Lady Margaret Beaufort, The King’s Mother

I recommend my fellow English royal history aficionados to read this well-written and informative article on another of my favorite historical figures, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. 🙂

The Freelance History Writer

Lady Margaret Beaufort at Prayer from the National Portrait Gallery (Image in the public domain) Lady Margaret Beaufort at Prayer from the National Portrait Gallery (Image in the public domain)

Lady Margaret Beaufort was the matriarch of the Tudor dynasty of Kings in England. Her life was greatly influenced by the turning of the Wheel of Fortune. That she managed to survive the vagaries of the War of Roses in England is something at which to be marveled. We have the memories of her confessor, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Margaret gave him permission to share these memories after her death. Fisher saw the emotional Margaret but most people saw the steely, self-controlled Margaret of politics. She had great presence and a forceful personality. She was skilled and effective and could be ruthless.

Margaret was born on May 31, 1443 at Bletso in Bedfordshire. She was the daughter of John, Earl of Somerset. Somerset was a grandson of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster…

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Elizabeth of York, Queen of England

An informative, well-researched, and more or less accurate article on one of my favorite historical figures and English queens, Elizabeth of York.

The Freelance History Writer

Portrait of Elizabeth of York, Queen of England Portrait of Elizabeth of York, Queen of England

Elizabeth of York symbolized the epitome of the perfect medieval queen. She was beautiful, charitable, and beloved by the people. By marrying Henry Tudor, who had taken the throne of England by conquest, the Houses of Lancaster and York were united and the War of the Roses came to an end. And Elizabeth was the mother of an heir who would become King Henry VIII of England and two of her daughters would become queens.

Elizabeth of York was born at the royal palace of Westminster on February 11, 1466. She was the eldest child of Queen Elizabeth Wydeville and King Edward IV of England. While she was still young she received religious instruction, learned manners, embroidery, music, singing, dancing and other necessary things in preparation for her role as a royal wife and mother. When Elizabeth was four years old, her…

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The Dowager Queen and Henry VIII’s Last Will

Very interesting indeed… For those who wish to learn more about Henry VIII’s somewhat enigmatic sixth wife who has been often overshadowed by her predecessors and successors, I recommend this blog post (and the rest of this blog, TBH) as it reveals a whole load of information about Catherine I didn’t really know before!


The Vultures are circling as Henry lies on his death bed. He is surrounded by his son, Edward, as the king prepares him to become the next Tudor king.

In 1544, it was apparent that Queen Katherine Parr had been acquainted with the terms of King Henry VIII’s will for it named Katherine regent for the young Prince Edward if he were to die while in France. The fact that Katherine had been named possible regent in the event of the sudden death of the king makes one wonder what the will of King Henry looked like when he died on 28 January 1547. For three days after the King’s death, the council convened while the outside world was unaware of what had happened. Even Henry’s other children were not told. This extremely disturbed the Lady Mary who at one time had been named Princess and heiress to her father’s…

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Anne Boleyn, George Boleyn, and the Ghost of Gay Rights

Now this is a very well-written, well-argued, and well-researched piece on George Boleyn’s sexuality and why the issue of it seems to be so pervasive in today’s popular culture — I highly recommend reading this! 😀

The Creation of Anne Boleyn

"The Abduction of Ganymede" (mid-17th century) by Eustache Le Sueur “The Abduction of Ganymede” (mid-17th century) by Eustache Le Sueur

The following guest post is from Gareth Russell, author of the comic novel Popular and blogger extraordinaire at Confessions of a Ci-Devant. It is a part of the guest blog series, “Across/Beyond Genres with The Tudors: Guest Posts by Novelists, Historians, Cultural Observers, Poets, Memoirists, Artists, and Bloggers.”

Same-sex attraction was a dangerous affair in the early modern period. Within Anne Boleyn’s lifetime, her husband introduced legislation that made buggery an offence punishable by death and even monarchs suspected (correctly) of having male lovers themselves, like James I (he of the Great Bible fame), felt moved to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Given the secrecy that surrounded it by virtue of necessity, speculating who among the famous long-dead was gay, bisexual, bicurious or whatever post-nineteenth century label you want to give it, is a rich imaginative…

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Michelle Obama a Modern Day Marie Antoinette? The Queen Herself Responds


What Would Marie Antoinette Do?

Each and every time there is a beautiful woman close to influence (a Sarah Palin, a Carla Bruni, a Michelle Obama) I wait with heart-stopping trepidation. It is only a matter of time until she appears to spend too much, to do something outside some unwritten norm, and she is called a Modern Day Marie Antoinette.

You can’t imagine how tiresome this is to me. I’ve been dead for more than 200 years but I still have feelings. As you can imagine, the association is never positive. The lady is usually stylish and attractive, thankfully, but all the other connections  are odious. And frankly, a little uninformed. I admit I spent my share. I admit I wasn’t perfect, but I find it a lark to be accused of overspending by an era that loves luxury as much as I did, or by America, a country whose independence is indebted to…

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Eleanor of Castile and Her Reputation Through History ~ A guest post by Sara Cockerill

Very well-written, and such a thoughtful and pretty objective look at this ‘shadow queen’ too! 😀 I recommend this article to anyone who’s interested in learning more about the mysterious Eleanor of Castile, beloved first wife of Edward I of England. 🙂

The Freelance History Writer

The Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone.  Image by Sara Cockerill The Eleanor Cross at Hardingstone. Image by Sara Cockerill

Sara Cockerill studied law at the University of Oxford. She is a practising QC specialising in commercial law, and the author of a leading specialist legal text. She has had a lifelong interest in English history and has devoted her spare time over the past ten years to researching the life of Eleanor of Castile. ‘Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen’ is her first published work of history and is available from Amberley Publishing. For more information, see or follow her on Facebook.

It is tempting to think that a Queen’s reputation is fixed forever. Katherine of Aragon, for instance, has always been seen as a “good queen”. But often how the queens of the past are seen is as much a factor of the mood of the time as it is of the evidence of their actions…

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