Catalina de Aragón, who signed her name Katherina in England but is usually called Catherine of Aragon in English histories, was born on 16 December 1485, the youngest child of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. There is a persistent myth that Katherina was born in the midst of a combat zone,… Read more Katherina of Aragon
Jane Austen came into the world, considerably past her due date, on 16 December 1775 at Steventon Rectory. Her parents had been expecting her arrival for more than three weeks, and since she was the seventh child the stork had bequeathed to the Austen’s, they had been sanguine about their estimation of her appearance and… Read more Happy Birthday Jane Austen!
Ernest Renan, an incredibly important French historian, pointed out in his famous 1882 speech “Qu’est-ce qu’une nation?” (“What is a Nation?”) that “Forgetfulness, and I would even say historical error, are essential in the creation of a nation.” If you want to build a ideal of a nation, the concept of a nation that can… Read more Why Study History?
There are some advantages to be a middle-aged woman with Asperger’s syndrome, and one of those is that I lived through the 80s as a teen and remember it. And what I remember is that Johnny Depp was known as a ‘bad boy’ with a ‘temper’ and a substance abuse problem prone to attacking people. … Read more Johnny Depp’s History of Violence
In my novel, Mansfield Parsonage, my heroine, Mary Crawford, loves Indian food. How, you may ask, is this possible in 1812? Its not like there were Indian restaurants in London that early in the 19th century! Well, there’s were you are going to be surprised. The first Indian restaurant in London was the Hindoostane Coffee House,… Read more Indian Food in Regency London
One of the best things about the Yuletide in Britain is the opportunity to take your children to see a Christmas panto. We don’t have them in America, because attending a panto became a “Christmas Tradition” in Britain in the Regency era, when all things British were being spurned by Americans with jingoistic fever. Frankly,… Read more A Christmas Panto
Anne of Demark was born the second daughter of King Frederick II of Denmark and his wife, Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, on 12 December 1574. In the 1580s, King James VI of Scotland sought the hand of a Danish prince in marriage. Demark was a stable and economically strong country, and Scotland would greatly benefit from… Read more Anne of Denmark
Llywelyn ap Grufudd, called Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf (“Llywelyn, Our Last Leader”) in Welsh, died on 11 December 1282 during the Battle of Orewin Bridge at Builth Wells. Llywelyn, the son of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn Fawr and the grandson of Llywelyn the Great, had been doing all he could to unit Wales and keep it independent. He was not only fighting King Edward Longshanks,… Read more The New Principality of Wales
Ada Lovelace was born Augusta Byron, the only legitimate child of celebrated poet George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron and his wife, intellectual prodigy and heiress Anne Isabella Milbanke, on 10 December 1815. Lord Byron christened his daughter after his half-sister, Augusta Leigh, and nicknamed her Ada. Lord Byron would only see his daughter… Read more Ada Lovelace
Francis Dereham and Thomas Culpeper were executed on 10 December 1541 for treason; one for the treason of sleeping with with King Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katheryn Howard, before she was married and the other for flirting with her with the intent to canoodle. I am always bothered when I think of the death of Dereham. He was… Read more The deaths of Dereham and Culpepper