Tag Archives: Marriage

Mount & Blade and the Medieval Marriage

I’ve written before about how the games Mount and Blade and its sequel, Warband, are a, shall we say challenging, experience for the female character. Set in the fictional kingdom of Calradia during the 13th century this ARPG is practically a medieval simulator. After statting up your character you can go on to raise an army, gain support from neighbouring lords, engage in political intrigue, manage fiefs, I could go on. Continue reading

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Was Mary, Queen of Scots/Anne Boleyn raped and other FAQS

With the exception of my loyal followers (hello!) the majority of people who read this blog come from googling specific questions. As the Google searches often remain fundamentally the same with some variation in how the question is asked, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

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‘Cold’ Arabella

To Mrs Arabella Hunt

Dear Madam

–Not believe that I love you? You cannot pretend to be so incredulous. If you do not believe my tongue, consult my eyes, consult your own. You will find by yours that they have charms; by mine that i have a heart which feel them. Recall to mind what happened last night. That at least was a lover’s kiss. It’s eagerness, it’s fierceness, its warmth, expressed the God its parent. But oh! It’s sweetness, and it’s melting softness expressed him more. With trembling in my limbs, and fevers in my soul, I ravish’d it. Convulsions, panting, murmurings shew’d the mighty disorder within me: the mighty disorder increased by it. For those dear lips shot through my heart, and thro’ my bleeding vitals, delicious poison, and an avoidless but yet a charming ruin.

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Anne Boleyn’s Love Letters

Part of Anne Boleyn’s mystery is that we have so little evidence directly relating to Anne from which we can draw conclusions about what she was like as a person. Even though she became Queen of England what we don’t know about Anne Boleyn could fill volumes compared to the surprisingly little we do know. One of the major questions that often comes up regarding her was did she really love Henry VIII? Again, we cannot know (even if we had hundreds of surviving letters from her filled with declarations of her affection we probably still wouldn’t know). While a number of Henry’s letters to Anne have survived we are left to extrapolate what Anne’s potential response could be based on his next reply. Only one of Anne’s responses has survived, the contents of which date it to the late August or early September of 1526. Ironically, this is from almost a year before we have any of Henry’s letters which begin in May 1527 from when Anne removed herself from court and went to Hever Castle.

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The Mistresses of Henry VIII – Kelly Hart

Mistresses-199x300The Mistresses of Henry VIII (2009)

The Mistresses of Henry VIII attests that while the lives and personalities of Henry VIII and his six wives are well documented, Henry was involved in numerous affairs with women who have been largely forgotten by history. Hart’s book claims to ‘rescue’ these women from ‘obscurity’ relating the tales of Henry’s lesser known lady loves. How far she succeeds in this endeavor however, is debatable. Continue reading

The Mistresses who would be Queen

The position of royal mistress, even a recognised maîtresse en titre was fraught with difficulties. The lucky, or perhaps more aptly, unlucky woman would have to work tirelessly to maintain the king’s interest. She would have to dispose of rivals without reducing herself to nagging the king or displeasing him in any way lest she herself be dismissed. Her political adversaries would be constantly trying to replace her and this was without the most basic demand of satisfying the king’s every whim. It is no wonder that some mistresses made bids for the throne, some successful others less so. At least as queen she was, in theory, unassailable or at the very least granted a measure of security her previous position would not have allowed her. Here we take a look at some of the women who tried to make the leap from first lady at court to first lady of the land, some of whom succeeded, others however were less than successful. Continue reading

The Encyclopedia of Mistresses – Dawn B. Sova

41Q2XXMRF5L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Encyclopedia of Mistresses: An Under-the-Covers Look at the “Other Women” of History’s Most Influential Men. (2001)

In an ambitious project, Dawn B. Sova put together The Encyclopedia of Mistresses in 1993, which as you might expect is a collection of encyclopaedic-esque entries for women who have gone down in history as ‘the other woman,’ covering an impressive time period; from the early Greek age to the 20th century. Although I bought this book for my first thesis (a look at the position of the ‘mistress’ in Medieval England up to Anne Boleyn) it is in no way academic and very accessible to any reader. Continue reading