Fourteenth-Century (and Late Thirteenth-Century) England

Emily Sarah Holt, and the Despensers Meet Jane Austen

As longtime readers of this blog know, I’ve mentioned Emily Sarah Holt a few times here. Holt, who wrote historical fiction in the nineteenth century, wrote one of the first novels about the Despenser family, In Convent Walls. Her novels aren’t for everyone–among other things, they’re intensely anti-Catholic, and most of her good characters are …

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Thanks, Uncle! Gifts to Eleanor de Clare From Edward II

Whatever else one might say about Edward II, he was a generous uncle–at least to his favorite niece, Eleanor de Clare. Here’s some of his recorded gifts to her: 1308: 20 marks for her expenses while staying at Rockingham Castle (JCD) May 8, 1308: 10 marks for her expenses for her journey from Rockingham to …

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Not Quite There . . .

This isn’t quite the Valentine that Isabella had in mind for Roger Mortimer, but maybe Edward II could modify it (courtesy of the Valentine Generator) for one of his good friends: To my Virile Roger, You are the knight of my armour. I want to shine with you more than any shield in the whole …

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Joan of Kent’s Marital Misadventures

Though Elizabeth Woodville was the first post-Conquest English-born queen consort, this was only through mischance. Had Edward III’s eldest son, known popularly as “the Black Prince,” survived his father, the prince’s English bride, Joan of Kent, would have become his queen. And Joan of Kent had a scandalous marital history that outdid Elizabeth’s. Joan, born …

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Yet Another Medieval Christmas Newsletter

As promised, I was able to unearth the Christmas newsletter of Isabella, queen of Edward II and mother of Edward III, over the weekend. From the intimate tone of it, I suspect it was intended primarily for her female relatives in France rather than for general consumption._______________________ Wallingford, 1326 My, time has flown since my …

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In Which This Blog Descends Even Lower Into Silliness

I should be working, but it’s still Thanksgiving weekend and I’m not inclined to be industrious. Fortunately, I came across this site some time ago (I think it was via someone’s blog, but I can’t remember the culprit) and decided finally that it was time to maximize its full potential. So here, without further ado, …

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The Death of Piers Gaveston

Having seen Alianore’s post on the subject, it seemed improper to let the day go by without a brief tribute to Edward II’s favorite, Piers Gaveston, who was executed on June 19, 1312. (In medieval history, at least, June seems to have been quite the month for unjust executions.) It was a tragic end to …

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