Monmouth’s Rebellion

On July 15, 1685, Monmouth’s Rebellion ended when James Scott, Duke of Monmouth and illegitimate son of Charles II, was executed in London for attempting to depose his uncle, James II, and seize the throne for himself. Monmouth was Charles’s eldest child and was born in Rotterdam in April 1649 while Charles was exiled during the Protectorate. He was handed over to William Crofts, 1st … Continue reading Monmouth’s Rebellion

New Worlds: All’s Well That Ends Well (for Beth)

New WorldsPreviously on New Worlds: Beth was adopted into a Native tribe that was living on land Ned’s dad and Hope’s husband, Cresswell, wanted to settle. Cresswell got Beth’s boyfriend/husband to sign over the land and then wiped out his tribe with some poxed blankets, leaving Beth pregnant and out for revenge. She got it, delivering an arrow straight to Cresswell’s throat right in front of an astonished Ned.

Hope is wakened in the dead of night by someone hammering on the door. She wakes and opens it to find Ned, with Beth, asking for help and announcing Cresswell’s death all at once.

Continue reading “New Worlds: All’s Well That Ends Well (for Beth)”

New Worlds: Going Native

New WorldsPreviously on New Worlds: Beth decided it would be totes romantic to play at being an outlaw with her boyfriend. It was all fun and games until he tried to kill the king, bringing the wrath of the crown down on Angelica’s head. Angelica was executed and Beth sent to the colonies as a slave.

We begin with a violent storm at sea, which resolves in Beth being shipwrecked and washed up on the shores of Massachusetts. Conveniently, she appears to be the only survivor. She comes to on the beach and then just stands around, probably waiting for Abe or someone to appear and give her some direction. Eventually, however, it’s a Native man who shows up, walking towards her along the beach. She turns and flees to some higher, wooded ground nearby and evidently teleports up there, because we saw that the man wasn’t that far from her on the beach, and yet in her undoubtedly weakened state she’s able to get away from him and get to the top of a cliff without him managing to close the distance between them at all. And then not two seconds after she looks down at him walking along the beach, he appears right behind her on top of the cliff. Either this is a different guy, or this cliff is magical and these people can now apparate.

Continue reading “New Worlds: Going Native”

New Worlds: Love and Death

New-WorldsPreviously on New Worlds: In the colonies, Hope and Ned tried to help a regicide escape, unsuccessfully, so now Ned’s off to the old country to warn Angelica Fernshawe that she’s in danger. In England, Angelica’s idiot teen daughter fell for the outlaw who kidnapped her and opened her eyes to the fact that not everyone lives in a giant house, entertaining the king’s illegitimate offspring. Amazing!

Will Blood conducts Beth home, where she reassures her incredibly relieved parents that she’s not hurt in any way. After her ordeal, she gets a bath while her mother sits nearby, eyeing the Sexby letter. Beth accusingly asks if her mother ever would have mentioned this guy and Angelica sighs that this is all in the past, and her husband, John, has been a good father.

Continue reading “New Worlds: Love and Death”

New Worlds: What the Hell?

new-worldsApparently this is a sequel to The Devil’s Whore, which I have to admit I haven’t seen much of. I started to watch it once, and for some reason never even got through the first episode. But after having watched this show, I’m starting to understand why the previous programme failed to hold my attention.

We start off in 1680, with some background text that tells us that Charles II has been restored to the throne and is ruthlessly hunting down the people who killed his father. Which you can’t really blame him for, right? One of the remaining regicides is in Massachusetts, so that’s apparently his next target. Seems like an awful lot of effort to go to to track down one guy when he has a lot to deal with back in England, but ok.

Continue reading “New Worlds: What the Hell?”

Pretty, Witty Nell

If she were alive today, Nell Gwyn, one of the coolest royal mistresses ever, would be turning 363 years old. Happy birthday, Nell! Nell rose from almost complete obscurity to become a major symbol of the Restoration period, and one of the first actresses to take to the English stage (before her time, women’s roles were played by men). She was probably born in London … Continue reading Pretty, Witty Nell

The London Gazette

On 7 November 1665 The London Gazette, the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, started life as The Oxford Gazette. Why the name change? When the Gazette was first published, the royal court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London. After the plague dissipated, king and court moved back, along with the Gazette, which … Continue reading The London Gazette

Paradise Lost

Here’s someone who seriously needed a good agent: On April 27, 1667 impoverished writer John Milton sold the copyright for one of the most famous works in all of English literature, Paradise Lost, for £10 (though, to be fair, that was worth quite a bit more back then than it is now—about £15,000). Milton lived in a turbulent time—he was born just at the start … Continue reading Paradise Lost

Penn’s Woods

In honor of my former home state, I had to write this one up: On March 4, 1681, King Charles II granted William Penn a charter for a tract of land in the New World that would eventually become Pennsylvania. The charter, which was issued to satisfy a debt Charles owed Penn’s Father, included land that is now Pennsylvania and Delaware. Penn set out for … Continue reading Penn’s Woods

Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances

It’s Valentine’s Day, and whether you have plans or expect to stay in, it’s a great opportunity to kick back, pop open some bubbly and a box of chocolates, and indulge in a few good old-fashioned romances. Everyone loves a good love story, and if it comes with tiaras, so much the better, so it’s no wonder royal romances have shown up onscreen in dozens … Continue reading Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances