Elizabeth I and the Plimpton Sieve Portrait

by Heather R. Darsie In 1579, when Elizabeth was around forty-five-or forty-six years old, a portrait of her holding a sieve was painted by George Gower. It is believed that Gower was born around 1540, but his early life is obscure. Along with the 1579 portrait of Elizabeth, Gower created a self-portrait. In his self-portrait, Gower emphasizes the importance of his art by having the … Continue reading Elizabeth I and the Plimpton Sieve Portrait

The Habsburg Sisters, Part IV: Catherine von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal

by Heather R. Darsie Most people interested in Tudor history are familiar with names like Charles V, Francis I, or even Christina of Denmark. Charles’ mother Juana of Castile might sound familiar. But what of Juana’s four daughters, Charles V’s sisters? Who were they? Why were they important? How did they fulfill the goals of Charles and his brother Ferdinand in the early 16th century? This article will provide an … Continue reading The Habsburg Sisters, Part IV: Catherine von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal

Happy Birthday, Anna of Cleves and Henry VIII!

by Heather R. Darsie On this day of 28 June in 1515, a little baby girl was born in the Holy Roman Empire whose life would be dramatically shaped by international politics. The baby was christened, “Anna,” after her paternal aunt. “Anna” was a family name on her maternal side, as well. Anna of Cleves’ great-grandmother through Maria of Juelich-Berg was Anna of Saxony. Anna … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Anna of Cleves and Henry VIII!

Anna of Cleves is Sent to Richmond

by Heather R. Darsie On 24 June 1540, Henry VIII of England sent his new wife to his palace of Richmond. 24 June was a Monday, and the couple’s joint birthday that Friday, 28 June. Henry, who was terrified of illnesses, told Anna the move was for her safety. The Plague and the dreaded English Sweat surged in the summertime. Anna, having no reason to … Continue reading Anna of Cleves is Sent to Richmond

Podcast Appearances

Hello, everyone! I thought I would collect the podcasts, etc, for which I appeared and put them in one place. I will update this occasionally. Enjoy! Tudors Dynasty podcast interview about Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s Beloved Sister Talking Tudors podcast interview about Anna of Cleves History, Eh? podcast interview about Anna of Cleves Tudor Tracker webcast interview about Anna of Cleves Pieces of … Continue reading Podcast Appearances

The Scandalous Marriage of Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther

by Heather R. Darsie On 13 June 1525, forty-one-year-old Martin Luther married twenty-six-year old Katharina von Bora. Katharina was given to the Church at a young age. By her early twenties, she and several other nuns in the Marienthron convent were familiar with Luther’s teachings and wished to practice them. They became fed up with religious life, and wanted to leave the convent. Katharina von … Continue reading The Scandalous Marriage of Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther

Henry VIII: How Many Children did He Have?

by Heather R. Darsie Henry VIII is generally viewed as a Lothario during his marriages to Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. During his lifetime, he fathered at least six children with Katharine of Aragon, two or possibly three with Anne Boleyn, one with Jane Seymour, and possibly an additional six illegitimate children. All of Henry’s children were born in or before 1537. Henry’s first … Continue reading Henry VIII: How Many Children did He Have?

Convivencia in Katharine of Aragon’s Spain

by Heather R. Darsie Prior to Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, finally removing the last Islamic presence from the Kingdom of Granada, there was a considerable Islamic and Jewish presence that lasted over 700 hundred years. Isabella of Castile by Juan de Flandes, c. 1500-1504 The Muslims first came to Spain during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania around the year … Continue reading Convivencia in Katharine of Aragon’s Spain

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part II: The Fall of Constantinople

by Heather R. Darsie On 6 April 1453, Sultan Mehmed II, known as the Conqueror, began his siege against Constantinople. Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, was a capital city for one governmental body or another since 330 CE. Founded by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, a city stood on this spot off and on for centuries before. Constantine transferred the imperial Roman seat of … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part II: The Fall of Constantinople

Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson: Part I

by Heather R. Darsie This series of articles is dedicated to my father, Burns Darsie III, born in June 1943 and deceased on Good Friday 2020. Due to the pandemic, we are unable to have a proper funeral. I chose to write about my father’s favorite historical figure, Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson. We had the pleasure of going on a Nelson-themed tour around England in … Continue reading Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson: Part I