John Evelyn is my favourite diarist of the 17th century. Why? He calmly noted things that happened, what he observed, with none of the high marital drama that Samuel Pepys recounted in his diary. Also, he was far more prolific in his writing than the far more popular Pepys – he travelled extensively for a man of his… Read on
Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, England houses a number of beautiful, priceless historical objects, and the Triumphs of Caesar by Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna are no exception… Housed in the former Orangery built in the late Seventeenth century during the reign of William and Mary to house Queen Mary II’s many exotic plants, these gorgeous works of… Read on
Lucrezia Borgia is one of those figures in history that we are taught to believe was a really evil person. The name of Borgia alone conjures up a images of poison, ruthless ambition, incest, cruelty, among other unsavoury traits. More than likely, what we’ve learned about her is from anti-Borgia propaganda, and therefore, not to be taken as… Read on
The Devil’s Whore (2008) is a gorgeous four-part series set during the English Civil War which tells the tale of a beautiful teenaged girl, Angelica Fanshawe, who is rich, aristocratic, and lucky enough to be in the same social circles as King Charles I. She marries her best friend, Harry, who wants her to be submissive (rightly so,… Read on
Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter of the Baroque style, died on this day the 9th November, 1641. van Dyck is undoubtedly best known for being a painter for the ill-fated King Charles I of England and for this painting of the king: For a lovely selection of van Dyck’s works, please visit The National Gallery.
During the Seventeenth Century the Villiers were one of the most socially ambitious families in England. The following are some of the most notorious of the lot… George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham Ah, the first of the ambitious Villiers. Pretty-boy George was so incredibly beautiful that he immediately came to the attention of King James I. Now,… Read on
Mary Stuart, Princess Royal, daughter of King Charles I & Henrietta Maria, was born on this day 4 November, 1631. Mary was married (at the very young age of 10) to Prince William II of the House of Orange, who was fifteen, and already fast becoming a dissolute young man. Though her nightgown was sewn shut as a precaution against William’s… Read on
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