I hadn't realised – until I read this book – how much work Henry VIII's marital problems caused the stonemasons of Hampton Court. After years of carving the letters H&C all over the place, Henry got rid of Catherine of Aragon, so the Cs had to be reworked as As. But, no sooner was the last A in place than Anne Boleyn was executed on Tower Hill and the As had to become Js to suit Jane Seymour, who promptly died in childbirth. And there were still three more queens to go, so, lots more chiseling, presumably.
King Henry VIII
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Tuesday 28 April 2009
Saturday 18 April 2009
Saturday 18 April 2009
Scholars used to speak of the "Cleopatra's nose" theory of history; the idea that if the Egyptian queen's nose had been shorter Caesar would have been less bewitched and the course of history different.
Tuesday 14 April 2009
Around the World in 80 Trades, Channel 4<br/>Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant, Channel 4<br/>Five Minutes of Heaven, BBC2
Sunday 12 April 2009
Wednesday 08 April 2009
Tuesday 07 April 2009
Friday 03 April 2009
Monday 09 March 2009
Saturday 14 February 2009
A love letter written by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn reveals how he pursued her like a lovesick schoolboy, declaring his "unchangeable intention" to marry her and signing off with "H seeks A B no other Rex" – his beloved's initials in a heart.
Sunday 19 October 2008
This fourth novel in the series featuring C J Samson's 16th-century hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake, is nearly a tick-all-the-boxes, on-trend combination of history and crime, pandering as it does to our apparently never-ending fascination with the Tudors and with those biblically-inspired serial killers in the manner of the film Seven, to form the basis of the plot.
Monday 06 October 2008
Knickers. They're everywhere. And if that sounds like the most almighty case of stating the obvious, the fact that any underwear is currently being worn over clothes rather than hidden away beneath them or, failing that, that the clothes in question are so sheer that knickers show through is perhaps less commonplace.
Monday 15 September 2008
You can tell if a woman is having good sex by the way she walks. Scientists had a success rate of over 80 per cent in identifying women who normally have orgasms and those who don't, by observing them walk for a few hundred metres. Those who are more satisfied have a more "free and sensual" gait.
Thursday 21 August 2008
The merciless punishments Henry VIII meted out to his enemies have been well documented. Less is known about how, on the rarer occasions when the king was happy with the service of his courtiers or the country's most eminent noblemen, he liked to give them a golden livery collar or heavy chain as a token of his gratitude.
Friday 01 August 2008
One of the greatest naval disasters in history occurred when the Mary Rose, pride of the English battle fleet, sank in the Solent just before dawn on 19 July 1545, in sight of the French fleet, with the loss of more than 400 lives. No one knows why. The delighted French claimed a direct hit, though in fact the ship was undamaged; the English blamed an undisciplined crew.
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