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Died on this day in 1621 aged 42 King Philip III of Spain (my toy,wikipedia). Son of Philip II (who had been married to Queen Mary I) by Anne of Austria. He expelled the Moriscos from Spain (these people being the descendants of Muslims who had converted to Catholicism), and was involved in lots of wars.

Born on this day in 1900 to King George V of the UK and Mary of Teck, Prince Henry (my toy,wikipedia). Henry was mostly an army man, he would have been regent for Queen Elizabeth II had she become Queen before becoming an adult (which she didn't).
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Died on this day in 2002 aged 101 Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (my toy,wikipedia). The mother of our current Queen. In "intersects with my life" I was dragged to London to attend the lying in state; which was a lot of queuing for little gain (can you tell I'm not a Monarchist?). Unusually for wives of Princes Elizabeth was not a foreign princess but the daughter of an English peer (not uniquely though).

Born on this day in 1963 to John Darlrymple and Davina Bowes-Lyon, David Darlrymple (my toy,wikipedia) . The Queen Mother's brother's grandson.
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Died on this day in 1703 aged 24 Margrave George II of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia). Half-brother of Caroline, wife of George II. George is a good name it seems :)

Born on this day in 1187 to Geoffrey II and Constance, Duke Arthur I of Brittany (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Henry II. Arthur's father was younger than Richard but older than John, and died before Arthur was born. Thus Arthur was heir apparent to Richard (who had no children). However Richard died when Arthur was still young, and declared his brother John his heir on his deathbed. After some fighting Arthur was imprisoned by John and nothing more is heard of him (presumably he was killed, or died, at some point). There was then confusion about the succession of the Duchy of Brittany which Arthur held through his mother, he was eventually succeeded by his half sister Alix. Arthur is NOT A GOOD NAME for people hoping to be King of England.
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Died on this day in 1884 aged 30 Prince Leopold (my toy,wikipedia). Child of Queen Victoria. He suffered from haemophilia, and died of it just before the birth of his second child.

Born on this day in 1785 to Duke Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Countess Aughusta of Ebersdorf, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (my toy,wikipedia). Uncle of Queen Victoria (her mother's brother). Started out Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld but later Saxe-Coburg-Gotha after some territory was swapped (woo! German names, so... complicated).
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Died on this day in 1625 aged 58 King James VI of Scotland & I of England (my toy,wikipedia). James succeeded his mother Mary Queen of Scots in Scotland after she was forced to abdicate by Protestant rebels, he was at the time still an infant. He succeeded his second cousin twice removed Elisabeth I when she died childless; although earlier the Scottish descendants of Margaret Tudor were viewed as unsuitable claimants to the English throne, being Catholic, and ignored in favour of Jane, James had been raised Protestant after the ousting of his Catholic mother and was generally accepted. He was the target of the Catholic gunpowder plot.

Born on this day in 972 to King Hugh Capet and Adelaide of Aquitaine, King Robert II of France (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-father of Matilda who married William the Conker.
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Died on this day in 1780 aged 66 Duke Charles I of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Caroline who married George IV. Founded the Technical University of Brunswick, which is nice, but in general he was bad with money and nearly bankrupted the state, his eldest son managed to rescue the state finances.

Born on this day in 1687 to King George I of GB and Sophia of Celle, Sophia of Hanover (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of George I. Married her first cousin the King of Prussia. They hated each other, and he was a horrible husband, beating her and their children (they had 14). Being a woman sucked a lot.

(But: Oh my! that dress! I want one)
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Alif the Unseen (Wilson, G Willow)
This has djinn and computer programming and an excellent plot. Sort of Urban Fantasy maybe? (in that it's set sort-of-now and has djinn) but the setting is not like most of the other urban fantasy I have read. Very enjoyable read. Wilson mostly writes for comics, maybe there will be more novels?

Girl in the Dark (Lyndsey,Anna)
I read this because Women's Hour recommended it to me. It is a memoir by a woman with extreme photosensitivity who has to spend much of her life living in complete darkness to avoid painful skin issues. She writes engagingly, and I found it an interetsing read.

Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook (PTerry). Still reading. It's on my desk at work for the spare moment. I love how Discworld went from a comedy set to somewhere that I can actually imagine real people living ordinary lives.

What Makes This Book So Great (Walton,Jo). This is a collection of blog posts originally published on remarking about the greatness (or, sometimes, otherwise) or book when re-read. I am building a long list of books to read! Very bitty of course (each post is only a few pages).

Not sure. I've got Americanah, and that book about Crusades and one about the North Sea and a bunch of Diamond and a huge list from WMTBSG... so, we'll see.
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Died on this day in 1323 aged 66 Mary of Hungary (my toy,wikipedia). Great-grand mother of Philippa who married Edward III. Mary probably started out a pagan Shamanist, but converted to Catholicism to marry Charles II of Naples. I don't think I've got too many people who aren't some sort of Christian, although I don't track this (it's not always obvious); maybe I should add a field for it. She married when she was only 12 and went on to have 14 children, the youngest when she was 14.

Born on this day in 1345 to Henry of Grosmont and Isabel of Beaumont, Blanche of Lancaster (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Henry IV. Married John of Gaunt, her 2nd cousin once removed (wikipedia says 3rd cousin, which is also true, but I think 2nd-cousin-once-removed is closer?). She died much earlier than her husband but he was later buried with her (not with either of his subsequent wives).
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Seems I did today yesterday. Silly Silly. So, er, here's yesterday's people.

Died on this day yesterday in 1813 aged 75 Princess Augusta of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Mother-in-law of George IV. Augusta married her second cousin, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, she initially didn't like Brunswick much but fortunately it improved on her since she fell out with the English court (well, mostly the Queen, her sister in law).

Born on this day yesterday in 1430 to King Rene I of Naples and Duchess Isabella of Lorraine, Margaret of Anjou (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Henry VI, her 3rd cousin. Margaret was a fierce Lancastrian, and took a large part in the Wars of the Roses; she ended her life an exile in France, after she lost everything in England. Margaret was rather more capable and interested than Henry it seems.
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Died on this day in 1603 aged 69 Queen Elizabeth I of England (my toy,wikipedia). Probably doesn't need much comment...

Born on this day in 1628 to Duke George of Brunswick-Luneburg and Anne of Hess Darmstadt, Sophie of Brunswick-Luneburg (my toy,wikipedia). Mother-in-law of Queen Anne, Queen-consort of Denmark and Norway (which seem to have been ruled by the same person at some but not all times in history; maybe I should find out about this). She seems to have started a war against Sweden. Wars are great right?

(I've gone back and changed the weekend's entries to have actual text rather than just numbers ;-p)
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Died on this day in 1686 aged 31 Margrave John of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia). Father-in-law of George II. Looks rather cute in that photograph.

Born on this day in 1519 to William Willoughby and Maria de Salinas, Catherine Willoughby (my toy,wikipedia). Charles Brandon's third wife, also a close friend of Catherine Parr's and rumoured to have been the King's next choice of wife...
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Died on this day in 1076 aged 65 Duke Robert I of Burgundy (my toy,wikipedia). Rebelled against his father, plundered the estates of his vassals... doesn't seem to have been a very good duke.

Born on this day in 1227 to King Louis VIII of France and Blanche of Castile, King Charles I of Naples (my toy,wikipedia). Lots of crusading! Conquered Sicily, went to war with Aragon... this younger son of the King of France seems to have rather liked biffing people up.

Was on phone, now corrected.
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Died on this day in 1413 aged 45 King Henry IV of England (my toy,wikipedia). Henry (son of John of Gaunt) overthrew his cousin Richard II. Then he got to deal with lots of people trying to overthrow him. Payback eh?

Born on this day in 1469 to King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville, Cecily of York (my toy,wikipedia). Cecily was married to a Lancastrian noble, presumably as part of the desire to entrench the union of York and Lancaster. After he died she married a man she actually liked, and went to live a loooooong way from court, probably happier that way.

Was on phone, now corrected.
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Died on this day in 1539 aged 61 Edmund Howard (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Katherine Howard, wife of Henry VIII; he died a year before her marriage.

