Some deep and difficult question

Today in History: 30th April 1536   Today – April 30th – in 1536, Anne knew she was in trouble. Summoning up the fight and the spark that had attracted Henry to her a decade before, Anne went to him carrying their daughter, the infant Princess Elizabeth, who was staying with them during Eastertide. We […]

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What If..? (#01: Harold Godwinson had won the Battle of Hastings)

Part of a new series on revisionist history, speculating on tiny changes in British history that could cause a ‘butterfly effect’.     Before the first week of the year 1066 was out, Edward the Confessor, Over-King of England, was dead. Likely heirs scrambled to claim the throne. Harold Godwinson – the Earl of Wessex […]

Dead Men’s Shoes

Today in History: 29th April 1536 On this day – 29th April – in 1536, the normally quite savvy Anne Boleyn made two fatal blunders. Perhaps her slip in poise was a sign of her rising unease and growing panic..? When Anne saw her favourite musician, Mark Smeaton, gazing morosely out of the window of […]

Entirely beloved..?

Today in History: 25th April 1536 On this day – 25th April – in 1536, Anne Boleyn was already on borrowed time. She may have had an inkling; the devastating bearing of a stillborn male fetus in the January of the previous year, her recent falling out with the influential Thomas Cromwell, and Henry’s growing […]

St. George & the Dragon

Saint George is the patron saint of England, and his commemoration day is today, April 23rd. I thought I’d take the chance to take a look at the myth behind the myth as well as the myth behind the man.   Mythology There was once a town in Libya called Silene, where the people lived […]

The Queen in cloth of gold

Today in History: 11th April 1533 Today – 11th April – in 1533 was Good Friday. On this day, Henry VIII appeared before his Royal Council and told them plainly that he had married the Marchioness of Pembroke – the Lady Anne Boleyn – and that henceforth she was to be recognised as Queen of […]

The chilly coronation of Henry V

Today in History: 9th April 1413  Right now, in the UK, the weather is all that anyone seems able to talk about. “It’s snowing!” people keep telling me, like I don’t have eyes, shaking their heads incredulously. “In April. It’s April!” My Facebook newsfeed is populated with pictures of limp, grey snowmen and effusions of […]

Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?

One sunny spring day in April, 1943, four youths went poaching in Hagley Wood, land belonging to the estate of Lord Cobham, part of the shadowy valley of the Clent Hills in the Midlands. They came upon an ancient, hollow elm tree – one that had a reputation time-out-of-mind, and was mistakenly referred to as […]

Little White Lies: International Giveaway!

Look at all those happy chaps with their paperback copies of LITTLE WHITE LIES, a ★★★★★ read (and it’s not just me saying that!). Don’t you want to be one of them?? The UK-only Goodreads giveaway has just ended (congrats winner!) and a paperback complete with author signature (value of paperback, £8.99/$11.99; value of my squiggles, […]

The White Queen: Elizabeth Woodville

I can’t quite delude myself that Elizabeth Woodville is a “Hidden Historical Heroine” – plenty of people will have heard about her – a number set to increase this spring when the BBC debuts its television adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s novel The White Queen, a fictionalised account of Elizabeth’s life. But before Philippa’s unnecessarily sexed-up […]