Tudor medical practitioners firmly believed in the “doctrine of signatures”, which was the idea that God had give each plant or food with medicinal value a special look that would correspond with what it does to aid or restore health. This, along with astrology, is often used as a good example of just how silly… Read more You are what you eat
Lady Catherine Willoughby, who died on this date in 1580, was an amazing woman. When her father died, Henry VIII gave wardship over the rich young orphan to his friend and brother-in-law, Charles Brandon (the Duke of Suffolk). She was engaged to marry one of Brandon’s sons, but after the death of Duke’s wife Suffolk… Read more Catherine Willoughby
I confess! It is true. My favorite historical information to read are works containing details of how the bourgeois, or middle-class, people in England lived rather than the royalty. The lives of the nobility and gentry always seem too fantastical to be relatable to me, and they were only about 5% of the population. I… Read more The Magnificence of the Mundane
When the original research about the possibility that Henry VIII had a Kell positive blood type was published in The Historical Journal it created a certain amount of interest in a wider audience, thanks to the enduring public fascination with such a dramatic king. Thus, both Dr. Whitley and myself were interviewed by reporters. Imagine… Read more Media Ineptitude and Science
Since the 1950s there has been a BIG debate about Richard III, who is either a monstrous murderer or a perfect paragon, depending who you ask. On one side is the pro-Richard III team, called the Ricardians, who claim that everything bad Richard was accused of doing was a foul calumny spread by that bastard… Read more Richard III, The Princes in the Tower, and the Big Whodunit
*(Since this blog post was written, there has been an article published in the Journal of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh the posits the same theory of transmission from Jacquetta of Luxembourg. Follow the link and you can read the whole thing.) From the earliest days of research on the theory, I wondered which… Read more From whence came the Kell gene?
In Blood Will Tell I talked about the theory that Henry VIII had a Kell positive blood type, but in my quest to prevent innocent readers from slipping into an over-science coma I didn’t go into deep detail about it. . This post will provide a tad more information as to what it is exactly… Read more A little bit about the Kell positive blood type
Isn’t that a lot of work? I’ve been asked multiple times why I wrote a book about Henry VIII. I usually answer, “Well, it seemed better than getting a real job,” because I am flippant. It’s my jam. However, the actual reason I wrote the book is that I honestly felt compelled to do it.… Read more Why did you write a book?
A Wolfe at the Door In the 1920’s a famous feminist author, Virginia Wolfe, wrote a a collection of lectures that were eventually published as an extended essay entitled A Room of One’s Own. The point of the essay was that throughout history almost all women had run into serious roadblocks whenever they attempted to write. The… Read more Scrabbling for a room of one’s own