This little light of mine – reflections on a dark November day

Once upon a time, our very, very ancient ancestors sat huddled in the relative safety of their cave and stared out at the dark outside. It was just as dark inside—and cold. Until some bright person discovered how to make fire. I suspect it was more a case of “look, look, that bush is on …

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The cause, the rose, the bonnie prince – debunking the -45

Today, I am happy to introduce you to Kimberley Jordan Reeman, author of Coronach, a book set in the late 18th century and dealing with the fallout from that clash of clashes, the Battle of Culloden.  In today’s post, Kimberley digs into the myths and legends surrounding the last Jacobite Rebellion, and so, with no …

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The Romantic Hero – an exercise in male objectification?

The other day, I heard an interesting interview on the radio about the objectification of the male body. This, apparently, was major news, with the male presenter stating that women have been the unfortunate recipients of equivalent objectification since ages back but men had so far been spared. I fear I disagree: the male of …

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Married, spurned, poisoned – not a life to aspire to

Today, we’ll be spending time with a lady named Blanca. Some of you may groan. After all, medieval history is full of ladies called Blanca or Blanche. Among the more famous is the Blanca of Castile who went on to become Queen Blanche of France and mother to St Louis of France. Hers was a …

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The Fine Art of Doing Nothing

When I was a teenager, my mother would often accuse me of being lazy. “Sloth,” she would say, “is a capital sin.” This often led to an entirely different discussion about capital sins in general—a rather elegant deflection, in my teenaged opinion, from the matter at hand, namely my laziness. Most teenagers are lazy—at least …

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For fans of all things Tudor

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure to read quite a few of Tony Riches’ books, knowing that I am guaranteed a well-researched and enthralling ride through the past. Of late, his focus has been on the rise of the Tudors, starting with a book about Owen, the obscure Welshman who married Henry V’s widow …

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The Days Dwindle Down

”Oh it’s a long, long while, from May to December. But the days grow short, when we reach September…” Frank Sinatra would sing, and my mother would sing along. This was one of her favourite songs—especially at the advent of autumn. Her other favourite was “Les Feuilles Mortes” . Both these songs are somewhat depressing: …

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When Ms Inspiration went Greek Myth

My mother was a teacher. She taught languages and literature and accordingly my sister and I grew up surrounded by stories – and with a grammar police. The grammar thing turned out useful if not overly exciting. Yes, both my sister and I know how to decline verbs in various languages, know the difference between …

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A bad, bad man and his fiery exit

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a colourful if unsavoury gentleman. Well: gentleman he was not, no matter he was born under the fleur de lys on both sides, i.e. both his mother and his father were close relatives to the French king. Just goes to show that there is no correlation between royal …

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To all the lovely people out there – a post about gratitude

I’ve had a couple of hard weeks, weeks in which my medical journal has doubled compared to its previous size. Already here, I have a lot to be grateful for: yes, the last weeks have been tough, but I am basically healthy and have not been afflicted by a chronic or potentially lethal disease. How …

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