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Died on this day in 1509 aged 66 Lady Margaret Beaufort (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Henry VII; Margaret had Henry when she only 13 years old and never had another child although she was married twice more, she was an influential figure in her son's fight for the throne and after he became King.

Born on this day in 1482 to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, Maria of Aragon (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Catherine who married Henry VIII, Maria married the King of Portugal after the death of her sister Isabella who had previously been married to him (apparently marriages to the widow/er of one's deceased siblings was more common than I thought...)
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27th June

Died on this day in 1195 aged 63 King Sancho VI of Navarre (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Berengaria, who married Richard I. Sancho married Sancha the daughter of the King of Castile, presumably to seal some peace deal or other. Wikipedia has "responsible for bringing his Kingdom into the Political orbit of Europe", I'm not sure what that means.

Born on this day in 1731 to Prince Frederick of Stolberg-Gedern and Louise of Nassau-Saarbrucken, Princess Caroline of Stolberg-Geden (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Adelaide who married William IV. Caroline married her first cousin Christian.


28th June
Died on this day in 1757 aged 70 Sophia of Hanover (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of George I. Sophia got on very badly with her brother George II and with he husband (and cousin) Kind Frederick I of Prussia, but much better with her children including Frederick II "the great" of Prussia.

Born on this day in 1491 to King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, King Henry VIII of England (my toy,wikipedia). Mostly famous for getting bored of his wives... and for reforming the church in England so he could a)get an annulment and b)take all the church's money.
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Died on this day in 1830 aged 67 King George IV of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). George IV was Regent for his father before he was King. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, and his hatred of his wife (who he had been forced to marry); he wasn't very involved in actually running the country. He had one daughter, who died in childbirth and so was succeeded by his brother William.

Born on this day in 1398 to King Ferdinand I of Aragon and Eleanor of Alburquerque, King John II of Aragon (my toy,wikipedia. Grandfather of Catherine of Aragon (first wife of Henry VIII). Wikipedia says he was very memorable... but not really *why*.
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Died on this day in 1752 aged 44 Charles Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Duke of Mecklenburg (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Charlotte who married George III, and 9 other children. Mecklenburg-Strelitz was in Northern Germany.

Born on this day in 1328 to William Montagu and Catherine Grandison, William Montacute , 2nd Earl of Salisbury (my toy,wikipedia). Married Joan of Kent (mother of Richard II). However at the time she had already married (secretly) Thomas Holland, so William's marriage to her was annulled.
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Half way through the year, a reading retrospective. (I started in February though)

James S A Corey : Nemesis Games
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : Exotic England
Most of Buffy season 9
Naomi Novik: Uprooted
Thomas Olde Heuvelt: The Day the World Turned Upside Down (novella, translated)
Mira Grant: Rolling in the Deep (novella)
Altered Perceptions (collected essays)
The how not to die book. (non fiction)
Cixin Liu:Three Body Problem (translated)
Addison, Katherine: Goblin Emperor
Okorafor,Nnedi : Lagoon
Jo Walton: What makes this book so great. (essays)
Kameron Hurley: The Seams Between the Stars. (short story)
Terry Pratchett :Mrs Bradshaws' Handbook to the Ankh Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway. (pretending to be non fiction)
Wilson, G Willow: Alif the Unseen
Lyndsey,Anna: Girl in the Dark (autobiographical)
Kameron Hurley:Rapture
Genevive Griffin:Dance Til Dawn (short).
Walton, Jo: The Just City
Sardar, Ziauddin : Mecca: The Sacred City (non fiction)
Walton, Jo :Small Change Trilogy (3 books)
Greta Christina:Bending (erotica)
Mary Roach : Gulp (nonfiction)

That's 25 things; some short, some long. Of which I make 2 (things, 4 authors) written entirely by white men writing in English (which is of minor interest to me).

So far I think Uprooted is my favorite. And I'm probably going to put 3 body problem first for the Hugo.
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Read: I finished the Corey whilst away in the 16th century. This one turned out to have less gross in it and more politics. Which is fine, I like both. I do like this series, and if you like unfinished series and SF/noir-detective/horror genre-bending ... things... then I think you might too, but start at the start. This one ends in rather a cliff hanger, which possibly means that if you start now you'll have ages sitting on the edge of your seat (I keep saying "no more starting unfinished serieses, but haha no)

Reading: Long Utopia. Pratchett and Baxter. Not far into it yet, seems more-of-the-same. The series begins with the Long Earth, probably start there. It's interesting, although it isn't funny. Also Pratchett is now regrettably dead so I don't know if there will be more or not (I haven't got to the end to find out if it is an actual *end* yet)

Next: Probably Station 11. I hear good things.
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Died on this day in 1291 aged 68 Eleanor of Provence (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Henry III, whom she had never met before the wedding. She was unpopular in England, largely because of her and her family's influence with the King, she was at one point attacked in London and retaliated with heavy taxation... which no doubt made her even less popular.

