Joan of Kent: The First Princess of Wales

joan of kent book

Jean Froissart, probably the most famous of the fourteenth-century chroniclers, described Joan as ‘in her time the most beautiful woman in all the realm of England and the most loved’

Royalit: What Did Medieval Kings Read?

Great medieval kings

The @5MinMedievalist, Danièle Cybulskie,

Yolande de Dreux, Queen of Scots

Yolande de Dreux, Queen of Scotland. Sceau de Yolande d'Ecosse - Duchesse de Bretagne (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy brings us back to medieval Scotland once again to look at another Scottish Queen, Yolande de Dreux.

BOOK REVIEW – London: A Travel Guide Through Time by Dr. Matthew Green

London: A Travel Guide Through Time by Dr. Matthew Green

Love London? Then you will love this book. A fascinating trek through time looking the pivotal moments in London’s history.

The Infamous Military Campaign of 1379

Fleet of Richard II, depicted in British Library Harley 1319  f. 18

The destruction of an English fleet led by Sir John Arundel in 1379 is reported by most chroniclers to be an unfortunate accident. However, if you read what Thomas Walsingham has to say about what happened, you get a far more horrific version of events.

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

The Festival of Fools - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525)

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

BOOK REVIEW: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

Books: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.

BOOK REVIEW: The Lady Agnes Mystery – Volume I

Books: The Lady Agnes Mystery - Volume I by Andrea Japp

A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.

The 1356 Basel earthquake: an interdisciplinary revision

Destruction of the city Basel, depicted in Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia

The 1356 Basel earthquake is well known as one of the most damaging events in intra-plate Europe within historical times. It was one of several devastating catastrophes in the 14th century.

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

Medieval ice skates made of bone on display at the Museum of London. Photo by Steven G. Johnson, Wikipedia.

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

‘The Worst Disaster Suffered by the People of Scotland in Recorded History’: Climate Change, Dearth and Pathogens in the Long Fourteenth Century

16th century map of Scotland

It is not the aim of this essay to provide an environmental history of medieval Scotland or even just of the fourteenth century in Scotland; that is a much larger task than can be addressed here. Rather, the intention is to explore the nature of the evidence that is available within the documentary record and place it alongside the various forms of proxy data for climate history to produce a synthetic narrative.

Tall Tales: The Trouble with Tours

Nottingham Castle sitting atop its rock, a vast network of caves. Photo by Medievalists.net

Tours. They can be great, or they can be cringeworthy and rife with misinformation. A great tour guide knows how to add a flourish or two to a story to keep the audience engaged and the history interesting. A bad tour guide invents things and hopes there isn’t a historian in the audience dismayed by the falsehoods they’re spreading to unwitting listeners…

REVIEW: The Ballad of Robin Hood

The Ballad of Robin Hood at the Southwark Theatre, London.

Over the holiday season, Southwark Playhouse is presenting their reinterpretation of The Ballad of Robin Hood.

The Two Wives of Robert II, King of Scotland

The seal of Robert II, King of Scotland.

Robert II, King of Scots and grandson of Robert the Bruce was a handsome, charming man who had many descendants. He not only had two wives who had numerous children but many mistresses who had babies as well.

These are beautiful words to understand

15th century image of Venice by Erhardum Reüwich de Trajecto and Bernhard von Breydenbach

‘If those who wound felt the pain of those who are wounded, they could not often wound with pleasure.’

The 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Morgarten

Illustration of the battle of Morgarten in the Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

On November 15, 1315, an Austrian army of at least a few thousand men marched along the shores of Lake Ägeri in central Switzerland. It was here that they were ambushed by over a thousand Swiss farmers.

The Emperor’s Spooky Night

Night view of the Castle and Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo by Jorge Royan

Emperor Charles IV reveals in his autobiography what happened to him one night at Prague Castle, and how he saw a huge swarm of locusts.

The Love of Books

Detail of a painting by Cima da Conegliano (1460–1518)

Books delight us, when prosperity smiles upon us; they comfort us inseparably when stormy fortune frowns on us.

Rival bishops, rival cathedrals: the election of Cormac, archdeacon of Sodor, as bishop in 1331

Ruined remains of Snizort Cathedral. Photo by Richard Dorrell / Wikimedia Commons

In the early fourteenth century, the diocese of Sodor, or Sudreyjar meaning Southern Isles in old Norse, encompassed the Isle of Man and the Hebrides.

‘The boldest and most remarkable feat ever performed by a woman’: Fiery Joanna and the Siege of Hennebont

Fierry Joanna leads the charge - from La Bretagne ancienne, published in 1859

It ranks as one of the most fascinating stories from the 14th century, one that chroniclers of that time relished in telling and historians have ever since recounted.

The Battle of Neville’s Cross as told in the Lanercost Chronicle

Battle of Neville's Cross from a 15th-century Froissart manuscript

The year 1346 is remembered in England mostly for the Battle of Crecy, where King Edward III defeated the French forces in one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years War. That year also saw another major battle, this one fought on English soil.

The English way of war, 1360-1399

Anointing of Pope Gregory XI. Battle of Pontvallin (1370). Bibliotheque Nationale MS Fr. 2643

This thesis challenges the orthodox view that the years 1360 to 1399 witnessed a period of martial decline for the English.

Hair and Masculinity in the Alliterative Morte Arthure

King Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, detail from the "Christian Heroes Tapestry" dated c. 1385

This essay examines the use of forced hair cutting in the late fourteenth‐century alliterative romance, Morte Arthure, to show how it is used to develop characters that reflect the tension surrounding the English king Richard II and the tyranny that characterized the final years of his reign.

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