Born on this day in 1604 to Duke Teodosio II of Braganza and Ana de Valasco y Giron, King John IV of Portugal (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Catherine, wife of Charles II. He came to the throne after a revolt against the previous King, who was also King of Spain; this lead to a war with Spain.
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Rapture (Kameron Hurley) and Dance Til Dawn (Genevive Griffin). Both of these were very good reads. Rapture is the 3rd and final installment of the Bel Damme Apocrypha trilogy, I wouldn't recommend you start with it, but I have enjoyed the whole trilogy - a very interesting setting, and lots of adventuring. Dance Til Dawn is rather shorter (less than 100 pages) and is a retelling of the fairytale with the 12 dancing princesses, but told from the perspective of a palace seamstress.

Alif the Unseen (G Willow Wilson). Borrowed in physical form from Richard. Not really got into it yet. The author is a female American convert to Islam, about whom I had not previously heard, but apparently this is only because I don't follow comics at all as she has made quite a stir with the new Ms Marvel (which is probably great, but I don't follow comics so have no personal opinion).

Mrs Bradshaw's Handbook to traveling upon the Ankh-Morpork and Sto Plains Hygienic Railway (Terry Pratchett, presumably with some help). I don't think Sir Terry really counts towards "read diverse authors" although for the last few years he has been progressively disabled by Alzheimer's, but I hadn't read this one yet, and was all sad about his being dead. Also in physical form since it is illustrated.

(Oh that reminds me I read the Complet Ankh-Morpork just after Christmas, and maybe that was in the New Year. I had it in physical form as a gift, so it wasn't on my "have read" list on the ereader).

Not sure. I've got "Girl in the Dark" which was recommended by Women's Hour and the Crusades Through Arab Eyes which has been recommended by several people.
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Died on this day in 978 aged 16 King Edward the Martyr (my toy,wikipedia). Another early king. The identity of Edward's mother is uncertain, and the succession was disputed with his brothers, he was later murdered possibly by his half brothers or step-mother and was succeeded by one of the half brothers.

Born on this day in 1496 to King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York, Mary Tudor (my toy,wikipedia). Mary was married to the King of France, who was much older than her and died soon after the marriage, she married Brandon for love and without the King's permission (he was rather cross, having intended to sell her hand for diplomatic gain), for which treason they were heavily fined.
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Died on this day in 1040 aged 25 King Harold I Harefoot (my toy,wikipedia)

Born on this day in 1473 to King James III of Scotland and Margaret of Denmark, King James IV of Scotland (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Mary Queen of Scots (great-grandfather of James I&VI). Died when defeated at Flodden, the last British monarch to die in battle.
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Died on this day in 1279 aged 59 Joan (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Eleanor, wife of Edward I. Joan was going to marry Henry III, but didn't because the French King would have been cross. She married twice, had several children, and ran up large debts.

Born on this day in 1338 Thomas de Beauchamp (my toy,wikipedia). Great grand father of Anne Neville, wife of Richard III. Thomas was Earl of Warwick, and one of the Lords Appellant opposed to King Richard, for which he was stripped of his titles and exiled (to the Isle of Mann) but he got everything back when Bolingbroke eventually won.
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Died on this day in 1644 aged 67 Louise of Nassau (my toy,wikipedia). Great grandmother of George I, half sister of the grandfather of William II & III

Born on this day in 1275 to King Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile, Margaret of England (my toy,wikipedia). Child of Edward I.
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Died on this day in 1647 aged 62 Frederick Prince of Orange (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of William II of England.

Born on this day in 1855 to Claude Bowes-Lyon and Frances Smith, Claude Bowes-Lyon (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Elizabeth II. His photograph looks a bit like the stereotype of a British soldier I have in my head.
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Died on this day in 1731 aged 54 Margravine Dorothea of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia), half sister of Caroline of Ansbach. I'm a bit confused about how Magrave-hood gets inherited.

