Legs fit for a King

Most remember Charles II as the randiest Stuart King, flaunting his many, many mistresses and dozen or so bastard children. Charles experienced the sensual delights of the still-famous actress Nell Gwyn, the astonishingly beautiful but hedonistic Barbara Palmer, the French spy Louise de Kérouaille, and many more. But his brother and heir, the unfortunately-Catholic James II, […]

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Hidden historical heroines (#30: “James Barry”)

James Miranda Barry (c. 1789-1799 – 25 July 1865) – aka Margaret Ann Bulkley – was a military surgeon in the British Army, the first British woman to become a qualified doctor. Margaret Ann achieved this unprecedented honour by concealing her true gender her entire adult life. Although almost everything about “James’” childhood and subsequent life is speculation and […]

Sir James the Lame

In writing Perseverance I am taking pains to base every creative decision, every ‘scene’ I write on the historical record. It’s proving – at times – rather constricting and has resulted in the release date being pushed back a whole quarter of a year! At least when Perseverance does hit Amazon later this year, I will be […]

Hidden historical heroines (#29: Helena von Snakenborg)

Helena von Snakenborg (c.1549 – 10 April 1635) was a Swedish noblewoman who was highly favoured by Elizabeth I. She was taken into Elizabeth’s household and eventually became Marchioness of Northampton by her first marriage, which made her one of the senior peeresses of the realm. Helena was born Elin Ulfsdotter of Fyllingarum, a younger […]

What If..? (#02: Edward VIII had not abdicated)

Part of a new series on revisionist history, speculating on tiny changes in British history that could cause a ‘butterfly effect’.   It’s seen as either one of the biggest love stories of all time, or an emotional car crash. In 1936, the man who had been Edward VIII for less than a full year, abdicated […]

Bacon and the chicken

Pond Square lies in Highgate, North London. The body of water that gave the area its name is long gone, filled in in 1864, but the square is now famous for a much more unusual reason – London’s weirdest ghost. Sir Francis Bacon was an Elizabethan/Jacobean ‘courtier’, one with many hats, as he dabbled in […]

Hidden historical heroines (#28: Jane Lane)

Jane Lane (c. 1626 – 9 September 1689) was the daughter of a Staffordshire gentleman, a lady who would have led an unremarkable life and been totally lost to history had she not been caught up in the enterprise to smuggle Charles II abroad after he lost the Battle of Worcester. Jane was born around 1626, […]

Recap: May 2013

Spring finally sprung here in London in May. It lasted about four days. Then the heating went back on. Here’s a handy recap in case you missed anything you might find interesting..! May 1536 was the month of Anne Boleyn’s incarceration, trial and beheading, so forgive the amount of Boleyncentric posts!! Shakespeare and his two wives: […]