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?

The Habsburg Sisters, Part III: Maria von Habsburg, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia

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 III: Maria von Habsburg, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia

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

Anne Boleyn Speaks to Her Court, 1533

by Heather R. Darsie After Anne Boleyn had her coronation, she was assigned her own court and officers. Per her chaplain William Latymer, she gave two speeches to her court. The first was to her temporal officers, and the second to her spiritual advisers. The accuracy of these speeches is in no way verifiable, as William Latymer’s work was written during the reign of Elizabeth … Continue reading Anne Boleyn Speaks to Her Court, 1533

The Habsburg Sisters, Part II: Isabella von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

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 II: Isabella von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

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 … Continue reading The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

Isabella and Joanna of Castile: The Fight for the Throne

Isabella, mother of Katharine of Aragon and one of the Catholic Monarchs, did not easily come to the throne of Castile. Isabella’s older half-brother ruled as Henry IV, known as the Impotent, of Castile. Whether Henry IV was truly impotent became an issue for his daughter and Isabella’s niece, Joanna of Castile. Joanna was Henry IV’s heir until a rebellious faction at court wanted to … Continue reading Isabella and Joanna of Castile: The Fight for the Throne