Born on this day in 1314 to William I, Count of Hainaut and Joan of Valois, Philippa of Hainault (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Edward III, who she married by proxy before meeting... together they had 14 children, and somewhere she found time to sometimes be regent for Edward whilst he was away.
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Died on this day in 1938 aged 75 Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of the current Queen.

Born on this day in 1894 to King George V of the the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck, King Edward VIII of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Abdicated the throne to marry the divorced Wallis Simpson. Edward was a Nazi sympathiser, so it's probably for the best that he quit being King. For a while he was the governor of the Bahamas, which he seems to have hated.
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Died on this day in 1476 aged 48 Catherine of Brittany (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Joan, who married Henry IV (not Catherine's grandfather), daughter of the Duke of Orleans, she married the Prince of Orange.

Born on this day in 1000 to Richard Normandy II, Duke of Normandy and Judith of Brittany, Robert Normandy I, Duke of Normandy (my toy,wikipedia). Father of William I. He became Duke of Normandy after the death of his older brother, which he possibly caused. He proceeded to get the whole of Normandy excommunicated after throwing the Archbishop of Rouen out... he later reconciled with the church, and died whilst returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, leaving the 8 year old William to be Duke.
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A different sort of history waffle.

Have just returned from Kentwell where I have been living (mostly) in the 16th certury for the last week. Much fun was had. But I'm enjoying sitting on chairs with proper backs... Sadly we were much reduced, since the Tudors are no longer a core part of the National Curriculum for primary schools, and only had 1 week rather than the usual 3.

Have I missed anything frightfully interesting?

If you are ever in Long Melford the Melford Valley Tandoori is very excellent.
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Died on this day in 1837 aged 71 King William IV of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). 3rd son of George III, he succeeded his brother George IV as King. As William had no legitimate children who survived him he was succeeded by his niece Victoria, daughter of his younger brother, but by his younger-still brother in Hanover (because Salic law). He lived for many years with Mrs Jordan, an actress, but later married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen as he had run out of money and needed an advantageous match the marriage seems to have been happy for all that it was arranged, but they had no children who lived long (oh, and she sorted out his over-spending habits).

Born on this day in 1389 to King Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun, John Lancaster , 1st Duke of Bedford (my toy,wikipedia). John was regent in France for his young nephew Henry VI. He continued the fighting of the 100 years war, and had Joan of Arc executed. His second wife was Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother of Elizabeth Woodville (by her second husband) (Elizabeth was Edward IV's wife, note the switching of sides from Lancastrian to Yorkist).
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June 19th

Died on this day in 1500 aged 1 Edmund Tudor , Duke of Somerset (my toy,wikipedia). Younger brother of Henry VIII, died at 15 months.

Born on this day in 1566 to Henry Stuart,Lord Darnley and Mary Queen of Scots, King James VI of Scotland & I of England (my toy,wikipedia). During James' reign Scotland and England were separate countries, run separately. It was not until the Act of Union under Anne that they were joined together. James was brought up Protestant, and saw little of his (Catholic) mother who was imprisoned in Scotland before escaping to England where she was imprisoned and then executed. In Scotland under James many women were executed for witchcraft, and the Highlanders were persecuted. In England he faced a number of rebellions, including the attempt to blow up parliament which we now commemorate by setting fire to stuff on the 11th of November.
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@June 18 16:00

Died on this day in 1926 aged 74 Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Grandmother of Prince Philip. Olga was born in Russia and married the King
of Greece.

Born on this day in 1269 to King Edward I of England and Eleanor of
Castile, Eleanor of England (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Married the Count of Bar, and wikipedia has little else.
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@June 17 16:00

Died on this day in 1025 aged 58 Boleslaw I Chroby of Poland (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Brother of Sigrid who married Sweyn Forkbeard. The first Polish ruler to be
crowned King of Poland.

Born on this day in 1239 to King Henry III of England and Eleanor of
Provence, King Edward I of England (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Edward restored the power of the monarchy following a lot of unrest under
his father. On the up side he reformed a lot of English law and made
parliament a permanant fixture. On the down side he threw the Jews out
after executing many of them. That's a pretty big downside.
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@June 16 16:00

Died on this day in 1815 aged 43 Frederick Brunswick-Bevern , Duke of
Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Cousin and brother-in-law of George IV. Frederick seems to have been a very
common German name.

Born on this day in 1332 to King Edward III of England and Philippa of
Hainault, Isabella de Coucy (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Unusually for such a highborn woman in the 14th century she remained
unmarried until she was 33, when she married a man who had been brought to
the English court as a hostage.
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@June 15 16:00

Died on this day in 960 St Eadburh of Winchester (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Daughter of Edward the Elder. She was a nun at Winchester, and after her
death a cult started, but it's not at all clear what she is meant to have
*done*. This is her feast day.

Born on this day in 1330 to King Edward III of England and Philippa of
Hainault, Edward the Black Prince (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Son and heir of Edward III, he died before his father and was never King.
Edward spent much of his life in Spain, and engaged in a lot of fighting
there, it may be dysentery caught on campaign that killed him
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14th

Died on this day in 1468 aged 64 Margaret Beauchamp (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Half sister of Anne, mother of Anne who married Richard III She was
involved in a nasty inheritance dispute, which flared up into actual
fighting during the wars of the Roses (any excuse, eh?)

Born on this day in 1388 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of
Bavaria, Anne (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Sister of Catherine who married Henry V. Died aged only 2.
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Oops. Yesterday. The delay send email thing seems not to have worked.

Died on this day in 1142 aged 32 Godfrey Reginar II, Count of Louvaine (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Brother of Adeliza who married Henry I. Does not seem to have done much of
note.

Born on this day in 1388 Thomas Montacute (my
toy
,wikipedia).
Grandfather of 'the Kingmaker' whose daughter Ann married Richard III. His
second wife was the grand-daughter of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet.
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Died on this day in 918 Aethelflaed (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Alfred the Great. Ruled Mercia as "Lady of the Mercians" after the death of her husband the Lord of the Mercians.

Born on this day in 1161 to Conan IV, Duke of Brittany and Margaret of Huntingdon, Constance (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter in law of Henry II. She inherited the Duchy of Brittany in her own right but was forced to marry Henry's son Geoffrey and abdicate in his favour, after he died she was in charge again. She was then made to marry again, although this husband didn't control the duchy, this marriage was annulled. She married a third time.
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Died on this day in 1560 aged 44 Mary of Guise (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Mary Queen of Scots; Mary of Guise married the Scottish King James V as her second husband. She was the daughter of the Duke of Guise, which is in France. Henry VIII didn't think much of the idea of a French noble marrying the King of Scotland, so had proposed marriage to her himself after the death of Jane Seymour, apparently she responded "I may be a big woman, but I have a very little neck." The King of France preferred the Scottish King. Mary at this point was 22 and had a son by her first (dead) husband, who she was forced to leave behind in France. James V died shortly after the birth of their daughter Mary, who was then to be sent to France whilst Scotland was controlled by regents, eventually Mary of Guise. After the death of Mary (Queen of England) Mary (Guise) wanted to push Mary (Queen of Scots) claim to the throne of England over Elizabeth's, which lead to Mary (Guise) attempting to make Scotland "more Catholic" which clearly lead to conflict with Protestants in Scotland, Mary (Guise) died in the midst of all this (possibly assassinated) and was buried in France. [what a lot of people called Mary; someone was saying to me how annoying it is when characters in books have *similar* names, real life is worse]

Born on this day in 1456 to Richard Neville , 16th Earl of Warwick and Anne Beauchamp , 16th Countess of Warwick, Anne Neville (my toy,wikipedia). The Richard Neville here is the Kingmaker. Anne married twice - to Edward (son of Henry VI) and to Richard III. Richard Neville had married her to Edward after he thought better of having installed Edward V as King and wanted to support Henry's faction; after they were defeated (and Edward killed). At this point Richard (later III) wanted to marry her, because she was very rich (she had no brothers) but his brother the Duke of Clarence (of Malmsey wine fame) who was married to her sister (Isabelle) didn't want that because if Anne died without children Isabelle (and thus Clarence) would get ALL THE MONEY. As it turned out Richard married her anyway (I have no idea if anyone asked *her* what she wanted...). She and Richard had one son, who did not live long, and she died before Richard (some people alleged killed *by* Richard to be rid of her, although other people allege that he was genuinely devastated by her death).
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Read:
Busy week!

