Category Archives: 16th Century

“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

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Blakesley Hall, Birmingham

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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Abington Park Museum, Northampton

I walked over to the local Abington Park Museum today and took a few photos to share with you. As it less than a 10 minute walk from my in-law’s house here in Northampton, I have visited it several times. There has been a house on this land since the late 1000s, but what I am very interested… Read on

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The Allure of the Royal Mistress

My article, “The Allure of the Royal Mistress” is now available on The Huffington Post. Below, I have images of the women I mention in the article: 1) Aspasia, mistress of Pericles: 2) Queen Cleopatra of Egypt: 3) Diane de Poitiers: 4) Anne Boleyn: 5) Nell Gwynn: 6) Barbara Palmer (Villiers): 7) Madame de Montespan: 8) Madame de… Read on

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“In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor & Stuart Fashion” Review

I recently went to the amazing “In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor & Stuart Fashion” in the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. I had just finished tours at Kensington Palace and then took the Number 9 bus (a Routemaster) from Palace Gate to Green Park and then walked across the beautiful Green Park towards Buckingham Palace. I… Read on

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The Bard: William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, arguably the greatest writer of all time, was born on this day, the 23rd of April, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. Whether people consciously like Shakespeare or not, the plots he wrote are seen often in films and stage plays. “Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.” – The Merry Wives of Windsor There has… Read on

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James I’s Death & Charles I’s Ascension to the Throne

James I of England, VI of Scotland, died on the 27th of March, 1625. He ruled over what is commonly referred to as the Jacobean era, which witnessed a continuance in the flourishing of art and theatre with the likes of William Shakespeare. Sir Walter Raleigh was executed under James I, and the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605 occurred during the… Read on

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The Death of Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, Gloriana, Good Queen Bess, daughter of Henry VIII & his second wife, Anne Boleyn, was the last of the Tudors, and died on this day 24th March, 1603. One of the greatest queens in English history, Elizabeth had come to the throne aged twenty-five, following a dangerous and challenging upbringing. How could… Read on

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“The Excuse” – Sir Walter Ralegh

I really enjoy Sir Walter Ralegh’s poetry. I don’t like that he made tobacco and potatoes popular, but that’s just me. I would like to share this one poem by him, entitled “The Excuse.” I picked up a copy of his poems from the National Portrait Gallery when I went to see the Lost Prince exhibition, and I… Read on

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The Gardens at Hever Castle

Continuing on from our last post on the history of Hever Castle, we come now to its gardens. Hever Castle is lovely, but it’s gardens are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in the world. There are dozens of different varieties of flowers and plants along the sprawling landscape. It was here that I saw a garden of… Read on

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Tudor Kitchens at Hampton Court Palace

In the half of Hampton Court that remains from the Tudor period, there are the world-famous kitchens. Built around 1530, these kitchens were a hub of food preparation activity for over 230 years. Today, food historians and re-enactors sometimes cook historical Tudor fare in front of interested visitors, and it’s wonderful. We all know that Henry VIII had… Read on

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Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

Did my heart love ’til now? Forswear it, sight for I ne’er saw true beauty ’til this night! Quite possibly William Shakespeare’s most popular play, Romeo and Juliet was written between 1591-1595 and was first published in 1597: There are so many very memorable parts in the play – it’s all so endlessly quotable. At Rockledge High School, I… Read on

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Isabella in Kyd’s “The Spanish Tragedy”

Isabella is the wife of Hieronimo, the Marshal of Spain and is the mother of Horatio. This play, written by Thomas Kyd in the late 16th century, is above all a revenge play similar to Shakespeare’s tragedies in various ways due to the possibility that Shakespeare borrowed a good deal from Kyd. The play begins with the death of Andrea;… Read on

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Simon Vouet

Simon Vouet, French painter who helped usher in the elaborate Italian Baroque style of painting into France, was born on this day the 9th of January, 1590. King Louis XIII’s wife (and King Louis XIV’s mother) Anne of Austria posed for Vouet in this next painting, where she is depicted as Minerva:   As you can see, Vouet… Read on

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“The Lost Prince – The Life & Death of Henry Stuart”

I visited the National Portrait Gallery yesterday to attend the “The Lost Prince – The Life & Death of Henry Stuart.” For those who plan on visiting, please do, but perhaps you shouldn’t read more below, as I’ve written this mainly for people who live abroad and will not be able to go to the exhibition. I was… Read on

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Death of Tycho Brahe

Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer, died on this day 24 October, 1601, of what is believed to be mercury poisoning. A less widely known fact about Brahe is that he had a false nose ever since he lost his own in a duel over who was the best mathematician! Egads, eh? That must have hurt. As a result of his injuries… Read on

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Smallpox and the Seventeenth Century

I just finished reading this post from the excellent Anne Boleyn Files about Queen Elizabeth I’s bout with smallpox on this day in 1562 and it made me think of how many people throughout history that were affected by this terrible disease. Rich and poor alike, this disease was nasty, and there were varying strains of the disease. The worst, called Hemorrhagic smallpox, was almost always… Read on

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The Death of Antonio Cifra

Antonio Cifra, Italian Baroque & Late Renaissance composer, died on this day the 2nd of October, 1629. Cifra is important in Early Music because he straddled the Late Renaissance and the Early Baroque movements and made beautiful music in both. So, in honour of Antonio Cifra, here is “Era la Notte:” Links about Antonio Cifra: http://www.hoasm.org/VG/Cifra.html http://www.last.fm/music/Antonio+Cifra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Cifra (I normally don’t like to link… Read on

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“Writing The Tudors” – an Evening with Michael Hirst

The Tudors television series was a massively popular hit around the world. It’s sexy! It’s entertaining! Everyone looks like a model! Henry VIII wasn’t a ginger fat bloke, but a dark-haired god! Well, to be perfectly blunt, it’s become a bit of a joke within the academic world. Historians have criticised the show, and its writer, Michael Hirst, for being lax… Read on

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A Trip to Shakespeare’s Birthplace

I recently went to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of my favourite writer William Shakespeare.  The building is located in very close proximity to the town centre, which boasts several good pubs and shops. Upon entering and paying the entry fee, we walked through to a dark room which had a very good video about Shakespeare and the… Read on

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