Armonia Celeste’s “Udite, amanti: Music from Seventeenth-Century Barberini Courts”


Armonia Celeste is a US-based Early music ensemble of three women’s voices and plucked-string period instruments. They specialise in Italian music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque – so as soon as I could I purchased their 2015 album Udite, amanti: Music from Seventeenth-Century Barberini Courts which contains eighteen tracks of excellent music. I knew about them from their Twitter page. (This social… Read on

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The Importance of St. George’s Day


The 23rd of April is St. George’s Day here in England. There is something inherently romantic in the many artistic depictions of St. George. He is often in full armour, brandishing a weapon, and on the verge of killing a dragon. Later on in this post, I hope to convey the importance of St. George in the history… Read on

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The Great Courses: The Birth of the Modern Mind: the Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries


Once again, Audible delivered the goods. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this excellent lecture series by Professor Alan Charles Kors. For those of you who study philosophy, the content may not bring anything new to the table, but for the rest of us I found it immensely enlightening. Some other reviewers have been overly harsh about Professor Kors’s delivery and… Read on

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The Basilica di San Marco, Venice, Italy


Two Sundays ago (my how time flies!), I attended the 8am Easter Sunday service at the iconic Basilica di San Marco by the Piazza San Marco, Venezia, Italy. In this, the first of a series of articles from my recent trip to Venice, I would like to briefly cover a fraction of the history of this building and… Read on

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George Jamesone: The ‘Scottish Van Dyck’ – Guest Post by Alison Lodge

Self-portrait holding a miniature portrait of his wife, Aberdeen Art Gallery

Good day to you! Today we have Art Historian Alison Lodge as our guest writer on The Seventeenth Century Lady! I’ve known Alison for several years now on Twitter, where she mainly tweets about 18th-century topics. Today, however, she’s in our century with a wonderful, fact-filled post on George Jamesone: The Scottish Van Dyck! George Jamesone: The ‘Scottish Van Dyck’… Read on

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Danielle de Niese: Beauty of the Baroque album

Beauty of the Baroque cover

Australian-American lyric soprano Danielle de Niese is a name that has been cropping up for several years now on the Early Music scene. About a decade ago or so, Baroque music was quite a niche type of music, but I have noticed a growing trend that seems to indicate it is becoming more mainstream. Even though it was… Read on

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The Reluctant Bride: A Jacobean Tragedy – A Guest Post by Pamela J. Womack

PORTRAIT OF FRANCES COKE, VISCOUNTESS PURBECK (1601-1645) by Michiel Janszoon van Miereveldt.Second daughter of Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice.In 1617 she married John Viliers.
Credit line : Ashdown House, The Craven Collection (acquired by H.M. Treasury and transferred to The National Trust in 1968) , ©NTPL/John Hammond.

I am very pleased to have Pamela J. Womack’s company today on The Seventeenth Century Lady. I was privileged to read an Advanced Review Copy of her exquisitely crafted novel about the Duke of Buckingham – The Darling of Kings, and her love of the 17th-century shines through all of her work. The reluctant bride: A Jacobean Tragedy… Read on

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Blenheim: The Battle for Europe by Charles Spencer

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Although the Battle of Blenheim took place in the 18th Century, the historical persons involved were extremely important in Late 17th-century European history. This book, published in 2005, was the second work by historian Charles Spencer that I have read, the first being his Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Kill Charles I, published last year… Read on

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St. Matthew’s Passion by J.S. Bach at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

Flagellazione di Cristo by Caravaggio, 1607-10. Museo di Capodimonte, via Wikimedia.

Last night, I went to a live performance of St. Matthew’s Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach at St. Paul’s Cathedral​ with Laura Brennan​. I have only ever heard two pieces from this work, and it was a great pleasure to listen to it in its entirety in such a beautiful and historic cathedral. Bach, who is relevant to… Read on

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The Broken Heart at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

The Broken Heart

Earlier today, I went to the 2:30pm performance of John Ford’s The Broken Heart. John Ford (1586-1639) wrote this tragic play during the Caroline era (reign of Charles I). I thought it was superb and I can honestly say I have rarely had such an amazing time in a theatre. This was my first time inside the relatively… Read on

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World Poetry Day: The Flea by John Donne

LA TOUR, Georges de
Woman Catching Fleas
Oil on canvas
Musée Historique, Nancy
Web Gallery of Art

In honour of World Poetry Day, I’ve chosen John Donne’s poem, The Flea. Why? Well, what’s not to like about this classic erotic metaphysical poem? The Flea by  JOHN DONNE Mark but this flea, and mark in this, How little that which thou deniest me is; It sucked me first, and now sucks thee, And in this flea our… Read on

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Alessandro Stradella: Fascinating, Flawed, Forgiven, and Unforgettable: A Guest Post by DM Denton

Stradella Cameo

Most of the readers of The Seventeenth Century Lady are not only fans of 17th-century history, but also of the Baroque music of that time. It is therefore my pleasure to have DM Denton here with a guest post about Alessandro Stradella – a commonly (and sadly!) overlooked composer of wonderful Italian Baroque music. Alessandro Stradella: Fascinating, Flawed, Forgiven,… Read on

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Weekly Wrap-Up!

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This week, I spent a great deal of time in the National Archives, where I studied the funeral plans for William III, read miscellaneous letters by the Duke of Monmouth, and found more information to go into my book, The Stuarts in 100 Facts. When I was using their wifi connection, I was unhappy to discover that my website… Read on

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Was Madame Poisoned? Jealousy, Intrigue, and Murder in the Court of Louis XIV – Guest Post by Jessica Cale

madame 1

I recently ‘met’ Jessica Cale via mutual friends on Facebook and I quickly learned that she writes historical fiction set in the 17th-century (yey!). Today, she stopped by The Seventeenth Century Lady with the lamentable story of Minette, Charles II’s youngest sister. The rumours surrounding her death persist to this day. But was Madame poisoned? Was Madame Poisoned?… Read on

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Weekly Wrap Up!

St. Paul's Cathedral. What's not to like? © Andrea Zuvich

Good day to you all! I’ve been hard at work on getting a first draft of 100 Facts About the Stuarts done because I’m keen to show it to my editor soon. The June deadline is fast approaching, and I’m finding that there are so many more facts about our beloved Stuart era that I’m simply going to… Read on

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Review: “Salem” Television Series

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I’ve been putting off watching this series for a while because I’m always hesitant these days to watch anything set in the 17th-century. I set aside my preconceived ideas and had an open mind when I watched the first episode, but from the moment the first line was delivered, I was cringing – and it was not the… Read on

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When Kensington Palace Became a Royal Residence


My article, “When Kensington Palace Became a Royal Residence” is now available on English Historical Fiction Authors. There’s something about Kensington Palace that immediately conjures up the word glamorous. Perhaps it is because in recent memory, it has been the home of notable, glamorous royals such as the late Princess Margaret, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and… Read on

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Weekly Wrap-Up!


Another week is over, so that means it’s time for our Weekly Wrap Up! I hope you have all had a good week. Earlier in the week, I met up with historian Laura Brennan, who is working on a project about the Duke of Monmouth. She had a look through my 100 Facts and thought they were coming… Read on

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Review: By the Sword by Alison Stuart


By the Sword is Alison Stuart’s first novel and is set for a re-release in March of this year. Although I have known Alison for some time (Hoydens and Firebrands), I had never before read any of her books until now. England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink… Read on

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Weekly Wrap-up!

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Happy weekend to you all! I hope you are all well. The past two weeks have gone by like a flash. It being half-term, it’s been quite difficult for me to do my work – there have been screaming children everywhere I usually go to write – the library, the coffee shops, the pubs, etc. I haven’t been able… Read on

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Groovy Historian Podcast on the Glorious Revolution

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Groovy Historian recently invited me to do a podcast with him and we did so earlier today. This is a very short introduction to the Glorious Revolution, so please do not expect a highly detailed analysis! Whilst I am no great orator (in fact, I’m quite a shy person), I do hope that some who haven’t heard about… Read on

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