The Jersey Lily

Today is the birthday of Lillie Langtry (or to give her her true name, Emilie Charlotte Le Breton), a music hall star who charmed her way into the beds of earls and princes. A Jersey girl, Lillie was introduced to London society by her Irish landowner husband, Edward Langtry. She soon became a star, famed […]

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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 […]

“I like her not!” The dumping of Anne of Cleves

    On this day (9th July) in 1540, the marriage between Henry VIII of England and Anna, the elder Princess of Cleves, was formally and legally annulled. Anne has gone down through history as the one who made the great escape, as well as a lot of other things much less flattering. So today, […]

I have come here to die

Today in History: 19th May 1536 – the execution of Anne Boleyn Escorted by Sir William Kingston, Constable of the Tower of London, and “four young ladies”, Anne Boleyn made the short walk from the Queen’s Lodgings at the Tower of London, skirting past the Great Hall, through Cole Harbour Gate to reach the western […]

The condemnation of the putain

Today in History: 15th May 1536 – the trial of Anne Boleyn On the morning of 15th May 1536, Jane Seymour – affianced to the King of England – busied herself with wedding preparations from her new lodgings in Chelsea. Her predecessor – although not yet quite ‘pre’ enough for Henry’s taste – prepared herself […]

From the Lady in the Tower: 6th May 1536

Today in History: 6th May 1536 On this day in 1536, tradition holds that Anne Boleyn wrote her husband a desperate letter. In a state of limbo – her trial was not to be held until May 15th – perhaps she thought that she could still stop the tide, secure her daughter’s legitimacy, her brother’s […]

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 […]

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 […]