Category Archives: Renaissance

Well, that’s Awkward: When the Cat Gets Hold of Someone’s Genitals

Nun bribing cat for a penis

This is my favorite WTF image in a long time. Dating from 1555, it’s a Renaissance image. I don’t officially know the story behind it, but there’s a good discussion of it on Reddit. Says sl99: ‘Flaisch macht Flaisch’ is from the old German proverb ‘Fleisch macht Fleisch, fisch macht nisch’. It would roughly translate to ‘meat gives meat, fish gives nothing’, meaning that meat is more nourishing than fish. Fleisch is in German also connected to ‘Fleischeslust’, which means

A Tale of Two Sisters: Mary and Elizabeth Tudor

Laoise Murray as the Lady Elizabeth and Sarah Bolger as the Lady Mary in The Tudors

I spent my junior year of college at Lancaster University in Britain, which was fabulous for someone going into medieval English history. One of my courses covered Elizabethan England.  (Yes, I understand that’s not medieval.) The professor was particularly notable not just because he was American teaching English history in England (with more than a little snark), but also because he was really not a fan of Elizabeth I. I, on the other hand, am, along with lots of other

And Now…Queen Elizabeth Feeds a Cow

Queen Elizabeth I of ENgland Feeds the Dutch Cow, 16th century painting

We have no idea who painted this beyond it was someone in the Netherlands around 1586. Queen Elizabeth I of England was a longtime supporter of the Dutch.  They were connected religiously, with both countries being Protestant, and also economically: the Dutch had the most lucrative trading markets in northern Europe (they create the world’s first stock exchange in 1602), and they produced large amounts of textiles made from English wool. Here, the healthy, productive cow represents the Netherlands.  Elizabeth

This Week in History: Edward VI and the Nine Day Queen

Jane Grey's execution, 19th century painting

Yesterday in history, Edward VI of England died at the age of 16 in 1553 after a rule of 6 years.  Child kings rarely leave much of a mark on history, but Edward happened to rule at a pivotal time in English history.  Still, most of his impacts were more about him than actively by him. Henry VIII, His Children and First Three Wives Henry VIII’s desperation for a male heir shaped 16th century English history.  Here’s the brief version: