Book Review – Weave a Web of Witchcraft by Jean M Roberts

Firmly based on fact, Weave a Web of Witchcraft tells the story of Hugh Parsons, a man accused of witchcraft by his wife Mary and tried in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1652. The novel begins in England with fifteen-year-old Hugh reluctantly beginning an apprenticeship as a brickmaker. This has been arranged by his father because although … Continue reading Book Review – Weave a Web of Witchcraft by Jean M Roberts

‘The great daunger of childbyrth’

While not an absolute rarity, portraits of pregnant women were not common in the Renaissance period. Surprisingly, there are  a number of late Elizabethan and early Jacobean portraits of women at an advanced stage of pregnancy, sometimes surrounded by their children, sometimes alone. Many of these were painted by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. When I … Continue reading ‘The great daunger of childbyrth’

One Minute Book Review – The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl

In 1612 William Shakespeare gave evidence in a case at the Court of Requests brought by Stephen Belott against the tire-maker, Christopher Mountjoy who was his father-in-law and with whom he had served an apprenticeship. Belott was suing Mountjoy for failure to pay in full the dowry promised when Belott had married Mountjoy's daughter Mary … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl