Women in history

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Much Medieval Mayhem – meet a writer lady with a crush on a medieval lady

Today, I am proud to welcome Sharon Bennett Connolly to my blog. She has published several non-fiction books set in the medieval period and I am very much looking forward to her next release which will focus on the de Warenne family—Norman in origin, this noble family was quite the power-house for well over two …

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Woe, the unloved wife – of Joan of Bar and her not-so-loving hubby, John de Warenne

In a previous post, I wrote about Eleanor, eldest surviving daughter of Edward I and his wife, Eleanor of Castile. That poor lady was destined for a short life, but she lived long enough to marry and have two children, one born in 1295 or so, the second born a year later. When Eleanor died, …

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The queen that never was

In 1269, Eleanor of Castile gave birth to a little girl, named after her mother. At the time, Eleanor was some years shy of thirty years, had been married to Edward of England for fifteen years and had, so far, been brought to bed of six children that we know of. Three of those were …

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Princess, wife, prisoner and would-be hostage

Renaissance princesses usually had one purpose in life: to wed as arranged by their male family members and, preferably, present their husbands with an heir or two. It didn’t really matter how powerful or rich your dynasty was—a woman was an asset to create new alliances, full stop. Naturally, little princesses were fully aware of …

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Not a sinner, not a saint – meet a lady with a helping hand!

Some weeks before Christmas, I had the pleasure of reading Tinney Heath’s latest book, Lady of the Seven Suns. If you enjoy well-written historical fiction in a somewhat unusual setting (no knights, no damsels in distress, nowhere close to the royal courts of France or England) this book is a must-read. Come to think of …

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