The Last Tudor

by Philippa Gregory A Review '[Katherine] turns to me and her blue eyes blaze with the Tudor temper. She has pride, just like me. "You don't deserve my love for you," she says, with her own silly logic. "But you have it anyway, when you least deserve it. Because I see the trouble you are …

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‘Kill them all; God will know his own.’

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse A Review   History attributes those chilling words of the title to Arnaud Amaury, the papal legate who led the massacre at Beziers in 1209 CE. Whilst the records tell that the French Crusader army spared no one, the real targets of Catholic hatred were the Cathars, a pacifist and gnostic …

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Women Behind the Throne – Part Three

Sorqoqtani - 'Munificence and Benefaction' Shirimun and the sons of Ghaimish opposed the election of Mangke as Great Khan. They prevaricated and would not attend the quriltai to endorse the appointment. When they did at last set out for the Mongol homelands, it was with mischievous intent - or so the contemporary historians would have …

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Women Behind the Throne – Part Two

Sorqoqtani Makes Her Move Toregene Khatun managed to delay the quriltai until 1246 but by then she was ill. She must have recognised that her son Guyuk was a weak man, even more of a drunkard than his father but without Ogodai’s good nature. The quriltai formally endorsed Guyuk as Great Khan. The coronation was …

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