Mercurius Istoria

Here Ye! Here Ye! A new broadsheet is born! Hot off the presses. The 17th century saw an explosion of printing and in particular the publication of newspapers, the most popular being Mercuius Politicus. In that tradition, I have started my own broadsheet. Mercurius Istoria is a monthly newsletter offering the subscriber a brief flavour of my news, interesting historical links and images. Subscribe now and receive Mercurius Istoria by email. You don’t even need to find an urchin on a street corner hawking a copy. Delivered straight to your inbox. The December edition is now available. Click here to view.    …

The Winter King, The Queen of Hearts, and the Thirty Years War

I have the pleasure of welcoming historical fiction author, Laura Libricz, whose novels take place in 17th century Germany. On June 10th, she is re-releasing The Master and the Maid, the first novel of her Heaven’s Pond trilogy. Today, Laura introduces us to the Thirty Years War, that took place in the beginning of the 17th century in Central Europe. The events of the Thirty Years War had a profound effect on European and English History; many of the later English Civil War leaders received their training during this time. But in the beginning, there was the Winter King and the Queen…

The Fifth Monarchists

Given the talk about government policies and reform that is currently gripping the U.S, I thought it timely to repost an article about England’s Parliamentary struggles following the English Civil War. The following article was originally written for the English Historical Fiction Authors blog and published January 2015. If you enjoy English history and haven’t visited the blog, check out the EHFA site here. It was not all daffodils and roses for the new Commonwealth following the English Civil War. The tide that had carried Parliament to victory, surging them forward with the promise of a new society, became stagnant. Though…

In honour of the Bard

Wilt thou be gone? It is not yet near day. It was the nightingale, and not the lark, That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; Nightly she sings on bond pomegranate tree, Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.  I love these words from Romeo and Juliet. They’re haunting in their longing–to hold onto a cherished moment for as long as possible, even if it means holding back the dawn. And they’re timeless, not just because they were penned over 400 years go, but because they tap into a primal force–to love and be loved. I’ve always been a…

When Puritans made sex illegal

On 10 May 1651, Parliament passed “An Act for suppressing the detestable sins of Incest, Adultery and Fornication” which made such acts (forgive the pun) a felony. They made sex outside marriage illegal. “For the suppressing of the abominable and crying sins of Incest, Adultery and Fornication, wherewith this Land is much defiled, and Almighty God highly displeased” * But the government did show a little mercy. While the Act was enacted on 10 May, it was to be in effect on 20 June 1651. That was at least thoughtful of the lawmakers to give people fair warning. I can only imagine what was happening…