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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Five Things About Jasper Tudor You Really Will Want to Know (if you don’t already)

In my latest episode of the Renaissance English History Podcast I talked to Melita Thomas of Tudor Times about Jasper Tudor, uncle to Henry VII and perhaps the true Kingmaker of the 15th century.  I hadn’t know much about Jasper, other than what I’ve read in historical fiction (there is a lovely…

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New Podcast Up

So I just posted a fresh podcast on the Iron industry in the Weald of Kent in the 16th century. It’s an area I’m interested in, as I explain in the podcast, because one of the things that I really find most fascinating about the 16th century is the movement…

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It’s that time of year! The Trinity Carol Roll and caroling in general

The Caroling season is beginning!  A month from now, many of us will be attending candlelight Christmas Eve services where, if you’re like me, you’ll end up a bit weepy as the church goes dark, and you try to sing Silent Night in your voice part because you’ve sung it…

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Tudor and Elizabethan Fashion, Clothing, and Sumptuary Laws

I just posted a fresh Renaissance English History Podcast on Fashion, Clothing, and Sumptuary Laws in Tudor and Elizabethan England.  Below is the audio to listen, and the show notes are on the podcast website, englandcast.com. Here are some fun things I learned this episode: Decorating a fur with jewelry,…

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John Stowe: Grumpy Old Man with a Parchment Polaroid

John Stowe

In 1598 a very old man decided to write a history of his changing city, a snapshot of a city that was going through enormous transformation, and he wanted to capture the city he knew as a younger man for posterity.  The man was called John Stowe, and the city…

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Horace de Vere Cole – Poet and Prankster

In the midst of the stress and anguish in the past Downton Abbey (for those in the US who won’t be seeing it for another 4 months or so, I won’t give away the story – just suffice it to say that my heart was in my throat) a bit…

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The Execution of Lady Jane Grey

When I was 24 I moved to London because I was in love with the English choral tradition, and wanted to immerse myself in music and history.  I also happened to have a crazy crush on an Unavailable Man who lived there, but even though the man and I didn’t…

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Medieval gay royal scandals, buddhist David Hume, and a really boring Queen: a roundup of history articles online this week.

Three of the best history-themed articles I’ve read this week.  Scandal, drama, buddhism in 18th century Europe, and boring vanilla queens.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.   From historytoday.com:  http://www.historytoday.com/js-hamilton/menage-roi-edward-ii-and-piers-gaveston For nearly 700 years people have been debating whether a) Edward II was gay, and b) if he was…

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Visiting Gibraltar: How to Capture a Piece of England in Spain

When I first arrived in Spain back in June, I wanted to go exploring – Seville, Granada (the Alhambra) – there were very few cities in Andalusia through which I didn’t want to wander. But it was summer.  And Europe was in the midst of this awful heatwave. So we planned all…

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