Medieval Books of Hours were far more than devotional aids; as beautiful, cherished objects they were a way for their creators and owners to experiment with miniature art and ideas, often carrying hidden messages. And, being made for private use, they had a special significance for women, the bestselling author Elizabeth Buchan explains. Two miniature […]
Historian Sharon Bennett Connolly writes about the women whose lives influenced Magna Carta, or who used Magna Carta to defend their rights; the inspiration for her latest book, Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England. When writing my first book, Heroines of the Medieval World, two women in particular stood out […]
Annie Whitehead, historian and novelist, writes about the women who had power and influence in Anglo-Saxon England. Pre-Conquest women are rarely written about, so for my new book, Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England, I decided to track them down and tell their stories. The original plan was to categorise them – queens, abbesses, witches, […]
Many Anglo-Saxon kings are familiar. Æthelred the Unready is one, yet less is written of his wife, who was consort of two kings and championed one of her sons over the others, or his mother, who was an anointed queen and powerful regent, but was also accused of witchcraft and regicide. A royal abbess educated […]
Some of the most prestigious fabrics of the 13th and 14th centuries were produced by women, in secular workshops as well as in religious orders throughout England. Carol McGrath writes about the luxurious garments that gave her the background for one of the characters in her latest novel, The Silken Rose. English embroidery was once […]
Anne O’Brien’s novels imagine the lives of medieval women, almost silent in the records of their times, but important pieces in the games of diplomacy, dynasty and war. She tells Historia about the royal women who married for duty – and those who defied their families to enter a risky love match. Women from royal […]
EC (Elizabeth) Fremantle writes about five infamous female poisoners from the past in Historia magazine.
Familiar things, like household accounts, can be the only traces that can lead us to the everyday lives of women in previous centuries. For author Stacey Halls, domestic records painted a detailed picture of 17th century life. In 1660, a pregnant woman named Alice Thornton had a dream in which the white sheet she slept […]