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Dashing but Doomed: the Duke of Monmouth

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[This is available as a podcast on iTunes] He was unquestionably one of the handsomest of the Stuart men. Tall, dark, and seductive, James Crofts, later James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, was born in Rotterdam, the Dutch Republic, on the 9th of April 1649, to an exiled King Charles II and his mistress Lucy Walter. James had a… Read on

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The Orange Way: Guest Post by Edna MacLoy

Prince of Orange Landing at Torbay, engraving by William Miller after J M W Turner (Rawlinson 739), published in The Art Journal 1852 (New Series Volume IV). George Virtue, London, 1852

I’ve known Edna MacLoy for several years now and it is great pleasure to introduce her to you all today. I’m certain you will enjoy the post as much as I have. – A The Orange Way William III and the Glorious Revolution of 1688/1689 William of Orange, stadtholder of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, landed… Read on

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Castle Howard, Yorkshire

Castle Howard © Andrea Zuvich

Yesterday on Hoydens and Firebrands, I submitted a short post about He Who Commissioned Castle Howard – Charles Howard,  3rd Earl of Carlisle. Following on from that post, which gives an overview about the life of the Charles Howard, I would like to share what I learned there this weekend and some photos from my visit, if I… Read on

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The 17th Century Lady Visits Satterthwaite and Ambleside

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Last Bank Holiday weekend, my husband Gavin and I went back up to the Lake District in Cumbria. We stayed at a farm again, this time in the middle of and pitched our tent up on a hill in the midst of Grizedale Forest. Grizedale lies between Conistan Water and Lake Windermere. It was a most picturesque spot.… Read on

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The Country Wife by William Wycherley

The Country Wife

I hope you all enjoyed our first selection for the 17th-Century Book Club, which was William Wycherley’s play, The Country Wife! This was the second time I read the play, and I wish I could have performed in it. I would like to apologise to you all for not having the forum up-and-running as I said I would, but… Read on

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Ye Blog Hop!


Good day to you! I’m quite excited, as I’ve never participated in a Blog Hop before. I was tagged by the lovely Laura Rahme, who runs the blog below: I know Laura from Goodreads, which isn’t only a place for reviews, but where I’ve met some really fascinating individuals who love books as much as I do. 1)… Read on

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The 17th Century Lady Takes on Cat Bells and Derwentwater


I just returned back home from an adventure in the Lake District, and although I haven’t anything remotely historical to relate to you, (although this area hasn’t changed drastically since the 17th-century) I think you might enjoy some of the photos (which belong to me, obviously). Like this: My husband travelled up from Birmingham and we faced several… Read on

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Meet My Characters: William & Mary

William III at the Battle of the Boyne by Jan Wyck. © Government Art Collection

My Facebook friend, Francine Howarth invited me to partake in the fun of a blog/tag, which entails a questionnaire for a WIP (work in progress). The instigator of the on-going blog/tag is Debra Browne. Please have a look at the websites of my fellow invitees: Alison Stuart, Anna Belfrage.  Questionnaire: 1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or… Read on

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“New Worlds”: A Biased Look at the 1680s

New Worlds Title

Many of you know that I was eagerly anticipating this programme ever since I heard about it. I am always so pleased when filmmakers decide to set a story in the 17th-century. The more programmes and films that are made about this time period will make it as popular as the Tudors are. I thought The Devil’s Whore… Read on

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17th-Century Book Club Launch!

The Country Wife

This week, The Seventeenth Century Lady saw our Twitter page reach 2,600 followers and our Facebook page reached 800 likes. So, I was thinking…there sure are a lot of us now who love the 17th-century, so why don’t we get a bit more interactive? I’m hoping to turn Bawdy House Banter into a thriving forum, and when my… Read on

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The Serpent’s Kiss: Review

The Serpent's Kiss DVD menu

I bought a copy of The Serpent’s Kiss on my most recent trip to Blackpool on Tuesday. I remember watching it when I was a teenager back in 2002 (and in full Ewan McGregor crush phase). It is very similar to The Draughtsman’s Contract, which is not my favourite film because I found it too weird. This, however, is… Read on

