And if you love hops, you can thank St. Hildegard of Bingen, who documented their first use as an additive. Although Hildegard wasn’t a fan – declaring hops weigh down your innards and make you sad – they prevailed in the end.
Reims cathedral as we know it today (and French people) can thank Clovis I for its inception. Also known as Chlodovech, Clovis is the guy responsible for uniting the Frankish tribes of yesteryear and founding the Merovingian Dynasty and, by extension, France.
One such character is Judith, a virtuous and dutiful Northumbrian princess. She weds Aethelwulf, son of King Ecbert and prince of Wessex, in an arranged marriage. While there isn’t smoldering chemistry between the two, they seem more or less accepting of the arrangement. Until Athelstan enters the picture.
Just like now, drinking alcohol was a favorite pastime of many a medieval person, but especially so during the Christmas period. As a rule, the average citizen quaffed large quantities of weak ale instead of water. Despite this tolerance, people somehow still managed to get rowdy. So much so that it was commonplace for wealthy lords to employ watchmen to guard their estates against rioters. Outside of warmth and some bread, watchmen could expect to a reward of, you guessed it — a gallon of ale.
She had an inventory of quite a few possessions, including cutlery, bedding, cooking utensils, a pewter candlestick, and clothing. The lack of any furniture listed suggests she may have shared her home with someone else, possibly Helen Ford, a widow. Her autonomy is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stories about people being owned, rather than owning things themselves.
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.
Boudica and Dany both represent ruthless female leaders who rebelled against those who wronged them without mercy. They took no prisoners. It’s estimated that Boudica’s armies killed as many as 70,000–80,000 people.
Eventually, an angel came to him in a dream and urged him to return home. “You have fasted well,” it said, “very soon you will return to your native country.” Thankfully, this helpful spirit also let Saint Patrick in on the latest ship departures and he was soon in pursuit of one that would take him back home. He trekked over 200 miles of forests, bogs, and brambles until at last, he reached a port that may have been Wexford.