How to Train Your Hawk: A 15th Century English Prioress’ Guide

by Heather R. Darsie This weekend when I was researching for my new book, anticipated in Summer 2021, I stumbled across a curious book from the 15th century. It is called, Book of Hawking, Hunting, and Heraldry. The book was printed in 1496 at Westminster by Wykyn de Worde, who also published an account of Anne Boleyn’s coronation. Even more interesting were the hand-written notes at the … Continue reading How to Train Your Hawk: A 15th Century English Prioress’ Guide

The Scythian Lamb, or the Delectable Lamb-Vegetable of Tartary

by Heather R. Darsie In the Middle Ages, rumour spread that there was a mythological zoophyte known as the Scythian Lamb or the Borametz. Herodotus, from the fifth century BCE and Theophrastus of the third century BCE wrote of the Scythian Lamb, bolstering credibility that such a thing existed. An additional source for the rumour was found in a Jewish text from 436 called, Talmud … Continue reading The Scythian Lamb, or the Delectable Lamb-Vegetable of Tartary

A Princess of Wales Parakeet in 14th Century Manuscript?

by Heather R. Darsie Yesterday evening I was browsing through the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore’s collection of illuminated manuscripts. I was viewing a late 14th century Book of Hours, created for the Use of Paris, when I thought I spied a very familiar bird: a Princess of Wales Parakeet or Princess Parrot. Princess Parrots are indigenous to Australia, so I thought that surely there … Continue reading A Princess of Wales Parakeet in 14th Century Manuscript?

The Little Book of Love

by Heather R. Darsie The Little Book of Love, or Petit Livre d’Amour, is an absolutely fascinating, and terribly romantic, illuminated manuscript. Also known as Enigmas of Love, it was a Valentine’s Day gift from Pierre Sala (b. 1457 — d. 1529) to his sweetheart. Sala devised the poems contained within the book. He also was the scribe for this particular project. It is thought that the … Continue reading The Little Book of Love

Shooting Stars: the Bright and Short Careers of the Limbourg Brothers

by Heather R. Darsie In case you missed it on http://queenanneboleyn.com/2018/01/01/shooting-stars-the-bright-short-careers-limbourg-brothers-heather-r-darsie/ Herman (1385), Paul (1386/87) and Johan (1388) were born in the city of Nijmegen, in what is modern-day Gelderland, Netherlands. Artistic skill ran in the family for these brothers: their father was a wood-carver and their maternal uncle, a painter to Isabella (or Isabeau) of Bavaria, Queen of France. This familial connection to the French … Continue reading Shooting Stars: the Bright and Short Careers of the Limbourg Brothers

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