Two Battles, Two Queens, Two Speeches: Mary I and Elizabeth I

by Heather R. Darsie Mary and Elizabeth, the two Tudor queens regnant, each faced serious military campaigns against them. In Mary’s case, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger started an uprising which threatened Mary’s reign. There is debate amongst historians as to the cause of the uprising, however at least Mary believed it was due in part to her impending marriage with Philip II of Spain. … Continue reading Two Battles, Two Queens, Two Speeches: Mary I and Elizabeth I


Mary, Queen of Scots: What a Difference Two Years Can Make

by Heather R. Darsie Mary, Queen of Scots returned to Scotland on 19 August 1561. She was not quite nineteen years old, and already a widow. Speculation swirled around whom the young Scottish queen with a claim to the English throne would wed. Mary, Queen of Scots in White Mourning after the Queens of France, after Francois Clouet, c. 1560. Via Wikimedia Commons. Mary’s next … Continue reading Mary, Queen of Scots: What a Difference Two Years Can Make

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 Armada is Coming!

by Heather R. Darsie Please note that this post originally appeared on It was 29 June 1588. The Spanish Armada sailing in its customary crescent shape was spotted off the coast of Cornwall. After many years of waiting, the time had finally come: Spain was invading England to reclaim the country for Catholicism.  It is possible that Philip II, former brother-in-law to Elizabeth I previous … Continue reading The Armada is Coming!

The Four Wives of Philip II

by Heather R. Darsie In case you missed it earlier this week on  , have a look! The lives of Henry VIII of England’s six wives are much-chronicled, with myriad books, shows, art, and the like, depicting and dramatizing key moments in each woman’s life. Another man had almost as many wives, though their respective demises were much less salacious than those of Henry’s. … Continue reading The Four Wives of Philip II