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Aston Hall, Birmingham

Aston Hall. Instagram picture by Andrea Zuvich

On Friday I had the great honour of visiting the gorgeous, great Jacobean house, Aston Hall. What is Aston Hall, and why is it important? Well, let’s start off with the introduction from the official guide book, shall we? Aston Hall is a magnificent Grade I Listed Jacobean mansion sitting in a Grade II Listed Park…Constructed between 1618… Read on

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The Importance of Library Etiquette


I’m sad that I even need to write on this topic, but I feel I must. Ask any of my closest friends, and they will tell you I am a very patient, ‘long-suffering’ person, so if I am compelled to speak out about something it is only because I’ve been pushed too far. As a person who spends… Read on

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Blakesley Hall, Birmingham

Blakesley Hall, Photo: Andrea Zuvich

I had a glorious trip to the lovely Blakesley Hall yesterday and I had a truly spiffing time. The sun was out, it wasn’t raining or blowing a gale, so I was well pleased. I was, as some of you know from my tweets, quite disappointed to discover that most historic houses here in the Birmingham area are… Read on

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Newton and the Counterfeiter: Review

Newton & Counterfeiter

I came across this book by chance in a Waterstones bookshop in Blackpool late last month, and I was so taken by the opening page (which is what I always read before deciding upon a book. I don’t care about a book cover or the blurb – I like to decide for myself with the writing itself), that… Read on

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Francis Bacon


One of my favourite essayists is Francis Bacon (1561–1626), & it irritates me to no end that people think I’m referring to the weird modern artist (1909–1992) when I’m talking about him. The artist is now, and I think lamentably, more popular than the first famous Francis Bacon; and so my aim with this article is to make you… Read on

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The Musketeers: Review

The Musketeers Title

Last night, the BBC premiered the newest film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s historical fiction, The Three Musketeers. If you are a fan of the book, please don’t expect the plot of this version to follow that, as it is substantially different. It began well, as everyone looked pretty filthy (kudos to the crew) and we first see the… Read on

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The Flea: One’s Constant Companion


I’m not being funny. Fleas had a notoriously important impact on life in the 17th-century (hello, Great Plague!) and many deaths stemmed from their parasitic habits. I remember at Paleis Het Loo in The Netherlands, the audio guide stated that fleas and lice were a problem for everyone, regardless of their place in society. I already knew this, but it… Read on

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The Beauty of van Bijlert

BIJLERT, Jan van.
"Musical Company"
Oil on panel, 97 x 115 cm. Private collection, via Web Gallery of Art

Jan van Bijlert was a Dutch Golden Age painter who lived from 1598 – 1671. He was a major artist from the Utrecht school and he lived in Rome for some time. I like to think you can see a bit of an Italian influence in his works, which sometimes reminds me of the works of Artemisia Gentileschi or… Read on

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“My Dearest Minette: Letters between Charles II and his sister”


Ruth Norrington’s beautifully-bound and carefully selected compilation of letters between King Charles II and his sister, Henrietta, Duchesse d’Orleans is a wonderful read for anyone remotely interested in the Restoration court and the colourful people associated with it. The book begins with an excellent, concise short history of the time shortly before and after the birth of Charles… Read on

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Giveaway Time!

His Last Mistress Book Cover

Happy New Year! To start us off, I want to run our second giveaway. Enter NOW for your chance to win a signed paperback copy of “His Last Mistress”! Here’s how to enter: In ONE sentence – what is your favourite thing about the 17th century? Use the comment function below to enter. This giveaway ends on Friday the… Read on

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The 17th Century Lady Looks Back at 2013

History Live 2013

I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by, but when I stop to think about everything that’s happened in it, it’s no wonder! I’d like to thank those of you who have supported me and The Seventeenth Century Lady since the beginning in 2011 – and to those who have recently started looking at this site… Read on

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The Death of Queen Mary II

Mary II, Photo taken by Andrea Zuvich at In Fine Style at Buckingham Palace.

This post is dedicated to Mary, a controversial, intelligent, beautiful, ill-fated, yet beloved Queen, died on this day the 28th of December, 1694. She was only thirty-two years old.   I say that she was controversial because her reign was, and still is, a subject of controversy. You see, William and Mary were invited to take the throne… Read on

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