Born on this day in 1372 to King Charles V of France and Joanna of Bourbon, Duke Louis I of Orleans (my toy,wikipedia). Uncle of Catherine of Valois who married Henry V. His brother Charles was King of France, but too insane to actually rule, Louis and his cousin disputed the regency and the children of the King got repeatedly kidnapped... this during the Hundred Year's war with England, which is obviously a GREAT TIME to almost start a civil war. Civil war was avoided by first a truce, and then the cousin (John) murdering Louis. Great job guys.
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Died on this day in 1539 aged 62 Thomas Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Anne (wife of Henry VIII), notable diplomat at the court of Henry VIII.

Born on this day in 1637 to Edward Hyde and Frances Aylesbury, Anne Hyde (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of James VII and II. Anne was the daughter of a commoner, she was heavily pregnant at the time of the wedding. Although she was a commoner the marriage was approved of by the King (Charles II), and their children were included in the succession. Anne converted to Catholicism and James later did likewise, but their children were (at the insistence of King Charles) raised Protestant (these days Catholics aren't allowed to be King). Anne died before James became King so she was never Queen.
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Walton, Jo The Just City. Borrowed from fivemack (thank you fivemack) because it isn't e-published in the UK (yet? at all?). 1-of-3 (rest unpublished, wah). Absolutely brilliant. When I really want to *be reading* a book I read it so fast, when I'm reading something I want *to have read* it's a bit slower...

A brief summary is that Athene decides to instantiate Plato's Republic; the book is basically a discussion of the merits and otherwise of the Republic. I have to confess to not having managed to read the Republic (I started it in translation many years ago, but found it very hard going; I don't read Greek at all) so I have to assume that Walton truthfully reports its contents. Plato (it seems) was keen to suppose that humans could be brought up to ignore all the more messy bits of humanity, like romantic and familial bonding, in some ways I wish Plato was right (it's all *messy* and *unequal* and rubbish), that it is unrealistic would seem to be the main de-merit explored in the novel; teaching men and women equally and banging on about Equal Significance and Value the main merit. Walton's writing is as ever engaging and hard to put down.

Hurley, Kameron Rapture. Couldn't resist the NEW SHINY in favour of the rest of the to-read. Anyway it is 3-of-3 and reading it before I forget what happened in the other two seemed like one of those good plans. The further adventures of Nyxnissa, more people to kill, more plots and intrigue, more places to explore...

Er, dunno. Probably Dance Til Dawn.
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Died on this day in 1198 aged 53 Marie of France(my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine by her first husband Louis VII of France (her second was King Henry II). She married her father's new wife's brother (!!!!!)

Born on this day in 1279 to King Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile, Mary of Woodstock (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Edward I. Mary became a Nun, she was granted an income by her parents but appears to have managed to run up substantial gambling debts in-spite of a)having a large income and b)being a nun.
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Died on this day in 1663 aged 37 Edward Count Palatine(my toy,wikipedia). Uncle of George I, his children would have been ahead of George in the British succession but he was disqualified on account of having converted to Catholicism (having married a French princess). He didn't inherit Bohemia or the Palatinate from his parents, who had been Thrown Out, and lived in exile in Paris off his wife's inheritance and the French King's generosity.

Born on this day in 1452 to King John II of Aragon and Juana Enriquez, King Ferdinand II of Aragon (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Catherine of Aragon. Famously sponsored (with his wife Isabella) the voyage of Columbus to the New World, he also finished the Reconquista eliminating Muslim rule in Spain. And then he forcefully converted all the Muslims in his territory to Catholicism. So all in all I can't say much for Ferdinand's handling of relations with people-unlike-him. On the up side Ferdinand and Isabella were effective co-rulers, so strike one for gender equality maybe?
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Died on this day in 1724 aged 42 Duke Ernest I of Saxe-Hildhurghausen(my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of the wife of George III. As a young man he fought in the army, but as Duke of Saxe-Hildurghausen he seems mostly to have spent more money than the Duchy had on building stupid palaces, which was a bad plan and got him into a war.

Born on this day in 1213 Duke Hugh IV of Burgundy(my toy,wikipedia). Great grand father of the 2nd wife of King Edward I. Wikipedia thinks the most interesting thing about Hugh is that he wrote some music.
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Two oranges today.

