Oxford (Oxenford) is obviously a compact and historic city although visiting specific buildings at short notice is difficult at present. Christ Church Cathedral (England’s smallest for the largest diocese) and the Ashmolean Museum (currently organising a Rembrandt exhibition) were unbookable whilst the Pitt-Rivers Museum didn’t open until September. I went for the Bank Holiday weekend… Continue reading Further travels in enemy territory
Preface I conceived this article as a defence of King Henry V against the accusation that he was a war criminal. It became apparent, however, that my research was drawing me away from Henry’s campaigns towards a broader study of the origin and causes of the Hundred Years War. Soon, I was reading material going… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood
For nineteen years, as Matthew Lewis relates here, England was torn between Matilda, Henry I’s only surviving legitimate child, and Stephen of Blois, his nephew. She married Geoffrey of Anjou before their son Henry II succeeded her rival, but her position was difficult because of her gender. The concept of a “Queen Regnant” was unknown… Continue reading Another C12 female monarch
In writing Stephen and Matilda: Cousins of Anarchy, I was keen to apply the same narrow-eyed pursuit of solid facts that I hope comes across in my books on the Wars of the Roses. More than being about battles and, well, anarchy, I wanted to discover the real personalities behind the stories, the people who… Continue reading The Death of Robert, Earl of Gloucester
Anything new from the Legendary Ten Seconds is always to be greeted with delight, and this new album does not disappoint. It tells the story of the House of Mortimer from its beginnings in France, to its ultimate destiny on the throne of England, through its descendants of the House of York, Edward IV and… Continue reading Mer de Mort reviewed
A fascinating article from the Royal Berkshire History site on the preserved hand of St James, which was discovered in 1796 walled up in the ruins of Reading Abbey and now resides in the Catholic Church in Marlow. Recently,this medieval artefact has undergone scientific analysis with interesting results. Reading Abbey was a highly important place… Continue reading THE HOLY HAND OF ST JAMES FROM READING ABBEY
This is the list of tracks from “Mer de Mort”, a collection of songs about the Mortimer roots of the House of York and recorded for the Mortimer History Society‘s tenth anniversary. Here is an introduction.
Would these be your five? Or do you have other suggestions? PS Who can spot their deliberate mistake?
The Wars of the Roses did not commence, à la Bard, with white and red roses snatched and brandished in a garden by opposing lords, but they were foreshadowed at the turn of the fifteenth century when Henry of Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, usurped and murdered Richard II. Bolingbroke was the son and heir… Continue reading How Edward IV ascended the throne of England….
To my mind, it adds up to two very similar situations that are two centuries apart. Let us begin in the 12th century. On his deathbed, Henry I of England named as his successor his only surviving child, his daughter, the Empress Matilda. He obliged the nobility to agree. They reneged, of course. A woman… Continue reading What do Matilda and Margaret, Eleanor and Elizabeth, plus two Henrys, add up to…?