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
by Heather R. Darsie After Anne Boleyn’s startling arrest on 2 May 1536, several other men accused of being her accomplices in treasonous adultery were arrested. Sir Thomas Wyatt himself was arrested, but later released without charges. While he was in the Tower, it is traditionally thought that Wyatt wrote the following poem: Believed to be a late 16th century copy of a portrait of … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Sorrow
by Heather R. Darsie Another poem written by Sir Thomas Wyatt and allegedly about Anne Boleyn shows how upset he was at Anne for losing her. Calling her an old mule and pointing out that she now had a few grey hairs, Wyatt repeatedly calls the subject of the poem a “mule.” Devira Achille, protrait of Anne Boleyn for a lithography project in 2016, via … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Anger
by Heather R. Darsie There was and yet is the rumour that Sir Thomas Wyatt, Tudor-era poet and diplomat, was in love with Anne Boleyn. Wyatt was born in 1503, making him either three years younger or four years older than Anne Boleyn. Wyatt entered Henry VIII’s service in 1526. It was right around this time that Henry’s desire for Anne was becoming known at … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Infatuation
by Heather R. Darsie A second poem is attributed to Anne Boleyn, and perhaps written shortly after her trial on 15 May 1536. Despite bravely defending herself against slanderous claims, Anne was found guilty of adultery and incest. It was obvious to her that the charges were a way for Henry to rid himself of Anne Boleyn so Henry could marry the more passive Jane … Continue reading The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Second Poem
by Heather R. Darsie 6 May 1527. Pope Clement VII had been sitting on St. Peter’s Chair since 19 November 1523. An illegitimate member of the Medici clan, he was raised by his uncle Lorenzo de’ Medici, known as Lorenzo the Magnificent. His cousin was Pope Leo X, second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and another Medici. Clement VII was originally trained for military service, … Continue reading 1527: ROME HAS BEEN SACKED!
by Heather R. Darsie Dear Reader, thank you so much for your support and interest during my journey to write a biography about Anna of Cleves from the German perspective. My travels took me all over Europe and parts of the US. Below are pictures of me doing Anna-related things, which I would like to share with you. Here I am at the Louvre, … Continue reading My Adventures with the Duchess of Cleves!
by Heather R. Darsie The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299 by Osman Uthman. Uthman’s name was transliterated into “Ottoman,” giving the Empire its name. For perspective, Edward I, known as Longshanks, was King of England. Philip IV, known as the Fair, was King of France, and Albert I was the Holy Roman Emperor. No one had given any thought to the Tudors, the Valois, … Continue reading Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Turks? Part I: Background of the Turkish, Ottoman Empire
by Heather R. Darsie Philippa Avesnes von Hennegau und Holland, or Philippa of Hainault as she is known to English speakers, was Queen Consort of England from 24 January 1328 to 15 August 1369. It is speculated that she was born on 24 June sometime between 1310 and 1315. Her exact date of birth is unknown, though some estimates put her year of birth as … Continue reading Philippa of Hainault
by Heather R. Darsie The seventeenth love letter from Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn was likely written in late September 1528 because it mentions the arrival of the papal legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio. Campeggio was acting legate in Rome for Pope Clement VII after Henry’s nephew through his current marriage to Katharine of Aragon, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, sacked Rome in … Continue reading Henry VIII’s Seventeenth Love Letter to Anne Boleyn