The Mystery of the Dobson Triple Portrait – A Guest Post by Nicola Cornick

The Mystery of the Dobson Triple Portrait Recently there has been some excitement at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford generated by the arrival of a splendid 17th century portrait by William Dobson, court painter to King Charles I. A dramatic work, it features three leading Royalist commanders including Prince Rupert of the Rhine and Colonel John Russell, commander… Read on

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Book Review: “To Catch A King: Charles II’s Great Escape” by Charles Spencer

With To Catch a King: Charles II’s Great Escape, out on the 5th October 2017, Charles Spencer has done it again. As the author of some fantastic books about seventeenth-century Britain, such as my personal favourite, Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier, Blenheim: The Battle for Europe, and his most recent work, Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared… Read on

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Book Review: The White King – Charles I by Leanda de Lisle

The White King, Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr by Leanda de Lisle certainly has quite a provocative title. Charles I remains a very polarising figure, in much the same manner as his contemporary, Oliver Cromwell, and the labels of “traitor” and “murderer” will undoubtedly ruffle feathers of the more staunch monarchists out there. By the same token, “martyr” can… Read on

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Review: “Pleasing Mr Pepys” by Deborah Swift

Pleasing Mr Pepys is the newest work by Deborah Swift and set to release this September (2017), and I was fortunate to have been given an advance review copy. To me, Swift brought Deborah Willet, the Pepyses, and the London of the 1660s to life in an exciting and sometimes touching way. I found this to be a really enjoyable story, with its various… Read on

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New article on Queen Anne out now!

Hear ye! We’re nearly at the end of July, but there’s still time for you to grab a copy of this month’s (Issue 17) History of Royals magazine, for it contains my latest article, “Crossing the Line” about the tumultuous relationship between Queen Anne and her decades-long favourite, Sarah Churchill. Those of you who follow me on Twitter, Instagram,… Read on

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Review: Lorna Doone: The Wild & Wanton Edition by M.J. Porteus

Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore is considered a classic work of literature and for good reason. John Ridd is an amiable protagonist who falls in love with the equally amiable Lorna Doone, a young woman from a criminal, thuggish family which he has always hated (and for good reason – his father was murdered by the Doones and… Read on

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Review: The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall

The Devil on the Road by Robert Westall was published in 1977 and recommended by my husband. Apparently, according to my husband, was a title on a reading list at school and he read it back in the early 1980s. I had never heard of this book before, but as he had very fond memories of it, and as… Read on

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Bank Holiday fun at Stokesay Castle

Last weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. These are usually jam-packed with events of all sorts. Some people enjoy romantic getaways, BBQs with friends (if the weather is good), attend sporting events, go to concerts, and others like to visit historic sites. I fall into the latter category, especially if said historic sites having… Read on

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Review: Arbella Stuart – The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage

Arbella Stuart: The Uncrowned Queen by Jill Armitage, published by Amberley Publishing in 2017, (the title on Goodreads is Arbella Stuart: England’s Almost Queen) takes readers back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and begins with the formidable Bess of Hardwick’s invitation of Meg, Countess of Lennox, to one of her houses. Now, Bess of Hardwick was… Read on

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The Golden Boy of the Jacobean Age: A Guest Post by Sarah Fraser

The Golden Boy of the Jacobean Age: first Prince of Wales of Great Britain, is this perhaps one of the greatest Kings we never had?   Discovering Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales (1594-1612), the drama, excitement and heartbreak of his all too brief life enchanted me. I have sons. I recognised in Henry the same young man’s insatiable… Read on

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Review: Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant

Being as I’m reading absolutely anything set in the seventeenth century at the moment, it’s no surprise that includes a bit of erotica, as Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant is. I don’t mind erotica, it’s not totally my cup of tea, but neither am I against it. If you find explicit sex scenes unpleasant or offensive, this book… Read on

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Review: Spain: The Centre of the World 1519-1682 by Robert Goodwin

Being as I don’t know as much as I’d like about the history of early modern Spain, I’m currently trying to rectify this at present. Enter Robert Goodwin’s book, Spain: The Centre of the World, 1519-1682, which I listened to in audiobook format with a duration of some 21 hours. This is, in my opinion, an excellent overview… Read on

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Review: Lady on the Coin by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Lady on the Coin, written by Margaret Campbell Barnes and first published in the early 1960s, follows the life of Frances Stuart, the woman who was the model for Britannia. Frances Stuart was related to the Royal House of Stuart and this story begins during the Stuarts’ exile in France following the English Civil Wars and ends during… Read on

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Review: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

A few years ago, I went to a classical violin concert at the Wigmore Hall in London. The music selected was the kind you tend to get on Radio 3, slightly weird, postmodern, and lacking any discernible melody. I was absolutely bored out of my mind until the end when the violinist played Massenet’s Meditation from Thais. Given… Read on

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Lady Johanna’s Recipe: A Guest Post by Elizabeth St. John

Today, we welcome Elizabeth St.John, author of The Lady in the Tower, a novel set in the seventeenth century. Heads up, folks, Elizabeth will be giving an Author Talk at Lydiard House as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature on May 4th, 2017.  The Vertues of Gilberts Water and other Curatives from Lady Johanna’s Recipe Book by… Read on

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Historical Fiction: How important is historical accuracy? A conversation with historian Sara Read

Last year on The Seventeenth Century Lady, we had a guest post by literary historian Dr Sara Read, entitled Menstruation & Female Bleeding in Seventeenth-Century England. To this day, this is one of the most popular guest posts in this site’s history, with over 17,000 reads. I’m delighted to welcome Sara back today, conversing with me about historical… Read on

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Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

As I’m no longer bound by deadlines for my own work, I’ve been making progress on my list of books to read for fun. One of these was The Miniaturist, which was published in 2015 and widely acclaimed. This book was, largely, unputdownable and I looked forward to the few minutes of reading time I have at the… Read on

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Inspired by the 17th-century: An Interview with Paul Workman, Artist

The Seventeenth Century Lady Interview with Paul Workman. The seventeenth century had some amazing art, and it’s no wonder that some of that brilliant art continues to inspire artists in our day. Paul Workman is a perfect example of this, for he is an artist who, inspired by the likes of major portraitists such as Peter Lely, makes… Read on

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Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Sophia is the beautiful and much-younger wife of Cornelius, a wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. Her husband is quite likeable and rather amusing, and she is content enough with the life she leads with him. Everything gets turned upside down when Cornelius decides he wants to get their joint portraits painted by painter Jan van Loos. Van Loos and Sophia… Read on

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Review: Silence by Shūsaku Endō

Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) was a Japanese writer famed for incorporating his Roman Catholicism as a theme into his work. Silence, originally published in 1966 is a novel set in the 1630s and which centres around the young Portuguese Catholic priest, Rodrigues, who sets off from Portugal with his fellow priest and missionary, Garupe. The two have heard rumours concerning… Read on

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2016: Egad, what a year!

Looking back on 2016 is both bitter and wonderful for me. My health played a huge role and this had a knock-on effect for practically everything else in my life. Firstly, I became pregnant in January and this was of considerable emotional stress for me, particularly because in autumn of 2015, I miscarried my first child (hence the… Read on

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