A Blood-Soaked Christmas

by Heather R. Darsie Christmas Eve, 1601. The setting, a sleepy, south-eastern port town in Ireland. The Nine Years War of Ireland had been raging since 1594, with the English fighting to have control of Ireland under Elizabeth I of England. The unorganized Irish had won several battles and skirmishes against the English, frequently through the use of ambush. But in 1601, trained Spanish troops … Continue reading A Blood-Soaked Christmas

Henry VIII’s Seventh Letter to Anne Boleyn

by Heather R. Darsie By February 1528, Henry and Anne’s romance was in full swing, judging from his seventh letter. A far cry in some ways from the first letter, Henry tries less to appeal to Anne Boleyn’s sympathy and outright addresses her as his beloved when Henry VIII writes, By the British School, before 1626; via Wikimedia Commons. “Darling, these shall only be to … Continue reading Henry VIII’s Seventh Letter to Anne Boleyn

Why do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

by Heather R. Darsie   Oh, the romantic kiss under the mistletoe. The viridian, sturdy, parasitic mistletoe. Varieties of the plant are found all over the world, growing on trees and shrubs. The mistletoe eventually kills the branch of the host plant upon which it is preying, feeding on the host plant throughout the winter. Mistletoe is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “dung twig.” So how … Continue reading Why do We Kiss Under the Mistletoe?