Just how many people could swim in medieval times? I imagine that the scene in the above illustration is somewhat fanciful. A king in full armour could swim and keep the crown on his head? At least, I think he’s swimming. If he’s drowning he doesn’t look particularly distressed, in fact he’s smiling! (And… Continue reading Having a swim in full armour….?
A little later than our period, but sometimes a laugh pops up out of nowhere and I have to share. I was looking through catch-up TV and came upon the following blurb for an episode of the Royal Palaces series: “…Versailles is one of the most enormous and impressive palaces in the world. Louise… Continue reading Louise, the mincing monarch….!
Like most other people, I once thought that Dog Days did indeed have something to do with dogs. I eventually learned that no, they acquired their name from Sirius, the Dog Star, which is at its brightest during certain weeks in summer. The Ancient Greeks (some sites credit the Romans, so you can… Continue reading Dogs and the Dog Days….
Once again it seems the Tudors claim to have invented something that had been around for over a century before Old Misery Guts stole the throne. To wit, mince pies. Well, the Tudors would, wouldn’t they? They couldn’t bear ANYTHING to have been around before they were. Typically insecure rear-ends. Anyway, these kuskenoles look… Continue reading Yet another erroneous Tudor boast….!
This useful guide is a vital accessory when you next visit the Middle Ages. How will you manage without your mobile phone, internet or social media? When transport means walking or, for the better off, horse-back, how will you know where you are or where to go? Where will you live and what should you… Continue reading Book Review: How to Survive in Medieval England by Toni Mount
What’s a long-suffering author to do when her book presents her with three babies from three families, actual people, all called William? Oh joy…. How I wish medieval folk had been more free-spirited and went for unusual names. But no, they called their boys William, Edward, John, Thomas or Henry. It’s very tiresome indeed,… Continue reading Baby William, Baby William and, er, Baby William….
We all know that Philippa of Lancaster—John of Gaunt’s eldest daughter by his much-loved first wife, Blanche of Lancaster—was the ancestress of a line of Portuguese monarchs (do we not?). But do we all know that Gaunt’s second wife, Costanza/Constance of Castile, gave Gaunt’s a claim to the throne of Castile? Costanza was the… Continue reading The Lancastrian daughter who walked like a man….
My internet rambles take me here there and everywhere as I seek nuggets of medieval information. That is how I came upon this paper by A Compton Reeves . The title was clearly intriguing. The Foppish Eleven of 1483? Who? What? Why? Which king? Obviously 1483 was a year in which there were three kings… Continue reading Who were the “Foppish Eleven” of 1483….?
While reading a paper (entitled Magic for the Dead? The Archaeology of Magic in Later Medieval Burials by Roberta Gilchrist) about medieval magic and graves, I came upon the following extract: “….Healing and protective charms. Later medieval charms were usually religious in nature and comprised mystical words (such as ANIZAPTA) or traditional Christian names, such… Continue reading A new (to me) interpretation of the Middleham Jewel….
For the last few years we’ve been beset by a pandemic. COVID-19 is the new blight on the block, and has set about knocking us down like ninepins in spite of antibiotics and even immunisation. But modern medicine has done a lot to standing up to the silent menace. In times gone by folks… Continue reading Pandemics through history….