I finished
*Exotic England, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. I like this, as a speedy summary of non-white people in England/under English control and the effects England had on them and that they had on England. Alibhai-Brown is mostly positive, although doesn't ignore the awful racism, and if the book has a point I guess it is mostly that English culture has a long history of reaching out and learning from others as well as of going out and stomping all over them and that the first part is good.

*What I have of Buffy season 9 (I read 2-4 recently, 1 previously)
I'm a bit "meh". But I have a dreadful I WANNA KNOW about it, which is daft, because clearly there is going to be an endless succession of Problems To Solve until Whedon (et. al) get bored

*Uprooted, Naomi Novik.
I like the dragons, so I picked up this.
OMG IT IS AMAZING. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I have no idea how to describe the "can not put it down" nature of it though, I don't know anything about writing technique. It's a fantasy novel more like a fairy-tale. It has people who do bad things because they have been corrupted by bad things, but it doesn't actually have any 'evil' people, which I rather like. Also I like that it has female magic-users who don't have their magic go away/wrong if they stop being virgins, at least one has children; which is rather an annoyance in a lot of this sort of story.
[caution - one scene of attempted rape; quite a lot of violence; contagious magical evil that makes people do bad things/changes their nature]

Reading:
Nemesis Games, James S. A. Corey (which is a pseudonym for two people writing together). Volume many of the Expanse. I like the series. Sort of noir-detective meets horr-ish SF (by which I mean the aliens are right out of a horror story, but the rest of the trapping are SF). At this point I'm mostly thinking "ah yes, more of the same", which is nice, I like that :) I wouldn't recommend starting the series here, the first is Leviathan Wakes, I like it and I don't like things that are mostly/entirely horror but also I'm not put off by being scared or reading about gross things (and if you are you probably won't like it). There is (already? going to be?) a TV show (which might make it to the UK at some point I guess) which I expect to have much more graphical disgusting things. I particularly like the just-casually-mentioned non heterosexual, monogamous relationships.

Next:
Probably Station 11. About which I hear Good Things.
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Died on this day in 1437 aged 67 Joan of Navarre (my toy,wikipedia). Second wife of Henry IV, and also his third cousin. She had 9 children with her first husband the Duke of Brittany, and was regent for her eldest son (the next Duke) after his death; she had no children with Henry, but seems to have been on good terms with her step-children during the marriage. However after Henry's death she was accused of trying to kill Henry V (her step-son) through Witchcraft and was imprisoned for 4 years, after which she lived quietly away from court.

Born on this day in 1688 to King James VII of Scotland & II of England and Maria of Modena, James Stuart (my toy,wikipedia). The Old Pretender. As son of James II James would have expected to one day be king. However William&Mary became King instead, after the Glorious Revolution. James spent the rest of his life in exile, attempts were made to regain the thrown for him and for his son Charles, but they all failed.
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Died on this day in 1572 aged 44 Queen Jeanne of Navarre (my toy,wikipedia)
Grandmother of Henrietta who married Charles I. She was forced to marry the brother of Anne of Cleves, which she was not at all happy about, and the marriage was annulled on the grounds on non-consumation 4 years later. She later married Antoine de Bourbon and was the mother of the first Bourbon King of France, Antoine was a philanderer but she seems to have been less unhappy in this marriage. She was by inclination a religious reformer, and had the New Testament translated into Basque. She was forced to be Catholic when the Wars of Religion broke out, but later backed the Protestant side, and was a key figure in peace discussions.

Born on this day in 1804 to Friedrich von Hanstein and Anna von Hanstein, Alexander Hanstein , Count of Polzig and Beiresdorf (my toy,wikipedia). Step-father of Prince Albert; Albert's mother had left his father and married Alexander in secret, but this lead to her being denied contact with her children. Prince Albert was later persuaded to give his step-father a pension.
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Died on this day in 1042 aged 24 King Harthacnut (my toy,wikipedia). Son of Cnut; after Cnut died Harold Harefoot took the throne, Harthacnut fought to get it back, but made Edward the Confessor in successor. I'm not sure I follow all this clearly.

Born on this day in 1236 to Violant of Hungary, Violant of Aragon (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Alfonso X of Castile, half brother of Eleanor who married Edward I. Daughter of the King of Aragon Violant became Queen Consort of Castile.
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Died on this day in 1337 aged 51 William I, Count of Hainaut (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Philippa, wife of Edward III. Also count of Holland and Zeeland, William married the sister of the King of France and another of his daughters married the Holy Roman Emperor. So he was doing rather well for himself diplomatically.

Born on this day in 1502 to King Manuel I of Portugal and Maria of Aragon, King John III of Portugal (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Maria who was the first of Philip II of Spain's 4 wives. John expanded Portugese power in India and invaded Brazil, under his rule Portugal also contacted China, the first Europeans to do so.
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Died on this day in 1217 aged 13 King Henry I of Castile (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Henry II. He became King of Castile after the death of his older brother. After his own death his sister became Queen and she soon abdicated in favour of her son.

Born on this day in 1872 to Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. She's the only person born on the 6th June so far, I was going to do her on 17th July, but she'll get ousted by Edward the Elder then. I keep a list of "dates on which more than one person died" (here, at the bottom: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/ucgi/~naath/birthday.py), some of them are co-incidences but most are battles. 17th July 1918 is currently "winning" as having the most people in the database die on it. Alexandra (she changed her name when she converted to Russian Orthodoxy), her husband Tsar Nicholas II, and all 5 of their children, along with several servants, were executed by a Bolshevik firing squad.
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Died on this day in 1249 aged 66 Hugh X of Lusignan (my toy,wikipedia). Married Isabella after the death of her first husband King John. Together they had 9 children and founded an abbey (not as a place to put all the children).

Born on this day in 1341 to King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault, Edmund of Langley Plantagenet , 1st Duke of York (my toy,wikipedia). Great-great grand-father of Edward IV; whose claim to the throne is not through Edmund (being the 4th son) but through his grandmother Anne great-granddaughter of Lionel, Edmund's older brother (or, alternatively through "having a better army")
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Died on this day in 1246 aged 58 Isabella of Angouleme (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of King John, who she married when she was only 12; after John's death she married Hugh X of Luisignan, who had been betrothed to her daughter but decided he like her better.

Born on this day in 1738 to Frederick Prince of Wales and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, King George III of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). Lost America, won against Napoleon, suffered from a mental illness that may have been porphyria which meant that his son George (late IV) was Regent for much of his reign.
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Died on this day in 1397 aged 68 William Montacute , 2nd Earl of Salisbury (my toy,wikipedia). Married to Joan of Kent (maybe) who later married (definitely) Edward the black prince. The confusion exists because Joan married Thomas Holland secretly, and was then forced to marry William by her family. The pope decided that she was married to Holland after all, and not Montacute, but she lived as his wife for a time.

Born on this day in 1865 to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark, King George V of the the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). George married his second cousin once removed twice over, who had previously been engaged to his (dead) older brother (I bet that was a barrel of laughs!). George was King during the 1st world war, when he changed his house-name from "Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" to "Windsor" as the country had a lot of anti-German feeling (must have been aqward) and after the war much less of Europe was ruled by his relatives.
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Read:
nothing, Wow I'm being slow

Reading:
Exotic England. Still.
Rouges. Still.
Lovelace&Babage. Still.
Buffy 9. Still.
EFAILTOREAD. Spent spare time asleep instead. zonk. stupid snot disease

Next:
well, I've got the new Novik and the latest Expanse book (James S. A. Corey; although that's a pseudonym); the crusades book; oh, and the bloody puppy shorts.
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Died on this day in 1438 aged 42 Richard Dreux-Montfort , Count of Etampes (my toy,wikipedia). Son of Joan who married Henry IV (by a different father). We don't know much about him, parents, wife, children, count of Etampes... boring.

Born on this day in 1510 to Charles Brandon , 1st Duke of Suffolk and Anne Browne, Mary Brandon (my toy,wikipedia). Brandon also married Mary Tudor, the sister of Henry VII but this Mary is the daughter of Anne. She was a lady-in-waiting to Jane Seymour, married a Stanley and had 6 children (Stanleys get *everywhere* although this is a bit of a Game of Thrones prejudice because the Stanleys are the Freys; sharing the theme of "being late to important battles so as to join on the winning side", I don't expect the Stanleys really get everywhere anymore than any one else.)
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Oops, forgot yesterday. Too asleep.


Died yesterday in 1495 aged 80 Cecily Neville (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Edward IV and Richard III. Cecily was descended from Edward III through John of Gaunt (by Katherine Swynford) whilst her husband was descended from Lionel of Antwerp and Edmund of Langley... which makes Edward IV and Richard III descended from three of Edward III's sons. Wow, such incest. She was the Aunt of 16th Earl of Warwick known as the Kingmaker.

