Category Archives: History

Mothers and Midwives in the 17th Century: A Guest Post by Kate Braithwaite

Mothers and Midwives in the 17th Century by Kate Braithwaite Alice Wandesford was born in Yorkshire in 1627 and in 1651, aged twenty-four, she married William Thornton of East Newton. Alice was soon pregnant and carried the child to term, but it died within half an hour of birth. Her second child, Betty, survived almost being ‘overlaid’ –… Read on

Scribed on |600 views thus far|Comment

“A Glorious Poison: The Deadly Toxins of Palace Life”: A Guest Post by Eleanor Herman

A Glorious Poison: The Deadly Toxins of Palace Life by Eleanor Herman, exclusively on The Seventeenth Century Lady. The royal lifestyle of yesteryear used to make me swoon. I imagined myself living in a gilded palace, wearing gorgeous gowns, and dancing with Baroque studs at candlelight balls. I thought of the past as a time of romance, grandeur,… Read on

Scribed on |1,296 views thus far|2 thoughts

Charles II’s Scottish Coronation: A Guest Post by Cryssa Bazos

The Scottish Coronation of King Charles II by Cryssa Bazos There is an iconic painting of Charles II, commemorating his coronation in 1661 at Westminster, following the Restoration of the monarchy. An ermine robe is draped over his shoulders, he holds the orb and sceptre in each hand, and the English crown rests firmly on his head. But… Read on

Scribed on |2,736 views thus far|6 thoughts

Londoners and the Great Fire: A Guest Post by Jacob F. Field

Londoners and the Great Fire by Jacob F. Field Pepys and his buried parmesan, Charles II and the Duke of York directing the fire-fighting efforts, Lord Mayor Bludworth saying (allegedly) saying ‘Pish! A woman might piss it out!’, Wren’s grand plans for a rebuilt metropolis, and Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane: the main stories of the Great… Read on

Scribed on |1,973 views thus far|3 thoughts

Spirits, Spectres & Souls: Ghosts in the Seventeenth Century – A Guest Post by Katherine Clements

In writing The Coffin Path, a ghost story set on the Yorkshire Moors sometime after the English Civil War, I read accounts of as many 17th-century hauntings as I could find. The most striking thing I noticed is how the elements of a good ghost story have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries. Belief in ghosts, or in… Read on

Scribed on |1,957 views thus far|1 thought

Book Review: “The Wilding” by Maria McCann

The Wilding by Maria McCann is a novel (originally published in 2010) set during the early 1670s (with some events having previously occurred during the English Civil Wars). Jonathan Dymond, the twenty-six-year-old protagonist of the novel, is a cider maker who makes his living by travelling from place to place turning people’s apple harvests into cider (the popular alcoholic drink). … Read on

Scribed on |1,311 views thus far|Comment

Galileo Galilei and the Medici: A Guest Post by Samantha Morris

One of the greatest names associated with the Enlightenment of the Seventeenth Century is that of Galileo Galilei, the infamous polymath who ended up getting on the wrong side of the Inquisition. Born on 15 February 1564 not far from Pisa, Galileo was the son of a humble musician however it soon became clear that the young man… Read on

Scribed on |2,874 views thus far|1 thought

Fake History & the Story of the Whipping Boy: A Guest Post by Leanda de Lisle

Fiction and other works of imagination have an insidious way of working their way into history. Stories that ring true, that look true, that appeal to our prejudices, become ‘fact’. It is a form of historical truthiness in which plays, pictures, and propaganda create a past that is accepted as the genuine record. I unearthed one example, which… Read on

Scribed on |4,028 views thus far|2 thoughts

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

Scribed on |2,487 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |3,362 views thus far|3 thoughts

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

Scribed on |3,121 views thus far|6 thoughts

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

Scribed on |1,978 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |1,588 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |2,442 views thus far|1 thought

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

Scribed on |3,505 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |1,863 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |1,801 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |1,985 views thus far|Comment

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

Scribed on |3,416 views thus far|7 thoughts

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

Scribed on |3,953 views thus far|6 thoughts