Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

  I haven’t read Sir Simon Jenkins’ book The Celts: A Sceptical History, and to be honest I don’t think I’m likely to. Like Jenkins, I too am half-Welsh and half-English, but I don’t fancy being descended from “sociable sailors”. What’s the old saying about sailors having a girl in every port? I should imagine… Continue reading Were the English, Welsh, Irish and Scots once all Celts…?

Pembroke didn’t pop the Weasel when it should have….!

Well, the first part of a riveting, absolutely factual series about Henry VII was warning enough. I confess to having had to read the first sentence twice, because first time around I thought Edmund Tudor was fighting against the Duke of York’s men and Edmund’s own wife, Margaret Beaufort, who was Henry’s underage mother. Shame on… Continue reading Pembroke didn’t pop the Weasel when it should have….!

What did the Kingmaker look like….?

Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to posterity as the Kingmaker, was a very prominent figure in the 15th century and featured in one of my very early books. He was born today, 22 November, in 1428. I’ve seen numerous depictions of him, but have just happened upon a drawing (see above) that I… Continue reading What did the Kingmaker look like….?

Historic royal families and incest….

  The above gentlemen have the infamous Habsburg chin on full display. It means they are definitely not going to win a World’s Handsomest Man competition any time soon. Their chins and general looks are the result of generations of inbreeding, the aim being to keep the royal blood pure. Well, there’s pure and there’s… Continue reading Historic royal families and incest….

The FAT Old Duke of York?

Tudor propaganda in regards to the appearance of members of the York family was not confined, it seems, to Richard III, but was  also applied to Edward of Norwich, Duke of York, his grandfather’s older brother, who was slain at Agincourt, the only major English casualty of that famous battle. In the account written closest… Continue reading The FAT Old Duke of York?

Richard III is third, Edward V is second….

This article is, I fear, another case of piercing Richard III in the back with that stealthy weapon, the hidden judgement. The attack isn’t open, but hidden behind the deceptive cloak of dark suggestion. Some might say, having read the article, that Richard’s short reign was poetic justice. More sensible folk, being acquainted with the… Continue reading Richard III is third, Edward V is second….

The death of Richard III’s consort….

  Today in 1485 Anne Neville died, leaving the king a childless widower. Well, without legitimate children, for Richard had at least two illegitimate children, born before his marriage. The only trueborn child, Edward of Middleham had died almost exactly a year before, on 9 April 1484. Richard had to marry again after Anne—kings need… Continue reading The death of Richard III’s consort….

What a difference a daub makes….

Where Richard III is concerned, his physical appearance is all important. His enemies alter his portraits to give him an evil, scheming aspect that suits their agenda. His friends prefer more flattering portraits that show him as he really was. There is one portrait in the National Portrait Gallery (above) that is perhaps the most… Continue reading What a difference a daub makes….

My reaction to Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey….

Sometimes the stories behind our much-loved Christmas carols are quite disheartening, involving as they do national and international strife and religious rivalry that was both bloody and filled with hatred. Yet every year we sing the resultant carols with joy. The reactions of the human race are sometimes contradictory. To say the least! I am… Continue reading My reaction to Lucy Worsley’s Christmas Carol Odyssey….

Spreading propaganda works both ways, as John of Gaunt discovered….

As we all know, the Tudors were masters of propaganda. The lies about Richard III poured forth throughout their usurpation, and still persist to this day. If they could say something unpleasant and derogatory about him, they did. Perhaps it was in their blood, of course, because they were descended (one way or another) from… Continue reading Spreading propaganda works both ways, as John of Gaunt discovered….