Born yesterday in 1443 to John Beaufort , 1st Duke of Somerset and Margaret Beauchamp of Bletso, Lady Margaret Beaufort (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Henry VII. She was a great-grand-daughter of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford; whose children had been declared not eligible to succeed to the throne but hey, apparently an army really helps. She had Henry VII, her only child, when she was 13 (ouch!), and was a fierce advocate for his cause. She founded Christ's and John's college Cambridge.


Died on this day in 1146 aged 78 Ermengarde of Anjou (my toy,wikipedia). Half sister of Fulk of Jerusalem who was the grandfather of Henry II. She was Duchess regent for Brittany for her young son, and went Crusading to Jerusalem and may have returned there to die.

Born on this day in 1134 to Geoffrey Plantagenet V, Count of Anjou and Matilda Normandy , Empress , Geoffrey Plantagenet , Count of Nantes (my toy,wikipedia). (yes yes, I know my automated "what order to put these names in" has made Matilda come out weird; bah etc.) Brother of Henry II. He attempted to abduct Eleanor of Aquitaine (later wife of Henry II) and marry her (nice chap, NOT) and generally caused Henry a lot of trouble.
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Died on this day in 1252 aged 52 King Ferdinand III of Castile (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Eleanor who married Edward I. Responsible for much of the Reconquista he vastly extended the territory of Castile.

Born on this day in 1711 to King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, Princess Amelia of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). I

n 1751, Princess Amelia became ranger of Richmond Park after the death of Robert Walpole. Immediately afterwards, the Princess caused major public uproar by closing the park to the public, only allowing few close friends and those with special permits to enter.

This continued until 1758, when a local brewer, John Lewis, took the gatekeeper, who stopped him from entering the park, to court. The court ruled in favour of Lewis, citing the fact that, when Charles I enclosed the park in the 17th century, he allowed the public right of way in the park. Princess Amelia was forced to lift the restrictions.
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Died on this day in 1676 aged 2 Leopold Hohenzollern , Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia). Half-brother of Caroline who married George II.

Born on this day in 1888 to Earl Spencer and Agnes Hughes, Earl Spencer Jr. (my toy,wikipedia). One of Wallis Simpson's previous husbands. Earl had 4 wives in total, and this bit of the family tree gets a bit tangly what with all the divorcing.
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Died on this day in 1972 aged 77 King Edward VIII of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Edward was King for less than a year before abdicating to marry Wallis Simpson; apparently the British couldn't cope with a King marrying a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands. Since he was a Nazi sympathiser this was probably a Good Thing. He lived most of his life in France.

Born on this day in 1660 to Ernest Hanover , Elector of Brunswick-Luneburg and Sophia of Hanover, King George I of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Queen Anne died without any living children, so the crown passed to her 2nd cousin George who was also a grandchild of James VI & I. George had married his first cousin, to ensure that he inherited his uncle's bits of Hanover as well as his father's, the marriage was not happy and was eventually dissolved (she was basically locked up subsequently, albeit in a nice castle). In Britain he was unpopular for being "too German".
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Finished:

The Day The World Turned Upside Down. Thomas Olde Heuvelt. The only non-puppy piece of short fiction on the Hugo ballot. It's quite fun, and an amusing idea. But I'm still not a huge fan of short fiction that isn't a cute logic puzzle or a silly pun which means I'm mostly "meh" about it.

Current:
Rogues. Still a set of short bits, still largely "meh" because see above, but tolerably entertaining.

Exotic England: Them Making of a Curious Nation; Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. The author describes herself as Ugandan Asian, and the book is a summary of English interactions with non-white people both positive and negative throughout history. Lots of interesting facts about things I'd sort of vaguely heard of.

Buffy season 9: I've read 8, it was OK, Richard got 9 so I'll read it

Next:

I am bouncing off the notion of reading dreadful puppy crap something rotten. I do think that horrible people can write good books sometimes (I have read and enjoyed quite a bit of it), but I'm not a huge fan of short work in general and I read all the puppy stuff last year and it's not that it's *enraging* but just... dull. Anyway, it's all on my Kobo in case I develop a sudden case of wanting to read it.

I've got Novik's Uprooted which I am looking forward to, and have fixed my copy of Crusades Through Arab Eyes so I can read it, so one of those.
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Died on this day in 1444 aged 41 John Beaufort , 1st Duke of Somerset (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-father of Henry VII, grand-son of John of Gaunt. Seems to have been a mostly not very good military commander.