Died on this day in 1702 aged 51 King William II of Scotland & III of England(my toy,wikipedia)

Born on this day in 1748 to Prince William IV of Orange and Princess Anne, Prince William V of Orange (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of George II.

I'm quite confused about why the Principality or Orange ended up in different hands to England, but my brain is fried from running so I can't figure it out.
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Died on this day in 1578 aged 62 Lady Margaret Douglas(my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of James I and VI, granddaughter of Henry VII. She was brought up at the English court and served as a Lady in Waiting, but was sent to the Tower in disgrace after becoming engaged to Thomas Howard without permission (she was at this time the heir to the throne, and Howard was very much out of favour after Anne's fall from grace). She was back in favour later and a lady-in-waiting to later Queens (and Disgraced for an affair with a different Howard, but she recovered from that too). Eventually she married Matthew Stewart, who was at the time in exile in England. As a Catholic she was much more in favour with Mary than with Elizabeth but was given a funeral at Elizabeth's expense so was presumably not totally out of favour.

Born on this day in 1930 Anthony Armstrong-Jones(my toy,wikipedia). Wow, a person who is still alive! Ex-husband of Princess Margaret, sister of Elizabeth II. More recent royal marriages have less often been to close relatives, which is probably good. Also these days divorces are easier to get, which means less head-chopping-off (yay).
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Died on this day in 1052 aged 67 Emma of Normandy(my toy,wikipedia). Emma was the daughter of the Duke of Normandy (who was the great grandfather of William the Conker). She married Aethelred (as part of a deal to smooth relations between England and Normandy) the Unready and was the mother of Eward the Confessor; when Cnut invaded (and Aethelred died) she married him, this marriage quite possibly saved her life and that of her sons. Her sons Edward (by Aethelred) and Harthacnut (by Cnut) were both later Kings of England. Emma was politically active as Queen.

Born on this day in 1405 to King Henry III of Castile and Catherine of Lancaster, King John II of Castile(my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of John of Gaunt (also died this day) and Grandfather of Catherine of Aragon. John was a long-reigning but not especially effective King. He married twice, both times to close cousins. Keeping it in the family, it's the royal way...
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Died on this day in 1830 aged 62 Lady Augusta Murray(my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Prince Augustus (son of George III); except not, because their marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act. Augustus continued living with her anyway, until he was given a lot of money not to, and after that Augusta retained custody of their two children and was given 4,000 pounds a year to live on. I bet it really sucks to be told you can't marry the person you wanted to, not because they don't want to, but because the King Says No.

Born on this day in 1133 to Count Geoffrey V of Anjou and Empress Matilda King Henry II of England(my toy,wikipedia). Henry was the son of Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou, he was born in France and grew up in his mother's household. Although Matilda lost to Stephen, the agreement reached was that Henry should be Stephen's heir, eventually Henry took England by force.
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Sardar, Ziauddin - Mecca: The Sacred City

This is a history of Mecca (perhaps obviously...). I previous knew nothing about Mecca other than "Mohammed was born there" and "Muslims go on pilgrimage to there" (so I have nothing to compare this book to); the book was an interesting read. Mainly I learned that Meccans have fewer names than famous people, and are divided by ethnicity and faith into groups that not infrequently come to war; so... that's a lot like Europe then. Sardar concludes with talking about Mecca today; to his dismay the Saudis have redeveloped it completely - bulldozing many centuries old buildings in favour of expensive new sky scrappers.

Walton, Jo - the Just City

I've borrowed this from fivemack, which obviously means it gets promoted to the top of the "to read" pile, so I can give it back. Also because Jo Walton writes excellent books and I really really want to read it. But I've only just started it so have nothing to say about it other than "yay"

Probably Hurley,Kameron Rapture: Bel Dame Apocrypha. Because I had it on pre-order and it just showed up. Squeeee. This is volume three (of three, I think) and I read and very much enjoyed the first two.

