Writing

Of Easter, God and cured salmon

Today is Good Friday. When I was a child, this qualified as the looooongest day in the year – potentially with the day before Christmas as the single contender. In difference to the day before Christmas, Good Friday was a rather gloomy day. The music on the radio was anything but upbeat. What movies were …

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A distracted lady

Some of you may have wondered why the number of posts on my blog have dwindled markedly since February. To be honest, I wasn’t planning on allowing them to dwindle, but sometimes life gets in the way, doesn’t it? In February, I underwent surgery. For a couple of weeks afterwards, I couldn’t type. Drove me …

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W + W – a story of chance and love

We’re in the summer of 1864. Wilhelmina Kempe is presently at a German Spa, Bad Homburg, recovering after her third season. Yup. Her third season. An endless sequence of balls and other social events, of waltzing the night away, and she is still unwed. Not good. She is fast approaching twenty and is therefore the …

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The life and loves of a Spanish señorita – meet Isabel of Castile

In 1355, Pedro I of Castile, a.k.a. Pedro the Cruel (or Just, depending on your take on things) and his long-time mistress, Maria de Padilla, welcomed their third child into the world. Yet another daughter, and I imagine Pedro would have preferred a son to the newborn Isabel that lay at her mother’s breast. Things …

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The ultimate sacrifice – of a man, his honour and his son

Remember my recent post about Fernando IV? I began by describing just how tumultuous the reign of his father was, Sancho IV being plagued by one rebellion after the other. Why? Because very many felt Sancho had usurped the throne, thereby setting aside the rights of his little nephew, Alfonso de la Cerda. I bet …

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Of anachronisms and delighted shivers

Sometimes, it’s something of a pain in the nether parts to be a history nerd. It detracts substantially from your enjoyment of certain movies, it makes you go “hmm, a Jew? In medieval Sweden?” when you peer at a magnificent painting and it makes you sigh and mutter something about idiots who don’t know anything …

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The mysterious death of a summoned king

In early September of 1312, Fernando IV of Castile died alone. Medieval kings were rarely alone. Even when they slept, there tended to be someone close at hand, sleeping on a pallet or standing guard. Not so in the case of our Fernando. Even more suspiciously, Fernando was a young man in his prime. All …

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An Interesting Lady About Other Interesting Ladies

Today, I’ve invited Sharon Bennett Connolly to visit. For those of you who have as yet to make Sharon’s acquaintance, I suggest you pop over ASAP to her blog to read her interesting posts about medieval ladies – or read one of her books. Sharon writes non-fiction and is a fount of knowledge on all …

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On the cusp of a new year

So here we are, on the eve of a new year. I have a tendency to go a bit blue while contemplating the year that is about to end, mainly because it has just swished by. Tempus fugit, as the old Romans would say. And time does fly, doesn’t it? Somehow, just how fast the …

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Snatching crowns from princes

Today, we’re going to spend some time with two little Swedish boys. They happen to share a couple of things: both of them were named Gustav. Both of them belonged to the Vasa dynasty (in the case of prince number two, he was really surnamed Holstein-Gottorp, but would become known as a Vasa prince). Both …

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