Would YOU include some of these in a list of all-time best historical films…?

  Here’s an interesting list of the “best historical royalty” films. Interesting….and peculiar. As well as some excellent period-based movies we have the likes of The King and I, the animated Anastasia musical and the Taylor-Burton Cleopatra. Maybe the latter will be acceptable to many, but to me it was a circus because of what… Continue reading Would YOU include some of these in a list of all-time best historical films…?

The Maldon Embroidery

The first thing to notice about this is that is an embroidery not a tapestry, although the “Bayeux Tapestry” is also an embroidery ie hand-stitched. It was constructed to mark the millennium of the 991 Battle of Maldon, at which Vikings, possibly under Olaf Tryggvason, defeated and killed the Saxon Earldorman Brythnoth. It is displayed… Continue reading The Maldon Embroidery

Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

Well, my first introduction to Richard the Lionheart was in the 1950s…one of the many Robin Hood movies of that period, He was noble and chivalrous (George Sanders, as I recall, see below), while Prince John was a Blue Meanie of the highest order. Nothing much has changed since then. My opinion of both men… Continue reading Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….

Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

  I’ve known for a long time that King Arthur wasn’t buried at Glastonbury, but thanks to an incredible example of “seizing the moment”, the monks of the abbey ensured a huge income from pilgrims and tourists who believed their story. Or maybe it wasn’t only the monks, maybe Henry II had something to do… Continue reading Who chose King Arthur’s final resting place? The monks of Glastonbury or Henry II….?

Eleanor of Aquitaine, the “mother-in-law from hell”….?

There are two King Richards of England whose marriages are always called into question: Richard I and Berengaria of Navarre, and Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. Richard II’s sexuality is cited as the reason he and Anne had no children. Either he was sexless…or his interests went to the male of the species. Therefore… Continue reading Eleanor of Aquitaine, the “mother-in-law from hell”….?

More technology reveals …

… that Canterbury Cathedral has some of the world’s oldest stained glass. The “windolyser”, which is a new non-destructive technique designed to date windows in situ, has placed some of the  “Canterbury Ancestors” some years before both Becket‘s matyrdom and the fire, four years later, that destroyed the building around them, showing that they were… Continue reading More technology reveals …

The Kingmaker’s Anger

I’m working on a biography of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick – the man best introduced as The Kingmaker. I have written on the Wars of the Roses, on Richard, Duke of York, and Richard III. Warwick has been a constant presence throughout. I spent some time in an earlier dispute over the throne of… Continue reading The Kingmaker’s Anger

“Historically accurate” movies as voted for in 2017….

Well, it’s interesting to see the top 33 “historically accurate” movies , as voted for in 2017 by IMDb readers. I confess to being disappointed that only three of the medieval period made it to the list (which is in number-of-votes order). Well, three if Elizabeth actually counts as medieval. This last of the Tudor… Continue reading “Historically accurate” movies as voted for in 2017….

Three lions on a shirt….English football and Richard the Lionheart….

“….He spent little time in England but one very famous king’s emblem is now on the lips of millions in the country he ruled but rarely visited. Football fans across the land are singing ‘Three Lions on a Shirt’ and it’s all thanks to Richard I….” Well, that’s about all for which England has to… Continue reading Three lions on a shirt….English football and Richard the Lionheart….

London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)

The series began at London Bridge itself. From an engineering perspective, Bell explained that the wooden Claudian bridge was the first across the Thames , built on no fewer than twenty-nine artificial islands, making it very difficult to negotiate. It was replaced with a very similar stone unit by Henry II. The Haberdashers were very… Continue reading London’s Greatest Bridges (with Rob Bell)