If by Land or by Sea

by Heather R. Darsie Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein, 1539 Anna von Kleve, known to English speakers as Anne of Cleves, left her homeland in December 1539 to join her new husband, Henry VIII of England. The two had been married by proxy a couple months earlier, in October. After Henry successfully negotiated the marriage alliance with Anna’s younger brother Wilhelm, Duke of Cleves … Continue reading If by Land or by Sea

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Amalia of Cleves, Sister of Anne of Cleves

by Heather R. Darsie Unknown Woman, previously identified as Amalia of Cleves by Hans Holbein, c. 1539 After just over six months of marriage, on 9 July 1540, Anna von Kleve, more commonly known as Anne of Cleves, was divorced from Henry VIII of England. As part of her reward for acquiescing so easily to Henry’s request, she would forever after be known in England … Continue reading Amalia of Cleves, Sister of Anne of Cleves

Sibylle, the Other Daughter of Cleves

by Heather R. Darsie Sibylle von Kleve, who signed her name as “Sybylla,” was born on 17 July 1512. Sybylla eventually became older sister to Anna von Kleve, more commonly known as Anne of Cleves or Henry VIII’s fourth wife, in 1515. Sybylla, the eldest of Maria von Julich-Berg’s children with Duke Johann von Kleve, was elevated to the station of Electress Consort through her … Continue reading Sibylle, the Other Daughter of Cleves

Happy 500th Birthday, Anna!

by Heather R. Darsie Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 500ten Geburtstag, Anna! Anna von Kleve, most widely known as Anne of Cleves or Henry VIII’s fourth wife, was born on either 20* or 22 September 1515. Anna was born in Düsseldorf, the second daughter out of four children. She lived at her father’s court until late 1539, when Anna moved to England to become Henry VIII’s fourth … Continue reading Happy 500th Birthday, Anna!

Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor

On 24 February 1525, the Battle of Pavia was fought as part of the Italian Wars that began in 1521 and ended in 1526. The French troops, led by King Francis I, fought against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s Imperial army, which was reinforced by Spanish troops. The battle lasted around four hours, with the French taking heavy casualties. Francis himself was taken captive … Continue reading Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor

A Brief Overview of the Battle of Lepanto

In 1571, the Ottoman Turks were a proven naval force. Leading up to 1571, the Venetians had attempted to make peace with the Turks to end their expansion through the Mediterranean. Turkish ships would harry the Venetians and, through Barbary pirates, occasionally raid the coasts of France, Spain and Italy. Counter to that, the Christian Knights of St John of Jerusalem effectively behaved as pirates … Continue reading A Brief Overview of the Battle of Lepanto

950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

A battle that shaped our world. Part of scene 52 of the Bayeux Tapestry. Depicts mounted Normans attacking the Anglo-Saxon infantry, 12th century. The King Edward II – King of England. Known as the Confessor. Died childless; cousin of William the Bastard. In 1051 Edward promised William that William would inherit the throne upon Edward’s death. Edward, when close to death in early 1066, told … Continue reading 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Tudor Fashion

Fashion has had innumerable iterations throughout the centuries, with the Renaissance bringing about not just changes in thinking, art and education, but also clothing style. And along with new clothing styles came sumptuary laws, which created strict visual distinctions between the different classes. There were also restrictions on who could wear which fabrics.   The lower classes wore linen or wool; cotton was not allowed … Continue reading Tudor Fashion

A Very Brief Introduction to the Master of François de Rohan

by Heather R. Darsie Illuminated Books of Hours were items commonly kept by the nobility. The Master of François de Rohan completed at least one Book of Hours for Francis I (François, Françoys) of France. Other items identified as executed by the Master of François de Rohan include translations of Italian works, a treatise on hunting, books or poetry, and a copy of the English … Continue reading A Very Brief Introduction to the Master of François de Rohan

Marguerite of Navarre: Queen of the Renaissance

Marguerite de Navarre, also known as Marguerite d’Angoulême, was born 11 April 1492 and died 21 December 1549. She was sister to Francis I of France and queen consort of Henri II of Navarre. Most importantly, Marguerite was a brilliant mind and an author.   Master of François de Rohan. For more on the artist, see https://maidensandmanuscripts.com/2017/05/14/a-very-brief-introduction-to-the-master-of-francois-de-rohan/ Marguerite’s early life was spent in Cognac and Blois, … Continue reading Marguerite of Navarre: Queen of the Renaissance