Born on this day in 1626 to Frederick Prince of Orange and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, William II Prince of Orange (my toy,wikipedia). Father of William II & III, married to a daughter of Charles I. At this point the Netherlands was at war with Spain.
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Died on this day in 946 aged 25 King Edmund I (my toy,wikipedia). Murdered while attending mass.

Born on this day in 1630 to King Charles I of England and Henrietta of France, King Charles II of England (my toy,wikipedia). Charles fled to France after his father was executed, and took the throne back after Cromwell Senior died and Cromwell Junior turned out to be rubbish at being in charge. He proved an unpopular king, getting into lots of wars and being too sympathetic to Catholics. He had no legitimate children, and was succeeded by his brother James.
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Oops, I went on holiday to the 17th century and didn't set this up first. So.

Died on the 22nd in 1409 aged 17 Blanche of England (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Henry IV. Blanche married the son of the King of Germany, the marriage was apparently happy although arranged for political reasons.

Born on the 22nd in 1770 to King George III of the United Kingdom and Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). Although Elizabeth's upbringing was very sheltered she apparently followed the example of her brother's in "marrying" (it wasn't allowed) a commoner, and having a daughter with him, before marrying a German prince, which allowed her to move to Germany, and away from her rather controlling family.


Died on the 23rd in 1125 aged 38 Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Matilda, who was never really Queen but possibly ought have been. Under Henry the argument about whether the King could invest Bishops was resolved as "no" but only after Henry had kidnapped the Pope, been excommunicated, and fought a lot of battles.

Born on the 23rd in 1730 to King Frederick I of Prussia and Sophia of Hanover, Prince Augustus of Prussia (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of George I. Augustus was a military man, and he married his niece, which is still weird.


Died on this day in 1153 aged 69 King David I of Scotland (my toy,wikipedia). Brother of Matilda, who married Henry I. David was the son of King Malcolm III but was forced into exile in England by his Uncle Donald who took the throne after Malcolm. With the backing of Henry I he took it back. He overhauled basically the entire system of government in Scotland.

Born on the 24th in 1819 to Edward Hanover , Duke of Kent and Stathearn and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). Victoria became Queen because none of her Uncles had any legitimate children and she had no brothers. She reigned for longer than any other British monarch or female monarch anywhere (although Elizabeth II might outlast her). She was much more amused than often assumed :)

Died on this day in 992 aged 52 Mieszko Piast I, Duke of Poland (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Sigrid, who married Sweyn Forkbeard. Mieszko created the Polish state out of a collection of tribes, and converted to Christianity.

Born on this day in 1846 to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Princess Helena of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). Helena was very interested in nursing, and for a time the head of the Royal British Nurses' Association.
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Died on this day in 1471 aged 49 King Henry VI of England (my toy,wikipedia). Henry was pious and kind and mentally ill; and none of these things helped him keep control of England, the lack of royal control lead to a lack of general law-and-order and eventually the duke of York decided he should Be King instead and the Wars of the Roses began. Henry founded Eton, King's Cambridge and All Souls Oxford; all of which are still standing today.

Born on this day in 1527 to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Isabella of Portugal, King Philip II of Spain (my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Mary I. Philip married 4 times, lastly to *his own niece* which I'm sure oughtn't be allowed. He ruled huge swathes of Europe and South America, which was a pretty difficult Empire to keep going.
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I'm still reading Rogues, it's long, and bitty.

Next up - Hugo nominated short fiction. I expect a lot of this to be shit, but I shall give it a go...
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Died on this day in 1837 aged 89 Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of George II, the last grandchild of George II to die.

Born on this day in 1315 to King John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia, Bonne of Bohemia (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Joan who married Henry IV. Born Jutta, which is a form of Judith but can be read as "good" in English her name was changed to "Bonne" or "Bona" when she married the future King of France.
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Died on this day in 1536 aged 35 Anne Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Executed for adultery, incest, and treason but really for the crime of "not having a son" and "not being Jane Seymour" (since Henry had got it in his head that he could switch wives, and the women of the court had discovered that if you held out for a ring you could get it... this was a very dangerous time to be Queen). Anne's father was "new money" by Tudor standards - his grandfather had been a Mercer, whilst her mother Elizabeth Howard was a descendant of Edward I. Her father survived Anne's execution, but was stripped of the office of Lord Privy Seal and did not survive for very long after. Anne had fought hard to be Henry's wife rather than his mistress, and fought hard for the church of England to be more Protestant.

