The Wars of Scottish Independence were long, bloody, and brutal. A major turning point in the English’s favor during the first of these wars was on 20 July 1304, when King Edward I of England accepted the surrender of Stirling Castle. The castle was a military gateway into Northern Scotland, and the site of one… Read more Warwolf? Warcastle!
The worst thing about Jane Austen dying on 18 July 1817, when she was only 41 and should have had decades of writing ahead of her, is that those of us – and we are legion – who love her work must be content with the few novels and scattered essays she left us. We… Read more For the Love of Jane Austen, Peeress of Prose
Jane Austen tragically died at the young age of 41 on 18 July 1817, leaving behind a grieving family and an astonishing literary legacy. Her family was grateful that she did not suffer, or become disoriented, even at the very end of her life. Her brother Henry reported that she, “retained her faculties, her memory,… Read more The Last Thing Austen Ever Wrote
I was recently reading some fascinating new information about the brain. Recently, a group of “University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown that chronic stress generates long-term changes in the brain that may explain why people suffering chronic stress are prone to mental problems such as anxiety and mood disorders later in life … conditions… Read more Did Henry Drive Anne Boleyn Crazy?
Jane Austen actively detested the Prince Regent, as many people did. In her case it was particularly acute, because she not only found him lacking in moral rectitude or any worthy quality she admired, he was a decided political thorn in the side of the Tory party, which the Austen family strongly favored over the… Read more Jane Austen and the Prince Regent
One of the most interesting things about the Regency Era, to me, if how universally loathed the Prince Regent was, and how much he set the fashion for the Glittering Throng nonetheless. One of the things the future George IV brought into style was going to Brighton for a bit of time by (and in)… Read more Brighton, By George!
King Henry VIII married his sixth and final wife, Kateryn Parr, on 12 July 1543. The widowed Lady Latimer was well known for her piety and virtue at court. Her mother had been a lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherina of Aragon, and as fate would have it, Henry’s last wife was probably his first wife’s goddaughter… Read more The 6th Time is the Charm?
Lady Jane Grey became Queen Jane I on 10 July 1553. She was a very Tudor monarch, having a marked resemblance to her grand-uncle Henry VIII’s daughters. One eye-witnesses described her as, “very short and thin, but prettily shaped and graceful. She has small features and a well-made nose, the mouth flexible and the lips red. The… Read more Queen Jane I
Four alleged co-conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln — George Atzerodt, David Herold, Lewis Powell, and Mary Surratt – were “hanged by the neck until dead” at the Old Arsenal Penitentiary on 7 July 1865. Mary Surratt was the first woman executed by the US government, and the subject of Susan Higginbotham’s excellent book,… Read more Hanging Mary by Susan Higginbotham
King Louis IX of France was the original Machiavellian monarch, although ironically Niccolò Machiavelli stoutly criticized Louis in Chapter 13 of The Prince, “calling him shortsighted and imprudent for abolishing his own infantry in favor of Swiss mercenaries”. Nonetheless, Louis had a gift for turning situations to his advantage, duplicity, formulating conspiracies, and laying false… Read more Louis the Cunning, the Prudent, the Universal Spider, the Tudors’ Best Friend