Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!

by Heather R. Darsie Greetings, Dear Reader! I am pleased to announce that I launched a podcast over on Patreon called Tudor Speeches!  I hope to post the first podcast this weekend. I will provide historical background for speeches and letters from the Tudor time period. I think hearing a speech or letter can impact the beholder differently than just reading it. Each patron will be … Continue reading Tudor Speeches: My New Podcast!

The Powerful African Songhai Empire during the Reign of Henry VIII of England

by Heather R. Darsie Personal note: This summer I am learning more about African history during the 16th century.  The Songhai Empire existed in Western Africa in the late 15th to early 16th century. With a healthy grasp on trade, the Songhai Empire used cowrie shells and plain gold coins as local currency, and salt as international currency. The Askia Dynasty ruled the Songhai Empire … Continue reading The Powerful African Songhai Empire during the Reign of Henry VIII of England

Wilhelm V, Anna of Cleves’ Brother

by Heather R. Darsie Please note that this article originally appeared on Medieval Archives. Wilhelm was born on 28 July 1516, the third living child and only son of Maria of Jülich-Berg and Johann III of Cleves- Mark. He was a mere thirteen months younger than his sister Anna, born 28 June 1515, and over four years younger than Sybylla, born 17 January 1512. As the … Continue reading Wilhelm V, Anna of Cleves’ Brother

The Habsburg-Valois Wars

by Heather R. Darsie The Habsburg-Valois Wars were part of another series of wars. The Italian Wars took place from 1494 to 1559, where the parties struggled for control of the Italian peninsula. The Italian Wars initially started over a spat between Pope Innocent VIII and Ferdinand I of Naples. Ferdinand I did not pay its dues to the Pope, who turned around and excommunicated … Continue reading The Habsburg-Valois Wars

The Charming Side of Charles V

by Heather R. Darsie ** Please note that this originally appeared on https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/   While researching for Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’, I came across a couple anecdotes about Charles V’s character. I envisioned him before I started writing Anna, Duchess of Cleves as someone who was very stiff and did not relate well to his sisters. During the negotiations which led to … Continue reading The Charming Side of Charles V

The Curious Case of a Misidentified Portrait of Anne Boleyn

by Heather R. Darsie On 13 April 1929, the Supreme Court of New York heard the curious case of Hahn v. Duveen, in which an art collector  named Mrs. Andree Hahn sued an art dealer named Sir Joseph Duveen for slander. At the heart of the issue was an alleged original painting which Ms. Hahn stated depicted Anne Boleyn and was painted by none other … Continue reading The Curious Case of a Misidentified Portrait of Anne Boleyn

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

The Poetry of Anne Boleyn: Sir Thomas Wyatt’s Anger

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

1527: ROME HAS BEEN SACKED!

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!

Who was a True Renaissance Prince? Part II: Francis I of France

by Heather R. Darsie This is Part II of a four-part series, which seeks to look at what were considered the attributes of a Renaissance prince, and who of our four princes embodied the ideals of the Renaissance best. What were some of those themes? The idea of a Renaissance man stood for a person who strove to embrace knowledge and develop himself. This included … Continue reading Who was a True Renaissance Prince? Part II: Francis I of France