Clare Bentley

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Sisters of mercy: the Biddenden Maids

Every Easter Monday, a Kent village celebrates the story of the Biddenden Maids, medieval sisters who were reputedly joined at the hip and shoulder. …

Eleanor of Aquitaine's Children and Grandchildren

Grandmother of Europe's Family Tree<p>Eleanor of Aquitaine has been called the “grandmother of Europe” for the connections of her children and …

Medieval Graveyards Unearth London’s Violent Past

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes once described life as "nasty, brutish and short," and as Joshua Rapp Learn reports for <i>New Scientist</i>, a recent …

Unlock The Library - History Extra

The official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC World Histories Magazine

BBC

Women and Power in the Middle Ages: Political Aspects of Medieval Queenship

<b>Women and Power in the Middle Ages: Political Aspects of Medieval Queenship</b><p>By Raphaela Averkorn<p><i>Political Systems and Definitions of Gender Roles</i>, …

6 Magna Carta myths explained

Dr Ariel Hessayon explores six common myths associated with Magna Carta, and reveals how our shared perception of it owes more to events in the 17th …

Magna Carta

The real King Arthur and his Lancelot: Henry the Young King and William Marshal

Thomas Asbridge, author of a new biography of the famed knight William Marshal, explores a remarkable medieval friendship that echoed England's …

World History

Chaucer's Post-Truth World

If you believe the neologism 'post-truth' describes a new phenomenon, think again. Geoffrey Chaucer diagnosed the problem at the end of the 14th …

Literature

Chivalry and the Birth of Celebrity

Medieval knights were the sporting superstars and military heroes of their day, who performed before an adoring public in the tournament. Nigel Saul …

Medieval

Living through the Crusades: 3 poems and songs that reveal how medieval people felt about the holy war

In 1095, Christian knights mounted a religious war against Muslims in Jerusalem in an attempt to reclaim the Holy Land. Known collectively as the …

Holy Sepulchre

The Strange Death of Richard the Lionhearted

<i>By Nancy Bilyeau</i><p>In April 1199, the French King, Philip II, thanked God for the providential death of his great rival: Richard I. Ever since the …

The Greatest Knight

William Marshal, warrior and tutor-in-arms to the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, promised his dying charge that he would complete the …

World History

Through Trial and Error: Learning and Adaptation in the English Tactical System from Bannockburn to Poitiers

<b>Through Trial and Error: Learning and Adaptation in the English Tactical System from Bannockburn to Poitiers</b><p>By Gary E. Sanders<p>Master’s Thesis, West …

Henry V and the Siege of Rouen

The siege of Rouen in 1418 was a brutal episode of medieval warfare, made worse by the fact that the city’s elderly and infirm were abandoned to a no …

History

The Origins of English Parliament

The 750th anniversary of English Parliament is celebrated today. Why was it so significant?<p>English Parliament is said to find its foundation 750 …

United Kingdom

Advice Concerning Pregnancy and Health in Late Medieval Europe: Peasant Women’s Wisdom in The Distaff Gospels

<b>Advice Concerning Pregnancy and Health in Late Medieval Europe: Peasant Women’s Wisdom in The Distaff Gospels</b><p>By Kathleen Garay and Madeleine</i> …

Beliefs about Human Sexual Function in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

Female genitourinary system with pregnant uterus as shown in the <i>Hebammenbuch</i> of Jacob Rueff, 1583.<p><b>Beliefs about Human Sexual Function in the Middle</b> …

Death of King Stephen

The grandson of William the Conqueror died on October 25th, 1154.<p>Historians have not given King Stephen a good press. As his biographer David Crouch …

Westminster Abbey

The Battle of Agincourt, October 25, 1415

A.H. Burne analyses the key factors that led to what would be a major victory in the Hundred Years' War.<p>The rival armies went to rest, but few to …

World History

Henry VI: A Misjudged King?

Few English monarchs have such a poor reputation as Henry VI. Yet he was held in high regard by the Tudors, says Michael Hicks, despite losing the …

Charisma

The Book of Becket

The true nature of the relationship between Henry II and his ‘turbulent priest’ Thomas Becket.<p>To read this article in full you need to be either a …

Books

Medieval Christmas

Medieval man fused existing elements of pagan midwinter rites with the developing theology of Christmas in an appeal to the senses of both sacred and …

Medieval

The Cult of St Edward the Confessor

The last truly Anglo-Saxon King was remembered with such affection he became a sainted embodiment of a pacific and idealistic form of kingship under …

Westminster Abbey

Criminal Behaviour by Pilgrims in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

<b>Criminal Behaviour by Pilgrims in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period</b><p>Zoran Ladić<p><i>At the Edge of the Law: Socially Unacceptable and Illegal</i> …

Coming of Age and the Family In Medieval England

<b>Coming of Age and the Family In Medieval England</b><p>By B. Gregory Bailey, Meaghan E. Bernard, Gregory Carrier, Cherise L. Elliott, John Langdon, Natalie …

Have eye or ear problems in the Middle Ages? Mother's milk was often the cure

Medieval medicine is often known for its interesting cures to the various ailments. Plants, animal parts, and even stones were used to treat …

A History of Tonsillectomy: Two Millenia of Trauma, Hemorrhage and Controversy

Dissection of the mouth from 1537<p><b>A History of Tonsillectomy: Two Millenia of Trauma, Hemorrhage and Controversy</b><p>By Ronald Alastair McNeill<p>Ulster …