The Two Deaths of Edward II

The information used here comes from this post by Dr Ian Mortimer on Edward's death. It's worth noting that I'm not totally convinced by the argument, and that the debate over Edward II's death is still unsettled, with Edward II scholars coming to vastly different conclusions on the same evidence. But the argument is one… Continue reading The Two Deaths of Edward II


The Parliament of September 1313

I've always enjoyed those 'what was happening on this day xxx years ago?' kinds of posts. I think they give us some insight, because it helps us to imagine those events happening in real time. So I'm talking about Edward II's parliament of September 1313 - 707 years ago exactly, down to the month. (source:… Continue reading The Parliament of September 1313


The Bread Law That Lasted 800 Years

Imagine for a moment you're a common Medieval peasant. You need to eat, just like we do. But you most likely don't have an oven. After all, ovens are these great, hulking metal things - they're large, expensive, and hard to use. If you're cooking at home, you're cooking in a pot over the fire.… Continue reading The Bread Law That Lasted 800 Years


What Medieval Peasants Ate (With Recipes)

We often think of Medieval peasants as living utterly terrible lives - and for the most part, they did. From what we know if their diets, however, they probably didn't eat as badly as we tend to think. When peasants are shown in modern media, they're often shown living off of a really meagre diet… Continue reading What Medieval Peasants Ate (With Recipes)


Edward II And The Necromancer Who Tried To Kill Him

When I was at uni, I spent an awful lot of time digging through dusty old books. Our uni library was perfect for someone like me: the history section had loads of history journals and Victorian reprints of medieval documents, and the law section had a whole row dedicated to the records of the Court… Continue reading Edward II And The Necromancer Who Tried To Kill Him

History, Personal and Other

Make Yourself a Coat of Arms

I've been trying to make a personal coat of arms (or achievement, as it's properly known) for a long time now. First thing's first: in the UK and many other countries, you can't just go ahead and design your own coat of arms. To officially acquire one, you have to have one presented to you… Continue reading Make Yourself a Coat of Arms


Why Aren’t Eggs Called Ayrenn?

In 1476, the first book printed by a machine appeared in England. It was a copy of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and it was printed by William Caxton, who brought the printing press to England from the continent. At the time, English varied dramatically across the British Isles. Even between different English regions, dialects… Continue reading Why Aren’t Eggs Called Ayrenn?

Book Reviews, History

Review: House of Treason by Robert Hutchinson

I bought House of Treason in a small bookshop in North Wales. I was drawn to it by the gorgeous cover, which was designed by David Wardle - who has since designed many beautiful covers for both fiction and non-fiction books. (I was also tempted by the reduced price sticker.) What a pretty cover! It… Continue reading Review: House of Treason by Robert Hutchinson


How Did Medieval Civilians Become Soldiers?

Though it's not as true today, we've traditionally looked to Medieval Europe to inspire our fantasy settings. And our fantasy settings tend to include a lot of war - because otherwise they wouldn't be very interesting, would they? However, we don't put much thought into how war and armies worked in Medieval Europe. So I'm… Continue reading How Did Medieval Civilians Become Soldiers?


What Did The Anglo-Saxons Think Of The Romans?

The past's not new. For as long as people have been around, they've been thinking about the people who came before them. I find this very interesting. It's not something we really talk about often. I think it's a bit too meta for everyday contemplation. We like to wonder what life was like in the… Continue reading What Did The Anglo-Saxons Think Of The Romans?