Born on this day in 1744 to Charles Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Duke of Mecklenburg and Princess Elizabeth-Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen, Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (my toy,wikipedia). Charlotte married George III. The marriage was arranged and at the time she spoke almost no English. The marriage seems to have been more successful than many, and they had 15 children. When George became ill (likely with porphyria) it is his wife who assumed responsibility for his care (although this doesn't mean she actually *did the nursing*) whilst their son (the future George IV) ruled as regent.
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Died on this day in 1497 aged 39 Catherine Woodville (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Elizabeth, wife of Edward V. Catherine married three times, for the first time whilst still a young child.

Born on this day in 1721 to Frederick II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Princess Magdalena of Anhalt-Zerbst, Johann of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (my toy,wikipedia. Brother of Augusta, who was the mother of George III. An army man who doesn't seem to have done much interesting.
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Died on this day in 1536 aged 32 George Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII. George was executed for adultery with Anne, which is extremely unlikely to have actually occurred, although some novelists find it entertaining.

Born on this day in 1768 to Charles Brenswick-Bevern, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Princess Augusta of Great Britain, Caroline of Brunswick (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of George IV, her first cousin. The marriage was very unhappy, and Caroline spent most of it out of England (she had been paid to go away).
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Died on this day in 1742 aged 1 Sophie Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchess of Mecklenburg (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Charlotte who married George III. Only person I've got who died on 16th May or I wouldn't have had another depressing dead child. It is astonishing how many children of the very very wealthy, very very privileged people whose details I have collected didn't survive infancy. Thank fuck for antibiotics and vaccination.

Born on this day in 1225 to Hugh X of Lusignan and Isabella of Angouleme, William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke (my toy,wikipedia). Isabella was the widow of King John, Hugh was meant to have married Isabella's daughter but apparently changed his mind when he saw her, the daughter married the king of Scotland instead. Not many royal widows have married again, although I have no idea if it was frowned at at the time Isabella did (when Catherine of Valois married Owen Tudor that was certainly frowned at). William generally fought for the king against de Montfort, and spent some time exiled for his trouble. William was Earl of Pembroke through his wife - in general if a woman inherited such a title it went to her husband. Because patriarchy sucks.
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Died on this day in 1658 aged 0 Dorothea (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of George who married Queen Anne. Died before her first birthday. I've been trying to avoid having too many of these, tragically there are lots.

Born on this day in 1981 to Mark Phillips, Captain Phillips and Anne Princess Royal, Zara Phillips (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Elizabeth II. Zara is a champion horse-rider and she married an ex-rugby player.
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Died on this day in 1610 aged 56 King Henry IV of France (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Henrietta who married Charles I. Born a Protestant he converted to Catholicism only after becoming King (following a distant cousin, I guess Salic law makes finding the next-in-line harder sometimes) and discovering that being a protestant King of France was impossible. Famously "Paris is well worth a mass", it was under Henry that France claimed Canada.

Born on this day in 1316 to King John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Anne who married Richard II. Charles was the first King of Bohemia to be Holy Roman Emperor.
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Died on this day in 1768 aged 19 Princess Louisa of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of George II, sister of George III. Louisa was never in very good health, and died young.

Born on this day in 1254 to Henry III of Brabant and Adelaide of Burgundy, Marie of Brabant (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Margaret, who married Edward I; wife of the King of France, her fourth cousin. She was suspected of having her step-son Louis poisoned, although that didn't make her son the heir as Louis had brothers. Marie outlived her husband, his successor as King, and all three of her own children, she died aged 66.
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Finished:
"Rolling in the Deep". A Mira Grant novella about mermaids. I continue to mostly dislike the novella as a form, but I quite liked this one. Just the right amount of suspense horror. It was a limited edition sub. press run, and there is not UK ebook; I have the physical edition, if anyone would like to borrow it.

Altered Perceptions. I read all the author bios and essay, and about half the story snippets, as a lot were from works I haven't read; I particularly like Brandon Sanderson's early draft from Way of Kings.



Current:

I have started on Rogues, which is an anthology of LOTS of short stories. I'm chewing through them quite fast, although I read anthologies slower than novels, on account of having to change what I'm thinking about so often. I'm expecting there to be some Hugo nominated short work available at some point and this is easy to put down.

Next:

I'm still trying to fix the formatting issues with Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Also, Hugo nominated short work, eventually.

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