Incest and Royalty: The Reasons and the Effects

Jokes about inbreeding and incest are common in discussions about royalty, for non-historians such jokes can actually be some of the basis of their knowledge about royalty. However why royalty decided to choose incestuous unions and what the effects of such unions are less considered. This is despite incest and inbreeding being apparent across the … More Incest and Royalty: The Reasons and the Effects

The Stigma of Illegitimacy in Medieval England and Wales

The stigma of illegitimacy is a mark that remained prevalent up until the late twentieth century, yet none more so than in the England of the 13th century. Due to the Catholic Church of the 1200’s condemnation of sex outside marriage, fornication with the result of an illegitimate child was a sin. However within the … More The Stigma of Illegitimacy in Medieval England and Wales

The Legacy of Edward I: Beyond Robert Bruce and the Scots

This is something I worked on sometime ago. Now I am a medievalist but Late Medieval England is certainly not my thing. I had to do some research about Edward I as an undergraduate and I found it quite tough, as I wasn’t all that interested…However, the approach I took helped me understand a monarch … More The Legacy of Edward I: Beyond Robert Bruce and the Scots

Mother of the Angevins

As the most romanticized queen within the entwined English/French histories; none were as complex and unconventional as the Duchess of Aquitaine and queen to Henry II of England. Eleanor of Aquitaine lived from c.1122 to 1204 through a particularly turbulent dynastic era with both the well-established Capetian French, and newly born Plantagenet English monarchies, struggling … More Mother of the Angevins

Christina of Sweden and her Portrayal in Popular Culture.

In 1632, at the tender age of six, Christina of Sweden inherited the throne upon the death of her father, Gustav the Great. Alike to Queen Elizabeth I Christina refused to marry, stating that ‘It is impossible for me to marry. I am absolutely certain about it…’ At her birth Christina had been mistaken for a boy … More Christina of Sweden and her Portrayal in Popular Culture.

Who Killed the Princes in the Tower?

It is summer, 1483.  Twelve-year-old Edward V of England and his nine-year-old brother Richard, Duke of York, are never going to be seen playing in the Tower of London grounds again. Their mother and former queen, Elizabeth Woodville, had managed to escape to sanctuary underneath Westminster Abbey, fearing that herself and her daughters would also … More Who Killed the Princes in the Tower?

The Determined Duchess

Despite historians knowing little about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, or at least not much of her true character, she is still a much debated figure amongst historians and historical novelists. A powerful woman of her time who achieved many things that the majority of her female counterparts could not, such as visiting the … More The Determined Duchess