A lot of people are talking about avoiding reading straight white men for the year, I think this is a noble aim because reading books by a greater diversity of authors is a great way to find more awesome books. I'm not going to do it though, mostly because I fully intend to read all of the Hugo nominees (pretty much guaranteed at least some of them will be straight white men), but if I'm looking for new authors to read I shall try to be on the look out for more non-white writers.

Read so far this year:
Mecca; Sardar, Ziauddin - born in Pakistan, lives in London
Bending; Christina, Greta - woman
Gulp; Roach, Mary - woman
Small Change Trilogy; Walton, Jo - woman
(I think that's it, my eReader remembers the order I read things in but not the date; blasted object).

I think the last thing I read by a white man was Diamond's the World until Yesterday.
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Died on this day in 1238 aged 27 Joan of England(my toy,wikipedia). The daughter of King John, Joan married King Alexander II of Scotland when she was only 10.

Born on this day in 1526 to William Carey and Mary Boleyn, Henry Carey(my toy,wikipedia). Henry may have actually been the son of Henry VIII, as his mother was Henry's mistress, but was never acknowledged as such. He was an MP and an officer in the army.
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Died on this day in 1195 aged 70 Hugh de Puiset(my toy,wikipedia). Great grand child of William the Conker, Bishop of Durham, built a bunch of stuff.

Born on this day in 1778 to Grand Duke Charles II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Frederica of Hesse-Darmstadt, Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz(my toy,wikipedia). Wife of the son of George III (King Ernest Augustus of Hanover, who got to be King of Hanover when Victoria became Queen of England because Salic Law). Frederica's mother died when she was young, her father then remarried (to the first wife's younger sister) but this step-mother alas soon died; she and her sister were raised by their grandmother since apparently Charles didn't know what to do with girls. Frederica married three times (the second time only two months before the birth of their child).
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Died on this day in 1619 aged 44 Anne of Denmark(my toy,wikipedia). Anne was the wife of James VI and I, and the daughter of the King of Denmark. Her marriage was not happy, but was fairly stable, and they had 7 children together; Anne may have converted to Catholicism at some point, and her Catholic tendencies were not the most popular thing in England. She was a great patron of the arts and not heavily involved in politics.

Born on this day in 1409 to Duke Jean I of Alencon and Marie of Brittany, Duke John II of Alencon(my toy,wikipedia). His mother was the daughter of Isabella of Valois who had been married to Richard II. Jean was most famous as a friend and support of Joan of Arc.
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Died on this day in 1534 aged 11 Henry Brandon(my toy,wikipedia). Son of the sister of Henry VIII. Henry was a strong contender to inherit the throne - alas, he died too young.

Born on this day in 1683 to Margrave John of Brandenburg-Ansbach and Princess Eleonore of Saxe-Eisenach, Caroline of Ansbach(my toy,wikipedia). Caroline married George II.
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Died on this day in 1453 aged 53 Duchess Isabella of Lorraine(my
Mother of Margaret who married Henry VI. Isabella was Duchess of
Lorraine in her own right, and married Rene who was Duke of Anjou,
King of Naples, and King of Jerusalem (although it doesn't seem that
they did any Kinging there).

Born on this day in 1155 to King Henry II of England and Eleanor of
Aquitaine, Henry the young king(my
Henry was crowned Junior King of the English following the French
fashion (AFAIK no other English monarch ever was) but died before his
father. He had an important role at the court of his father. He was
betrothed at the age of 5 to the daughter of the King of France and
married her 12 years later. In 1173 though he fell out with his
father and a civil war was started, after they were reconciled he
retreated from politics. Later they were fighting again, and the
young Henry was killed.
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Died on this day in 1666 aged 52 Luisa de Guzman(my
Mother of Catherine who married Charles II. Luisa was the daughter of
Spanish nobels, and married the King of Portugal, she was Regent of
Portugal when her son was a child King.

Born on this day in 1370 to King Charles V of France and Joanna of
Bourbon Mary of France(my
Died aged 7. Aunt of Catherine who married Henry V.
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Died on this day in 1275 aged 34 Margaret of England(my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Henry III. Married the King of Scotland when she was 11 and he was 10... they later had 3 children (the first when she was 20).

