Mary of Modena

On October 5, 1658, in the pretty town of Modena in Italy, Mary Beatrice d’Este, future wife of James II and last Stuart Queen of England, was born. She was the daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena, and was therefore expected to marry into a European royal family. She was given a thorough education to prepare her for her future role and particularly excelled … Continue reading Mary of Modena

Coffee Buzz

On this day in 1676, the people of London were finally able to get their caffeine fix when the coffee houses in England were reopened not long after King Charles II inexplicably closed them all on December 29, 1675. Seventeenth century coffee houses weren’t exactly like your neighborhood Starbucks. As well as serving up steaming cups of Joe, they were centers of commerce and political discourse. … Continue reading Coffee Buzz