Unfit to rule: the merry captivity of King Jean II of France after the 1356 Poitiers catastrophe

King Jean II of France, called the Good (le Bon), was the second Valois monarch, and, as some historians say, ‘The shame of France’.  How could the ruler who also has the nickname ‘the Good’ deserve such an epithet?  The clue to the understanding of this reasoning is in the...

Charles V of France: kingship based on clever governance and education

Born on the 21st of January 1338, King Charles V of France, known as the Wise (le Sage), died on the 16th of September 1380 at the age of 42 at Beauté-sur-Marne, France.  He was the eldest son of King Jean II of France, called the Good (le Bon), and...

King François I of France: the Battle of Marignano of 1515

King François I of France ascended to the throne of his kingdom on the 1st of January 1515 after the death of Louis XII of France, his 1st cousin once removed.  At the age of only 20, François was young, strong, handsome, cultured, courageous, vainglorious, and somewhat arrogant.  He had...

Clément Marot: a talented French Renaissance poet who influenced Reformation

A great Renaissance French poet, Clément Marot was born at Cahors, the capital of the province of Quercy, on the 23rd of November 1496.  His father, Jean Marot, was also a poet and served as escripvain (a poet-historian) to Anne de Bretagne, Queen of France.  Although in his youth Clément...

King François I of France: a godfather of the French Renaissance

King François I of France was born on the 12th of September at Cognac, Aquitaine, France.  The only son of Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême, and his wife, Louise de Savoy, François was a great-great-grandson of King Charles V of France called the Wise (le Sage).  A son of the man with...

Jean the Fearless : assassination in vengeance and for political reasons

Jean (John) the Fearless (Jean sans Peur) , a member of the Valois Burgundian house, ruled the Duchy of Burgundy from 1404 until his death in 1419.  He succeeded his father – Philippe the Bold (le Hardi), who was the youngest son of King Jean II of France and his first...

King Richard the Lionheart: birth, life, personality

King Richard I of England was born on the 8th of September 1157 in the King’s House (later Beaumont Palace).  He was the 3rd legitimate son of King Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine; Eleanor’s 6th child as she had previously been married to King Louis VII of France and...

Birth of the English Gloriana and Her Mother’s Miscarriages

On the 7th of September 1533, Anne Boleyn birthed a daughter – the future Queen Elizabeth I of England.  It happened at Greenwich Palace, where Queen Elizabeth of York had given birth to King Henry VIII.  At first, Anne’s pregnancy had been without any complications, and the proud mother coped...

The death of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and his last letter to Queen Elizabeth I

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, passed away on the 4th of September 1588 at Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire while on his way to Buxton.  Mere weeks ago, Leicester had ridden with Queen Elizabeth I of England, the legendary Gloriana, through the streets of London in the rays of glory after...

Coronation of Richard the Lionheart

On the 3rd of September 1189, King Richard I of England known as the Lionheart was crowned as King of England at Westminster Abbey.  At the age of 32, he was still relatively young, vigorous, and ready to lead the Angevin empire to her new heights.  Tall with reddish-blonde hair,...

Philippe III of France: an imitation of Saint Louis’ kingship based on favoritism

Philippe III of France (born on the 30th of April 1245 and died on the 5th of October 1285) ascended to the throne upon the death of his father – Louis IX known as Saint Louis – on the 25th of August 1270.  His father passed away of dysentery in...

Tiziano Vecelli, or simply Titian: ‘The Sun Amidst Small Stars’

Titian, one of the most prominent Renaissance artists, was born as Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio in Cadore, in the Republic of Venice sometime around 1488 to 1490.  Regarded as the most important Renaissance member of the 16th-century Venetian school of art, he was called ‘The Sun Amidst Small Stars’, echoing...

A heroic death of John the Blind, King of Bohemia, at the Battle of Crécy

John (or Jean) the Blind, Count of Luxembourg from 1313 and King of Bohemia from 1310, heroically fell in the Battle of Crécy at the age of 50.  He commanded the left wing of the French forces together with Count Jean d’Aumale, Count Guy de Saint-Pol, and Jean de Hainault....

The Battle of Crécy: in the Footsteps of Edward III of England and Philippe VI of France

The Hundred Years’ War…  Doesn’t this sound daunting?  Frightening for everyone, indeed.  It lasted more than 100 years and was one of the most bloodthirsty and longest military conflicts in history.  Jean Froissart (a French-speaking medieval author from the Low Countries) became the most famed chronicler of this war, and...