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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The spurned princess

In 1311, a very young Castilian princess was betrothed to Jaime, heir to the Aragonese throne. Jaime did not want a wife. His father, however, was adamant. Aragon would benefit from a Castilian marriage. I guess Jaime would have sneered at that, reminding his father of his Castilian bride, little Isabel, whom he returned to

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The unfortunate Stephanie

In Spanish, today’s protagonist is Estefanía la Desdichada, Stephanie the Unfortunate. If we’re going to be quite correct her name is Estefanía Alfonso and she was the illegitimate daughter of Alfonso VII of Castilla and León and his paramour, Urraca. (And no, this Urraca was not his mother, whom I wrote about here, she was

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Eating his pie in the sky

Today was one of those nippy but sunny early spring days (at least here in Sweden) when the brightness of the day made it quite impossible not to be outside, no matter that you needed gloves and three sweaters and thick boots and a warm scarf not to freeze to death. I did some mild

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The wannabe queen and the traitor

She was twenty-eight when she abdicated the crown in 1654. By then, she’d been a queen for twenty-two years, and she was, frankly, sick and tired of it. Or so she thought. Christina of Sweden wanted more out of life than to be the reigning queen of a small Lutheran country stuck in the cold

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Of love, low morals and murder

Back in the 18th century, there lived an upright young man called Ored Nilsson. According to the existing records, Ored was “of goodly strength” and worked as a farm hand. His father was a former saltpetre boiler, an attractive position with the government whereby the boiler would wander round the nearby farms, collect the soil

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