‘They that in Ships unto the Sea down go: Music for the Mayflower’: A Guest Post by Tamsin Lewis of Passamezzo

I direct the early music group Passamezzo, an established ensemble known for their ability to bring historical events to life through their engaging performances and programming. We specialize in English Elizabethan and Jacobean repertoire. 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, and so it seems appropriate to record a CD of music to celebrate… Read on

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Epidemic: Were the Powers that Be Powerless to Prevent the Plague?: A Guest Post by Claire Canary

One of the many things to really slow me down in writing historical fiction is the level of interest I’ve taken in my research. Nevertheless, it’s been the best learning experience of my life! Thanks to works such as Rebecca Rideal’s 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire, I’ve built the confidence to take Andrea up on her kind offer… Read on

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Seven little known facts about Nell Gwyn: A Guest Post by Deborah Swift

1. Nell experimented with cross-dressing.  Between 1663 and 1667 she posed under the name “William Nell” and adopted a false beard. The disguise stood her in good stead when she needed to act as a man on the stage in March 1667, and we know from Pepys’ diary that he found her performance the best he’d ever seen. 2.… Read on

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Book Review: ‘Entertaining Mr Pepys’ by Deborah Swift

Entertaining Mr Pepys is the third and final chapter of Deborah Swift’s trilogy on that most famous naval administrator/diarist of the late seventeenth century: Samuel Pepys. That said, it can be read as a standalone work – although I read the first book in the series, I wasn’t able to read the second one, but that did not… Read on

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Book Review: Royalist Rebel by Anita Seymour

Royalist Rebel, written by Anita Seymour and published in 2013 by Claymore Press (a former fiction imprint of Pen & Sword), is a biographical novel of Elizabeth Murray, the fascinating Countess Dysart and later Duchess of Lauderdale. The eldest of four daughters of William Murray – a loyal courtier of King Charles I – the real Elizabeth lived… Read on

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Cover reveal: Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain!

Hear ye! Hear ye! Earlier today on my social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I posted the cover for my book, Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain, which will be published by Pen & Sword History at a date to be determined. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It’s possibly my best cover to date. I’ll certainly post more… Read on

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Hear ye! A Tale of Two Contracts

Hear ye! A week after submitting my completed (pre-edited) manuscript of Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain, I am very pleased, and also a little anxious, to tell you that I have just signed two contracts with Pen & Sword History to write two biographies of two very, very different Stuart-era ladies. Whilst both ladies have been written… Read on

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Elizabeth Stuart: A Tragic Princess – A Guest Post by Sarah-Beth Watkins

Elizabeth was the second daughter of Charles I, the ill-fated king who would unprecedentedly lose his life after years of civil war. Born in 1635 to a London covered in snow, this daughter was named after her godmother and aunt, Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen and would earn the nickname ‘the winter princess’. Elizabeth would grow up… Read on

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Book Review: An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

An Instance of the Fingerpost, published in 1998, is a rather large work of historical fiction – 704 pages long! As I had this read aloud to me by my husband whenever we had some free time – which was not often – it took over a year to get through it – but it was totally worth… Read on

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“Weekend Warriors: Bringing History to Life”: A Guest Post by Margaret Cooper Evans

It’s eight thirty am, the drummers in full uniform march through the soldier’s camps drumming ‘call to arms’. A rapid brrrr…umph, brrrr…umph on their drums. This is closely followed by our Sargent shouting “Kings Guard, form up in fifteen minutes.” There follows a rapid dressing session. My husband is always late for parade sometimes even running to join the… Read on

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Book Review: “The Royal Art of Poison” by Eleanor Herman

Eleanor Herman, who earlier this year posted a guest post here on The Seventeenth Century Lady (“A Glorious Poison: The Deadly Toxins of Palace Life”), is a popular historian whose past book titles include Sex With Kings and Sex with the Queen. In The Royal Art of Poison: Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Poisons, and Murder Most Foul, published this… Read on

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New book contract! “Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain”

Hear ye! For those of you who haven’t already seen my announcement via Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook, my news is that I have been commissioned by Pen & Sword Publishing to write Sex and Sexuality in Stuart Britain! This will be part of a new series of history books that “explores our ancestors’ ingenious, surprising, bizarre and often… Read on

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Goodbye, Shropshire!

This week marks the end of my family’s two-year stay in Clungunford, Shropshire, England. This weekend, we’ll be back in London, having moved out of Balham back in 2011. After a somewhat nail-bitingly stressful removal over the weekend, I have a bit of time to reflect on what was a momentous couple of years, with the launch of… Read on

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Mothers and Midwives in the 17th Century: A Guest Post by Kate Braithwaite

Mothers and Midwives in the 17th Century by Kate Braithwaite Alice Wandesford was born in Yorkshire in 1627 and in 1651, aged twenty-four, she married William Thornton of East Newton. Alice was soon pregnant and carried the child to term, but it died within half an hour of birth. Her second child, Betty, survived almost being ‘overlaid’ –… Read on

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Book Review: “The Road to Newgate” by Kate Braithwaite (2018)

What Kate Braithwaite did with the Affair of the Poisons scandal of Louis XIV’s France (Charlatan) she’s done again – this time in the volatile late 1670s England. Nearing the second decade of the Restoration and told first-person through the eyes of several different characters, The Road to Newgate gives us the horrific episode of the Popish Plot (1678-1681) – a fabricated… Read on

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“A Glorious Poison: The Deadly Toxins of Palace Life”: A Guest Post by Eleanor Herman

A Glorious Poison: The Deadly Toxins of Palace Life by Eleanor Herman, exclusively on The Seventeenth Century Lady. The royal lifestyle of yesteryear used to make me swoon. I imagined myself living in a gilded palace, wearing gorgeous gowns, and dancing with Baroque studs at candlelight balls. I thought of the past as a time of romance, grandeur,… Read on

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Book Review: “The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain” by Ian Mortimer

When one considers that Dr Ian Mortimer is one of the best-known medieval historians in the world, it is perhaps natural to be slightly dubious of a work about the Restoration by a person who specialises in the medieval period. Wonderfully, this book was fantastic and any reservations I may have had melted away quite quickly. I’m a bit late… Read on

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Film Review: Tulip Fever (2017)

Tulip Fever is a 2017 film and based on Deborah Moggach’s book of the same name. Directed by Justin Chadwick, the film stars Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Christoph Waltz, Holliday Grainger, and Judi Dench.   In 17th Century Amsterdam, an orphaned girl Sophia (Alicia Vikander) is forcibly married to a rich and powerful merchant Cornelis Sandvoort (Christoph Waltz) –… Read on

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Book Review: The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

The Illumination of Ursula Flight is a largely lighthearted coming-of-age historical novel set in 1670s/1680s England and centres on the life (from birth to adulthood) of Ursula Flight. The book begins with a style often used by novels of the 17th century and made me immediately think of Daniel Defoe’s works. This tale is told in the first person… Read on

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Book Review: “The Real Guy Fawkes” by Nick Holland

After having read Antonia Fraser’s great book on the Gunpowder Plot, I wanted to read a biography of Guy Fawkes. Unfortunately, I waded through several of those cheap and inaccurate (and, therefore, largely ultimately worthless) Kindle biographies of Guy Fawkes, and was left rather annoyed. Happily, I came across Nick Holland’s book on NetGalley, which I only recently… Read on

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