Elizabeth of York and her sisters: Five things to know about the Princesses of York

Elizabeth of York is mostly known for three things: the Princes in the Tower (her brothers); Henry VII (her husband) and Henry VIII (her son). But did you know she was one of seven sisters? As daughters of Edward IV, these seven sisters should have lived very different lives – as princesses they should have… Read More Elizabeth of York and her sisters: Five things to know about the Princesses of York

Writing Historical Fiction: The Pros of Writing About Real People

Wolf Hall. Regeneration. The Other Boleyn Girl. Some of my favourite historical fiction is based on the life of a real person, and I’m not alone in this. Stroll through the shelves of a library and bookshops and there’s countless books about the wives of Henry VIII, the families of the Wars of the Roses,… Read More Writing Historical Fiction: The Pros of Writing About Real People

A History of Sex Work: The “Common Prostitute”

As the “oldest profession in the world”, the history of sex work is long and complicated by society’s weird relationship with it. For centuries sex workers have occupied an odd space in society: reviled, segregated, treated as a necessary evil, pitied, seen in need of rescuing, seen as being vital parts to the economy…but not… Read More A History of Sex Work: The “Common Prostitute”

Nobles Go Dating: The Five Wives of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk

The paparazzi would have loved Charles Brandon. He had everything you’d want for some good, gossipy stories – he was handsome and charming, rose to the top of the Tudor court from near the bottom and he hung out with all the A-Listers (he is the only close friend and courtier of Henry VIII’s to… Read More Nobles Go Dating: The Five Wives of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk

The Fascinating Elizabethan Women You’ve Never Heard Of

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that there was more than one woman in Elizabethan England. The Queen dominates the show, with a few notable exceptions – Mary, Queen of Scots*, Bess of Hardwick, and er… well that’s it really. But there’s hundreds of Elizabethan women who are just as interesting, and today I’m going to… Read More The Fascinating Elizabethan Women You’ve Never Heard Of

Queer Female History: attitudes towards sex

Famously, Queen Victoria didn’t believe that lesbians existed. She’s not the only one to think that, despite evidence of queer female love and sex cropping up all through history. Same-sex desire, and attitudes towards it, have changed over the course of human history, but women’s sex lives have always occupied a slightly odder place than… Read More Queer Female History: attitudes towards sex