Hi friends! I didn’t have enough information for a full post last month, so here is volume 5.
There’s no unbiased first-hand source that Anne Boleyn mistreated Mary – There is a common belief that Anne Boleyn mistreated her step-daughter, the future Mary I or Bloody Mary. But the only first-hand source we have that suggest this is from Eustace Chapuys, the ambassador from Spain who heavily favorited Henry VIII’s first wife. But, as I just intimated, Chapuys was super anti-Anne Boleyn. Catherine of Aragon was Spanish (from Aragon, per her name) and the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor. Chapuys was a great ally of Mary’s, and his is the only word we have to go on that she was mistreated. Additionally, at the end of the day, Henry was the one who had control of his daughter’s life. Anne had almost no choice. Henry is the one who decided to send Mary away, and he kept her away from him off and on throughout his life. Even if Anne really, really, really tried to convince Henry to mistreat his daughter (which, again, there’s no evidence of), Henry is the one who made the decision. Moral of the story: Henry VIII was a terrible father and Anne Boleyn has been misaligned for most of history.
Also Mary, Queen of Scots and Mary Bloody Mary weren’t the same people – This is a historical pet peeve of mine. The Tudor family tree was messy and full of Marys, which was easily the most popular name in medieval Europe. Let me break it down. The War of the Roses ends and Henry VII becomes king, marrying his wife Elizabeth. They have a daughter named Margaret, as well as a son named Henry (Henry VIII), and also other kids, but that will get too confusing if I include them all. Margaret marries the king of Scotland and becomes queen. They have a son, James V of Scotland, who has a daughter and then dies several days later. That daughter is Mary, Queen of Scots. Now back to Henry VIII. As previously mentioned, Henry’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon, and they had a daughter who came to be known as Bloody Mary.
Catherine the Great wasn’t born royal in the traditional sense – I love this story! She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste, and she was the daughter of an impoverished Prussian prince (x). She married the heir to the Russian throne, and shortly after he became the emperor, she organized a coup and became the Russian empress on her own (x).
Rachmaninoff once brought Stravinsky a jar of honey because Stravinsky mentioned that he liked honey in passing – This just cracks me up. It’s basically exactly what that title says. Read the whole story here.