Born on this day in 1361 to King Charles IV of Bohemia and Anna von Schgweidnitz, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia(my toy,wikipedia). Half sister of Anne of Bohemia who married Richard II. Bohemia is now (roughly) the Czech Republic, somehow "Bohemia" sounds much more romantic. Wenceslaus was apparently a popular name, and this one is not the one in the song.
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This post should appear at 9am on Friday, will it?
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Still reading Mecca, not finished anything new. Changed "next book" plan to the Just City since fivemack has offered the loan of a copy.
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Died on this day in 1458 Ralph Neville(my
So boring he doesn't even get a wikipedia page. His half-sister
Cecily was the mother of Edward IV. His half-brother Richard's son
(also Richard) was the Earl of Warwick known as the 'kingmaker'. The
Nevilles got their fingers in a lot of pies in the 15th century; or at
least from the way I'm confused about which of them is which it feels
like it.

Born on this day in 1885 to Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess
Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine Princess Alice of Battenberg(my
Mother in law of Elizabeth II. She married her 5th cousin once
removed, which is quite a distant cousin really. During WWII she
sheltered Jewish refugees from the Nazis, later she founded an order
of Orthodox nursing nuns. Congenitally deaf and diagnosed with
schizophrenia her life can't have been exactly easy, even with piles
of money. She lived her last years in Buckingham palace, after the
Greek monarchy was booted out. Battenberg is the name that was
Anglicised as Mountbatten, which prince Philip has because (I guess)
his father didn't have a surname? Anyway, Battenberg is better,
because it reminds me of cake.

(posted by email! does this work? yes, yes it does)
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Died on this day in 1525 aged 45 Richard de la Pole(my toy,wikipedia). Nephew of Eward IV. Rebelled against Henry VII, unsuccessfully.

Born on this day in 1500 to King Philip I of Castile and Queen Joanna of Castile Emperor Charles V(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Philip who married Mary I. Charles V was in charge of an enormous empire, unfortunately not *very* in charge of it. Have a YouTube video about him:
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Died on this day in 1554 aged 37 Henry Grey(my toy,wikipedia). Henry Grey was the great grand child of Elizabeth Woodville by her first husband, and the father of Jane Grey. A zealous Protestant Grey is mostly remembered for his attempt to make his daughter Queen. He escaped execution over that, but was later executed after a different failed plot to overthrow Queen Mary.

Born on this day in 1708 to Duke Adolphus II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Christiane of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Duke Charles of Mecklenburg(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Charlotte who married George III. Adolphus was a musician and served in the army, as well as Duke.
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Died on this day in 1371 aged 46 King David II of Scotland(my toy,wikipedia). David married Joan, daughter of Edward II. He was defeated by the English and exiled to France for a bit, and then invaded England (from Scotland) to assist the French but alas captured by the English, but later he got away and went back to Scotland. The Scots and French spent a lot of time being friends, especially when they both hated the English (it is important to have a common enemy ;-p).

Born on this day in 1403 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria, King Charles VII of France(my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Isabella who married Richard II. He was an unlikely King, having 4 older brothers, who all died childless. At the start of his reign Charles had little of France, which was mostly held by the English under Henry VI; then he encountered Joan of Arc, and with her help reclaimed much of France. Later he had an unpleasant falling out with his son Louis, who followed him as King.

Died yesterday (oops) in 1554 aged 42 Sibylle of Cleves(my toy,wikipedia). Aunt of Anne of Cleves who married Henry VIII. She married the Elector of Saxony, and in his absence defended Wittenberg. She was a staunch supported of the Reformation and they were at times at war with the Emperor, who was not.

Born yesterday in 1397 to King John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, Isabella of Portugal(my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of John of Gaunt. She married the Duke of Burgundy, her third cousin. She was a capable leader, and devoted mother, but her marriage was not very happy.
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Died on this day in 1685 aged 56 Sophie of Brunswick-Luneburg(my toy,wikipedia). Sophie was the mother of the husband of Queen Anne. The daughter of the Duke of Brunswick Luneberg she married her second cousin the King of Denmark (before he was King). She had substantial political influence for many years, during the reigns of both her husband and her son.

