Hidden historical heroines (#36: Eormenburg)

Saint Eormenburg (late 7th century) is a mythohistorical figure from Kentish royal legend, a granddaughter of the great Kentish king Eadbald (616-640). She is also known as “Domne Eafe”, which is probably a vernacular corruption of the Latin Domina (Lady) Æbbe. Eormenburg’s two brothers – Æthelberht and Æthelred – were fostered by their elder cousin, […]

The Piccadilly Line to Camelot

Camelot, the seat of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere. Its location – even its very existence – has been studied and debated for generations. In his seminal work Morte D’Arthur, Sir Thomas Mallory proposed that the ancient city of Winchester had once been Camelot. Other possibilities are Caerleon, in Wales, or Cadbury Castle in Somerset […]

The naked truth: Lady Godiva

Legend has it that on this day (10 July) in 1040, Lady Godiva made her naked journey on horseback through the streets of Coventry, seeking a remission on the harsh taxes that her husband had imposed on his tenants.    The legend First recorded in the 13th century, the story of the good Lady Godiva’s […]

London Stone

So, did you know: encased in a glass and metal grille case – like some magical talisman in a romantic epic – lies London Stone, an ancient, mysterious lump of limestone, said for hundreds of years to have magical properties focused on keeping the city of London safe and prosperous. If you didn’t know, I […]

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 […]

Hidden historical heroines (#25: Blodeuwedd)

  Blodeuwedd was known to Welsh mythology as the wife to the hero and demi-god Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Lleu’s mother, the goddess Arianrhod, has an immediate dislike for her son, resulting from the embarrassment which his birth caused her (a complicated story for another time!). Refusing to acknowledge him, she placed a tynged – a […]

Hidden historical heroines (#08: Scota)

Scota is a psuedohistorical character in Irish and Scottish mythology, the daughter of an Egyptian Pharoah to whom the Gaels traced their ancestry; she allegedly explains the name Scoti, applied by the Romans to Irish raiders, and later to the Irish invaders of what would later be known as Scotland. If Scota lived at all, she lived sometime in the centuries around 1400 BC. Tradition holds her […]