A Right Royal Divorce

On March 21, 1152, four archbishops, acting with the pope’s approval, annuled the marriage between King Louis VII and Eleanor of Acquitaine, thus clearing the way for Eleanor to become one of England’s most notable queens. Louis and Eleanor married in 1137 and had two daughters together, neither of whom could inherit the French throne, due to Salic Law. Louis was desperate for a son … Continue reading A Right Royal Divorce


Happy birthday, Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac! Bet you didn’t know he was a real person, did you? I sure didn’t. But he was, and he was born on March 6, 1619. The real Cyrano de Bergerac was a poet, soldier, and dramatist. His romance with Charles Coypeau d’Assoucy, a  fellow writer, went sour in 1653 and resulted in a war of words between the … Continue reading Cyrano

Elba’d Out

On February 26, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the island of Elba, where he’d been kept prisoner since the War of the Sixth Coalition ended in April 1814. Now, many people would be happy to spend their days in a villa on a picturesque Mediterranean island, but not the former French Emperor (despite the fact that his imprisonment was incredibly cushy—he was able to retain … Continue reading Elba’d Out