Born on this day in 1867 to King Edward VII of UK and Alexandra of Denmark, Louise Princess Royal(my toy,wikipedia).
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Died on this day in 1505 aged 31 Matilda of Hesse(my toy,wikipedia). Matilda was the grandmother of Anne of Cleves, she was the daughter of the Landgrave of Upper Hesse and married the Duke of Cleves when she was 16.

Born on this day in 1399 to Count Bernard VII of Armagnac and Bonne of Berry, Bonne of Armagnac(my toy,wikipedia). Second wife of Charles of Orleans whose first wife Isabella's first husband was Richard II (as his second wife). People's multiple marriages can get a Bit Complicated sometimes. She was her husband's 2nd cousin, and is descended from several Kings of France and England; because European royalty were an incestuous lot.
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Maybe I'll try this thing...

The thing I am reading at the moment is a Mecca by Ziauddin Sardar. I think I am reading this because the Economist said it was good, it is a history of Mecca... it's quite interesting, and it's certainly a different perspective on history than I am used to. Many Meccans have very similar names, which is quite confusing, but of course many Brits have very similar names too (which is only less confusing when I know who they are anyway)

The thing I most recently finished is Bending by Greta Christina, a collection of erotic stories. This was actually a)hot and b)readable, yay. Also Gulp by Mary Roach (I read these two at much the same time) which is a tour of the alimentary canal from mouth to arse, and which I read on the recommendation of Women's Hour; it was really interesting, but perhaps more chatty than I like my pop-sci.

Next. Er, not sure. Maybe Dance 'til Dawn by Genevievie Griffin, which was mentioned on Mary Robinette Kowal's blog; or maybe a History of Crusade through Arab Eyes, which rjk recommended (but maybe I'll leave off the history books for a bit). or maybe the Just City by Jo Walton if I can actually get ahold of it (doesn't currently seem to be published in the UK, grrr)

also this meme (nicked off liv)
book meme )
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Died on this day in 1478 aged 28 George Plantagenet(my toy,wikipedia). Better known as the Duke of Clarence (is this more or less confusing that everyone being called George? At least there's only one Clarence *at a time*). He married Isabelle Neville, the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, and later became Earl of Warwick himself (through his wife) when the older Warwick died; fortunately Dukes are more important than Earls and his name doesn't get changed in Shakespeare plays... He allegedly conspired against his brother Edward IV, and was executed (allegedly by drowning in Malmsey wine). It is not clear to me whether either of these alleged things were true, but he was definitely executed.

Born on this day in 1516 to King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon, Queen Mary I of England(my toy,wikipedia). Mary was the only surviving child of Catherine and Henry, and was declared illegitimate when Henry annulled his marriage to Catherine in order to marry Anne, later she was put back into the succession by Act of Parliament after Catherine Parr talked Henry into reconciling with his daughters (Mary and Elizabeth). When Mary married King Philip of Spain there was the question of would he be King (the usual thing, would be that any titles inherited by a woman became her husband's)? In the end a compromise was arranged where Philip was King, but Mary & Philip ruled jointly, rather than Philip ruling alone. Philip wasn't much interested in Mary and spent little time in England during their marriage. Philip was Mary's first cousin once removed twice over, and she was his 2nd wife. During Mary's rule she restored the country to Catholicism, and persecuted Protestants (of course the Protestant rulers of the time also persecuted Catholics, she was not uniquely horrid in this regard) and feared plots to overthrow her in favour of her sister (Elizabeth) (at least some existed) although in the event she died of illness and not plotters.
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Died on this day in 1461 aged 29 Sir John Grey(my toy,wikipedia). John Grey was the first husband of Elizabeth Woodville, later wife of Edward IV. Through his son Thomas he was the great-great-grand-father of Jane Grey (through her father) which is an interesting sort of genealogical connection. He was also on the Lancastrian side, but clearly Elizabeth (and family) switched sides when she married.

Born on this day in 1861 Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont(my toy,wikipedia). Helena married Prince Leopold, son of Queen Victoria. She was the daughter of a German prince (who for some reason I have not writ the name of in my database)


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