John of Gaunt by Kathryn Warner

This is a very valuable new biography of John of Gaunt. As usual with this author, the incredibly complex network of family relationships is successfully navigated. There is a fair amount of ‘correction of the record’. For example, Duchess Blanche did not die of plague in 1369, but of unknown causes in 1368. Duchess Constanza… Continue reading John of Gaunt by Kathryn Warner

A new book by Helen Carr is in the pipeline….

Fourteenth-century England may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when the fifteenth century is more important for Ricardians, but the reign of Richard II is very much my interest. So I look forward to this new Helen Carr work.  Bring it on! I’ve ordered Helen Carr’s biography of John of Gaunt, and hope to… Continue reading A new book by Helen Carr is in the pipeline….

And the Bishop of Ely breakfasted at Kamelot….

On Sunday, 25th October 1383, Thomas Arundel, Bishop of Ely (soon to be Archbishop of York and then Archbishop of Canterbury), breakfasted at Kamelot. Oh yes, indeed. I learned of this on page 199 of Thomas Arundel, the biography by Margaret Aston, which I quote: “….This letter, like another of 24th October concerning an exchange,… Continue reading And the Bishop of Ely breakfasted at Kamelot….

Now available …

… on the Tewkesbury battlefield website: Wars of the Roses music by the Legendary Ten Seconds. Here is more information about the group and their output so far.

Was the Black Prince a control freak where his wife was concerned….?

Before I start, I must apologise for the decidedly uncontemporary illustrations. They are an indulgence, I fear. The one above, of the Prince of Wales (known to posterity as the Black Prince) in armour at an army camp, his hands clasped behind his back, seems to me to probably capture him exactly as he was…all… Continue reading Was the Black Prince a control freak where his wife was concerned….?

An Irishman abroad but not for much longer?

“Red” Hugh O’Donnell (1572-1602) was an Irish chieftain who fought a series of battles against English armies between 1595 and the beginning of 1602 (during the Nine Years’ War which actually ran from 1593 to 1603), one of his less successful opponents being the Earl of Essex. O’Donnell ruled Tir Chonaill in the extreme north-west… Continue reading An Irishman abroad but not for much longer?

Chaucer was a “hot” young man in tighter than tight tights….?

  As the author of this Guardian review points out, when we think of Chaucer, we visualise a rather chubby, light-hearted, witty, somewhat cheeky middle-aged man as portrayed in the few portaits we have of him, such as the one above. Well, it would seem that as a younger man he was indeed cheeky! And… Continue reading Chaucer was a “hot” young man in tighter than tight tights….?

Shadow King: the Life and Death of Henry VI

 Helen Rae Rants! Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI by Lauren Johnson Head of Zeus Publications, 2020, paperback, 700 pages, £12.00 ISBN 978-1784-979645 <img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” style=”max-width: 100%; display: block !important;” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” /> Henry VI has gone down in history as one of England’s worst kings. Not for being cruel… Continue reading Shadow King: the Life and Death of Henry VI

So wrong he may be right (2) – William Cowper

Here we have the poet and hymnwright William Cowper (left), who we referred to in our previous article but couldn’t find the evidence for the Essex anniversary in February. The usual sources have been a little troublesome but we know from Lord David Cecil’s The Stricken Deer that he was the great-nephew of an Earl… Continue reading So wrong he may be right (2) – William Cowper

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me” by Matthew Lewis – Caroline Angus Baker — Matt’s History Blog

Here’s an incredibly pleasing review of Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me from Caroline Angus Baker. HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me” by Matthew Lewis – Caroline Angus Baker — Read on carolineangusbaker.com/2019/02/18/historical-book-review-series-richard-iii-loyalty-binds-me-by-matthew-lewis/amp/ via HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me” by Matthew Lewis – Caroline Angus Baker — Matt’s History Blog