A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

Here is a heartfelt lament. Some books are always widely lauded, and rightly so, but what happens when one finds a blooper within the hallowed pages? In this instance I speak of A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century, by Barbara Tuchman. It’s packed full of detail, and a great read…until that one blooper leaps… Continue reading A pinch of salt reflected in A Distant Mirror….

What really happened with Princess Cecily’s first two marriages….?

The following extract is from Not So Fortunate As Fair’: The Life of Princess Cecily Plantagenet by Sharon Champion:- “….At the age of five, she [Cecily] was betrothed to James, the infant son and heir of James III of Scotland. John 5th Baron Scrope of Bolton was sent as commissioner to negotiate a contract of… Continue reading What really happened with Princess Cecily’s first two marriages….?

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….?

Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

It is fair to say that most medieval English kings had little interest in Ireland except as a source of revenue. (The same was probably true about England and Wales but it seems too cynical to say it, and at least they did live there.) Prior to the Bruce invasion, Ireland yielded between £5000 and… Continue reading Plantagenet Ireland and Poynings’ Law

Richard III wasn’t the only dog to be given a bad name….

We all know how Richard III’s reputation has been besmirched over the centuries. He was turned into a monster because the likes of More and Shakespeare pandered to the Tudors’ need to justify their seizure of the throne. Thus he became a creature of misshapen body and mind, capable of putting his own child nephews… Continue reading Richard III wasn’t the only dog to be given a bad name….

The Holand Dukes rose against Richard III? Wrong!….

For those of you who do not know, I am very fond of Dartington Hall. I read all I can about it, and its history, originally because of an intention to write about its creator, the first Holand Duke of Exeter, but now because I just plain love the place as well. These Holand Dukes… Continue reading The Holand Dukes rose against Richard III? Wrong!….

Richard III and White Surrey….

Once again, while rooting around for information that might be of use in a book I intend to write about figures in the court of Richard II, I have found an interesting snippet. This time my thoughts are jolted with regard to the name of Richard III’s horse, White Surrey. I have never particularly liked… Continue reading Richard III and White Surrey….

Mediaeval women who got the man they wanted . . . .

  There was an interesting Facebook post on 2nd May, by Lyndel Grover, drawing attention to a blog about Joan of Acre, who lived in the 13th century. http://historytheinterestingbits.com/2015/04/30/rebel-princess/. It made me think about other mediaeval women who had done what Joan did. By that I mean, marry the man they wanted, not the choice… Continue reading Mediaeval women who got the man they wanted . . . .