Viking Invasion
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Last Kingdom: Notable Figures In Real Life Pt. 2

When author Bernard Cornwell discovered that among his distant ancestors was an ealdorman named Uhtred who held Bebbanburg, he decided he wanted to weave that into his story. The Uhtred who lived held court in the early 10th century, over 100 years after The Last Kingdom’s events, and nothing much is known about him. Our fictional hero’s remarkable upbringing and adventures are just that — fiction. But we like to think the real Uhtred had his fair share of escapades, too.

vikings vs saxons
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Last Kingdom: Notable Figures in Real Life Pt. 1

The Netflix series The Last Kingdom is often compared to Game of Thrones, and for good reason — both are inspired by real British history. But while GoT took the War of the Roses as a loose template for the War of the Five Kings and threw ice zombies, dragons, and dire wolves at it, The Last Kingdom traces fascinating true events by focusing on legendary figures who really lived, weaving a bit of believable mysticism in along the way.

Margaret-Beaufort-Mother-of-the-Tudors
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Spanish Princess: Catherine of Aragon Vs. Margaret Beaufort

Things start heading downhill from the moment Catherine arrives on English shores. After a long, arduous, peril-laden journey, Catherine is ill-tempered and exhausted. She wants nothing more than to retire and have a bath. Margaret, who is among the welcoming party, has her own ideas for what Catherine should do. It doesn’t take long for the haughty young Spanish princess to make a poor impression on the great Tudor lady.

Europe

The Legends of Samhain: Part One

To begin, it’s helpful to have some background on Samhain. In Celtic Ireland, around 2,000 years ago, Samhain represented the division between the lighter half of the year that was summer and the darker half that was winter. During the interim, ancient people believed that the line between the spirit world and the mortal one became so thin that the dead could pass through it and walk the earth once more.

Europe Little Big Things

Forks: An Ancient Faux Pas

“Nor did she deign to touch her food with her fingers, but would command her eunuchs to cut it up into small pieces, which she would impale on a certain golden instrument with two prongs and thus carry to her mouth. . . . this woman’s vanity was hateful to Almighty God; and so, unmistakably, did He take his revenge. For He raised over her the sword of His divine justice, so that her whole body did putrefy and all her limbs began to wither.”