Anne Vavasour came to the court of Elizabeth I in the new year of 1580, probably with her sister Frances as a lady of the bedchamber. Anne quickly became a maid of honour but would be dismissed from the position in 1581 marking the permanent end of her court career. ‘Maid of Honour’ she was… Read More ‘The subject of much mirth and merriment’: The loves and life of Anne Vavasour
The most frequently asked question of 2017 (on this blog at least, I missed it at Prime Minister’s Questions) was: Did Henry VIII have sex with Anne Boleyn? Now I’m assuming that this refers to premarital sex as we can say with some certainty that they slept together after Anne became Henry’s Queen in 1533.… Read More Did Henry VIII sleep with Anne Boleyn?
While Elizabeth I’s reputation as the Virgin Queen has been in question since her own lifetime, the ladies around her certainly didn’t aspire to the virginal state, despite their mistresses repeated lectures on the matter. It’s not known exactly why Elizabeth shied away from taking a husband, though theories range from witnessing her father’s violently… Read More The Virgin Queen’s “Virgins”
Spoiler warning: Game of Thrones Season 5 finale.
I love The Tudors, I probably shouldn’t, but I really do. The history is so ridiculous and mashed together and I wonder why at various times they make up stuff when the actual history is far more interesting and dramatic, but the acting is good and the costumes are stunning. It would take far, far… Read More The Tudors, Artistic Licence and Outright Fictions
The 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… Read More The Mistresses of Henry VIII – Kelly Hart
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… Read More The Mistresses who would be Queen
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,’… Read More The Encyclopedia of Mistresses – Dawn B. Sova
‘The Merry Monarch’ was very merry indeed. Known for his love of partying and women Charles II brought fun back to England in a big, big way. Even before his return to England however, Charles was having fun in his own way, mostly with women. He acknowledged over a dozen illegitimate children with several mistresses,… Read More The Courtesans of Charles II
March is National Women’s History Month here in the UK and in America. The theme for 2014 is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.” To that end for the month of March we will be dedicated to all things mistress related, looking at the women in history who played a major role behind the… Read More National Women’s History Month