Women in history

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 »

The three brothers – the story of a Portuguese princess and how she was blamed for the sins of her sons

In 1214, Berengaria of Portugal married Valdemar II, king of Denmark. How on earth would a medieval Portuguese princess and a Danish king meet, you might ask, but there was an indirect connection as Valdemar’s sister, Ingeborg, was unfortunate enough to marry Berengaria’s French cousin, Philippe Augustus. This is why Berengaria was in Paris, and …

The three brothers – the story of a Portuguese princess and how she was blamed for the sins of her sons Read More »

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 »

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 »

Queen for a day – of brides and princesses

Hands up all of those who, as kids, wanted to play the princess. *stands up and scans the room* Huh: not that many hands. Hands up those who, as kids, wanted to play the dashing hero. *repeats scan* Wow: many, many more, and quite a few are ladies… The above is supposed to symbolise the …

Queen for a day – of brides and princesses Read More »

The second wife – of Yolande of Hungary, Queen of Aragon

Sometimes, I wonder if medieval people were more in a hurry to live their lives, seeing as so many of them died at ages we would consider to be relatively young. Death, it would seem, sent its icy breath along their nape from the moment those medieval peeps were born. Obviously, Death is as present …

The second wife – of Yolande of Hungary, Queen of Aragon Read More »