical favourites: 1. Kristina Gyllenstierna – […]

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The Travails of a Constant Mistress

Some days ago, I posted about pretty Aurora and her lover, Augustus the Strong, king of Poland. As some of you may recall, Augustus and Aurora parted way some time after the birth of their son, and as Aurora was a savvy lady, she made it easy for Augustus to leave her for other welcoming

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Giving voice to a lost people

Today, I thought we’d leave the comfort zone of history after the 1200’s (not that it is much of a comfort zone – not really: war, famine, Black death, religious persecution, witch trials…) and travel far back in history, to a time when the Greek city states were mostly at war with each other and

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Oh, glorious dawn come hither…

… and no, this is not  a post about returning light. Seeing as us Scandinavians are already experiencing how our days are growing shorter, I am simply not in the mood. Instead, I aim to introduce you to Aurora von Königsmarck, one of the first documented examples of female Swedish sin. Aurora, apparently, was drop

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How a Swedish spread became a part of New York

We have recently had cause to celebrate here in Sweden. Or in Denmark. Or on the Faroe Islands. You see, some days past it was 375 years since Jonas Bronck bought himself quite a spread just on the outskirts of New Amsterdam, and to this day the area in question still carries his name. The

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With the attention span of a gnat

When I was a child, dear reader, we had at most two TV channels. (No, it wasn’t black & white, I’m not that old…) In some parts of Sweden, the two Swedish channels were augmented by the Danish single channel. In others, one could peek at Norwegian TV. In the far north, the Finnish channel

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Swimming with the fishes

Many of us like swimming. Very few of us want to swim with the fishes – at least not for any extended period in time, as reasonably this would mean we are very, very dead. Or mermaids. These days, a majority of the children in the Western world are taught how to swim. Not so

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The saucy consequences of a naval battle

Yesterday, I treated my family to one of my favourite summer dishes – salt-fried prawns with aioli. I make the aioli myself, and what is not consumed with the prawns is eaten with chunks of bread, dipped in this delicious Spanish sauce that tastes of garlic and oregano. The first time I ever had aioli

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The Funerals of a Prince

Last year for Midsummer, I wrote a little post describing just how we celebrate this the shortest night of the year up here in Scandinavia. Tonight, I am sitting in the late twilight watching the antics of the swifts, and I am preoccupied with the ghost of a long-gone man – or rather his death.

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The lady with the trousers

Nobody ever called Margareta “the lady with the trousers” to her face. One of her contemporaries was fool enough to call her the “King without breeches” – and she made him bitterly regret doing so. And given that this was back in the 14th century when the general order of things was that men ruled

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