Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!

  The illustration above is from Dan Jones’s book Summer of Blood: the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Part of the caption is “Queen Joan, Richard II’s mother, pleading with the rebels as the Savoy burned”. Elsewhere in the same book, Joan is referred to as the queen mother. According to Merriam Webster, the first known… Continue reading Queen Joan? Oh, no she wasn’t….!

It is so good to clear this matter up

Here is a piece about a pearl and diamond pendant, formerly owned by Marie Antoinette and was sold recently in Geneva. Anyone who heard BBC news coverage during the week of this event may well have learned two things: 1) “She ordered it before she was executed.” Really? How do you order a pendant posthumously… Continue reading It is so good to clear this matter up

Hey, Richard II and St Edward the Confessor are one and the same…!

  I have just watched a truly aggravating documentary from this 2014 series. In particular the episode called “Secrets of Westminster”. It starts with the tomb of Edward the Confessor…for which they show the correct tomb, yes, but then include a lot of lingering close-ups of the tomb effigy of Richard II. The implication is, it seems,… Continue reading Hey, Richard II and St Edward the Confessor are one and the same…!

Snow at Tewkesbury, and a pile of bodies for Richard III….

Believe it or not, the above is supposedly the Battle of Tewkesbury. At least, it is according to the BBC website. Tewkesbury was in May. Silly author. The picture is of Towton, which took place in the middle of a snowstorm. The article itself is referring to Henry VI, Part 3 – first transmitted in the UK:… Continue reading Snow at Tewkesbury, and a pile of bodies for Richard III….

A year of anniversaries

2016 has been the 1000th anniversary of Edund Ironside’s accession and death, also of the death of his father Ethelred Unraed and the double accession of Cnut of Denmark. It has also been the 950th anniverary of the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings, being the end of the House of Wessex after its interruption.… Continue reading A year of anniversaries

Three howlers in the only sentence that mentions Richard….!

More groaning from Yours Truly, I fear. At the weekend I was taken to see Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon. It was very beautiful, and my complaint is not to do with the castle, but with a book I bought in the gift shop. It’s called Medieval Women, is by Henrietta Leyser, and has mixed reviews,… Continue reading Three howlers in the only sentence that mentions Richard….!

Myths Being Revived

Dominic armed - note the helmet's narrow eye slit

I have been watching the BBC’s ‘The Hollow Crown’ with interest, as I have never actually seen the whole of Shakespeare’s Richard III and none of Henry VI (Parts I and II). At first I was appalled at Benedict Cumberbatch’s grotesquely exaggerated portrayal of Richard, but consoled myself by thinking that at least, because people… Continue reading Myths Being Revived