Queens Consort of England

Lisa Hilton wrote Queens Consort, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The medieval lives of England’s Queens are presented in a well researched book. As a bonus, it’s a darn good read as well. The book dispels any notions of powerless damsels in distress and reveals the female power-brokers behind the throne.

The Prince, The Princess, And The Perfect Murder

If you think that wanting to marry serial divorcee Wallis Simpson was the only blunder of King Edward VIII, then here is a book to make you think again. It is also a book for all conspiracy theorists, because this conspiracy is well enough documented to hold water. It was a conspiracy to keep the promiscuous and rather stupid Crown Prince of the United Kingdom David Prince of Wales out of a sordid murder trial. The price that had to be paid was the freedom of a murderess and princess. The Prince, The Princess, And The Perfect Murder by Andrew Rose is published by Coronet.

When New Year Falls on January 13th

In parts of Eastern Switzerland, the New Year is still celebrated on the 13th of January. New Year’s Eve, i.e. the 12th, is a festival day for everybody and schools and shops are closed. On this day, the Claus is on the loose going from house to house to bring good luck.

Johann Sebastian Bach Plagiarized

Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio lay in musical archives for over 100 years. They were rediscovered around 1850. And music historians were amazed and dismayed: Bach had composed and used important parts of it before and plagiarized earlier compositions into the work. The originals, however, had very different texts, and these were not at all for Christmas or any liturgical use. 

Christmas Trees Through History

Christians love to put up a Christmas tree before the 25th of December. Many think of it as traditional. Depending on how narrow minded one is, the tradition is either not very old, or rather older than one imagines. The Christmas tree has a history. It was promoted, demoted, forbidden and it developed to its modern form through many stages. Some of its Christian symbolism has even been completely lost.