Mary Boleyn: A Short Biography

Mary Boleyn’s life is retold—somewhat inaccurately—in both the novel and the movie, The Other Boleyn Girl. She had numerous affairs including two kings. Not much is known about Mary’s early life. She was born c 1499 at Hever Castle, Kent—the home of Sir Thomas Boleyn and Lady Elizabeth Howard. She was the eldest of three…

The Borgias: History’s Infamous Family

The Borgias were the most infamous family of the Renaissance best remembered for their climb to power, murder and corruption within the Papacy. Calixtus III The first was Lord Alfonso de Borja who was born in 1378. He was Alfonso V of Aragon's private secretary, remained in royal service for forty-two years, before he was…

The Diamond Necklace Affair

Marie Antoinette was innocent but her reputation was destroyed when she was implicated in a scandal leading to France's disillusionment with the monarchy. Court jewellers, Charles Böhmer and Paul Bassange, were commissioned by Louis XV in 1772 to create the most opulent diamond necklace as a special gift for his mistress, Madame du Barry. It…

The Overbury Murder: Lust, adultery, corruption and witchcraft at James I’s Court

Sir Thomas Overbury's murder caused a major scandal during James I's reign. It damaged the monarchy and James' court was condemned as evil and corrupt. Robert Carr became the King’s favourite after he broke his leg in a jousting tournament on 24 March 1607. James fancied young handsome men. He rose rapidly—knighted later that year…

Why Felix Youssoupov Killed Rasputin: Motives For Murder of Russian Holy Man

Prince Felix Yusupov believed it was his patriotic duty to kill Grigori Rasputin, the malevolent ‘holy man’, and deliver Russia from her most dangerous internal enemy. Two Montenegrin princesses, Militsa and Anastasia, who married into the imperial family, introduced Grigori Rasputin to the Tsarina in 1905, as they believed he could heal the Tsarevich Alexei. Alexei…