Musical Expression and Aliveness through the centuries: ORA and Many are the Wonders

ORA Many Are the Wonders

On a wintery evening in early February last year I braved the cold rain to make a pilgrimage to the Chapel of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London. No, it wasn’t to pay homage to the burial place of Lady Jane Grey or Anne Boleyn, though that…

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Elizabeth Tilney: Grandmother to Queens and Mistresses

Elizabeth Tilney

Five hundred years ago a woman who was born into the gentry (but not one of the leading noblewomen in the country by any mean) became the founding matriarch of England’s premiere family during the Tudor period. Elizabeth Tilney was the grandmother of two different wives of Henry VIII, as…

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Richard III: Knave, Fool or Savior?

The great debate continues – no, not Clinton v Trump, or even Creamy v Crunchy (peanut butter, that is), but Richard III: Knave, Fool, or Savior? The History of England podcast, which I adore, is getting close to wrapping up the Wars of the Roses, the civil war that tore England apart…

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Christina de Pizan: Early Feminist, Poet, and all around Badass

Christina de pizan

Have you ever noticed that once you hear about someone for the first time, they often come back to haunt you? Christina de Pizan is like that for me. I had never really registered her before I interviewed Alison Weir this past February when she came up. Nowadays everywhere I look…

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Old Music Tuesday: Henry’s Musical Court & The Western Wynde Mass

Western Wind Mass

Yep, you read that right. The musical court of Henry VIII. While many of us think of the monarch with six wives as fat and pretty darn corpulent, he wasn’t always this way. In fact, when he was young, he was quite the hottie, impressing women with his jousting feats,…

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Music from the world of the Queen of Scots

We all know that early music, particularly English liturgical music, is my big passion, right? I geek out on the music created out of the Book of Common Prayer, and I can easily sit for hours comparing Tallis through the decades. But one area I don’t know that much about,…

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The Most Surprising Things I Learned about Catherine of Aragon this month

I’ve been podcasting with Tudor Times again, this month about Catherine of Aragon. I have read countless books about Henry’s six wives, and Catherine always takes up a huge proportion of each book simply because of the large role she played in Henry’s life. She was married to him the…

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Summing up Shakespeare in Three Simple Thoughts

My most recent Renaissance English History Podcast was a short intro into the life of Shakespeare, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of his death.  I had been extremely negligent in not talking about Shakespeare before.  It’s simply because my interests – which have driven the sporadic nature of my podcast…

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How the Protestant Reformation Made Elizabethan Theater

Elizabethan Theater

Last week I got podcasty with Elizabethan Theater, which is appropriate considering Shakespeare’s birthday is coming up.  I’ll be doing several episodes on the theater – this was a general introduction to this great Elizabethan institution, and then my next episodes will be more focused on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Burbage, and…

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Haec Dies! Music for rebirth and renewal.

Every once in a while there’s a piece of music that paints such a beautiful picture of happiness, rebirth, renewal, and the essence of Easter, that you just have to get up and dance a jig. That’s what Byrd’s Haec Dies does for me. Latin for This is the Day…

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