Studying Medieval Queens and (In)fertility

By Emma Trivett Being a mother was a crucial role for medieval queens, and maternity continues to be a central theme in queenship studies. Scholars of queenship have explored how queens were able to exercise authority and influence through their role as mothers and, recently, Kristen Geaman and Theresa Earenfight have drawn attention to howContinue reading “Studying Medieval Queens and (In)fertility”

A discussion of LGBTQ+ stories and historical spaces

By Holly Marsden The material remains of historic houses and the imagining of their past inhabitants enables the concurrent appreciation by their visitors of the historical specificity and otherness of the past, together with those echoes of the familiar which makes them feel real. Making connections with the ghosts of the past will remain anContinue reading “A discussion of LGBTQ+ stories and historical spaces”

‘You spent fifty thousand on shoes!:’[1] power, gender, and sartorial expression in Versailles

By Holly Marsden Cover Image: BBC Two Canal+’s historical drama Versailles premiered in the UK in May 2016 on BBC Two. It is set during the building of the palace of Versailles, led by King Louis XIV in seventeenth century France. The is frivolous, dramatic and gripping, portraying Louis in his most power-hungry prime: inContinue reading “‘You spent fifty thousand on shoes!:’[1] power, gender, and sartorial expression in Versailles

Book Review: The Favourite, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field

By Holly Marsden Ophelia Field’s 2002 (revised in 2018) biography of Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough is a fascinating insight into the eighteenth-century elite. The biography focuses on the intensity of the relationship between Sarah and Queen Anne, with the two having grown up together in and around the court of Charles II. Sarah was laterContinue reading “Book Review: The Favourite, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough by Ophelia Field”

Mater Dolorosa: Elisabeth in the Aftermath of Mayerling

By Lucy Coatman Cover Image: Empress Elizabeth at Corfu by Friedrich August von Kaulbach, after 1898, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Friedrich_August_von_Kaulbach_-_Sisi_auf_Korfu.jpg This blog post complements Lucy’s post published earlier this month, and we highly recommend reading it before delving into Elisabeth here.

Film Review: Mary Queen of Scots

By Johanna Strong Cover Image: courtesy of IMDB, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2328900/. With the winter break behind us, some of us might be hesitant to let that holiday spirit go. With that in mind, this month’s first blog post eases back into the historical world by examining the 2018 film, ‘Mary Queen of Scots’.

Book Review: Uncrowned Queen. The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch by Nicola Tallis

By Gabby Storey The image of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England, is often one of a somewhat dominant, stubborn, and determined royal mother who sought to ensure her son gained the throne and stayed there. Tallis’ biographical study of Margaret offers a compelling insight into thisContinue reading “Book Review: Uncrowned Queen. The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch by Nicola Tallis”

A Forgotten Queen: Mary of Modena

By Susannah Lyon-Whaley One early modern queen consort has not yet received her share of the limelight, despite a dramatic and remarkable life. Mary of Modena (1658-1718), born Maria Beatrice Eleonora Anna Margherita Isabella d’Este, married James, duke of York (1633-1701) in 1673. She was only fifteen, and the duke was forty. While such ageContinue reading “A Forgotten Queen: Mary of Modena”