Lady Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox

Lady Margaret Douglas was the only daughter of Margaret Tudor, making her a niece of Henry VIII on the Scottish-disinherited-side. Her parents had an acrimonious divorce which led to Margaret herself growing up mostly in England with various guardians. She was imprisoned five times, mostly in the Tower of London, but her ruthless scheming and family connections freed her every time. She wanted to be Queen, then amended her goal to see her son as King, then finally wound up being OK with her grandkids being King and/or Queen.

Recommend history reading: Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee / The Six (documentary)

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Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Castile and León

Isabel of Portugal, Queen of Castile and León, is still often referred to as “The Mad Queen.” But as Taylor Swift would say, “no one likes a mad woman/ you made her like that.” And in Isabel’s case, the people who made her like that included her husband, her husband’s EVIL advisor, and her stepson. Like, if you lock a woman in psychological distress in a ghost tower for literal years and then call her “mad” that’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, right?

Recommend history resource: instagram.com/emalineandthem

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Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury

This second episode in this series about Women In Towers And the Assholes Who Sent Them There is the season’s second Margaret. Margaret Pole was just about as royal as you could be back then without being an actual royal. She worked hard to restore her family’s name, but it didn’t help literally every male relative was constantly doing treason around her.

Recommended History Reading: The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

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Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England and France

We’re back! This season is themed: Women In Towers And the Assholes Who Sent Them There. And where else to begin than with the long, weird saga of Margaret of Anjou (1430-1482)! Her story has les twists and les turns enough to make you say oh mon dieu! 

Recommended History Reading: Alok Vaid-Menon’s Instagram 

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Christopher Marlowe (with Allison Epstein)

It’s a super special!

Author Allison Epstein (A Tip For The Hangman) joins us to share the wildly interesting saga of Christopher Marlowe, the 16th century playwright/SPY. What was his deal, what’s his connection to FRANCES HOWARD, and how will our first-ever male subject (!!) score on the scandilicious scale??

You can pre-order Allison’s book at Bookshop.org (for the book or eBook) and Libro.fm (for the audiobook with British narrator!!) and learn more about her at her website allisonepstein.com and follow her on socials @rapscallison

Also, click here to read the scandilicious Baines Note written about Marlowe

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Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex and Countess of Leicester

Lettice Knollys (8 November 1543 – 25 December 1634) was the first cousin once-removed of Queen Elizabeth I (on the Boleyn side). Lettice was also basically the Queen’s younger, prettier lookalike which you know Elizabeth didn’t like. And THEN Lettice secret sexy married to the Queen’s boyfriend, dirtbag Robert Dudley, and that’s just the BEGINNING of this remarkable woman’s tits out life. How many people named “Robert” are in this story? A LOT. And how will Lettice score on the scandilicious scale???

References: 

Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Life of the Countess of Leicester: The Romance and Conspiracy That Threatened Queen Elizabeth’s Court by Nicola Tallis

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How To Lose A Queen In Nine Days: Anne Stanley, Countess of Castlehaven

Anne Stanley (May 1580 – c. 8 October 1647) was a descendant of Mary Tudor through Eleanor Brandon. Following the death of the three Grey sisters, she became a potential heir to the English throne. She testified against her second husband, the Earl of Castlehaven, in a rape trial, setting the precedent that a wife could give evidence against her husband. The scandal of the trial ruined her reputation, ensuring she would never inherit the throne from her relative Elizabeth I.

References:

A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven by Cynthia B. Herrup

“Such Daughters and Such a Mother”: The Countess of Derby and her Three Daughters, 1560-1647 by V.J. Wilkie

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How To Lose A Queen In Nine Days: Lady Mary Grey

Lady Mary Grey (c. 1545 – 20 April 1578) was the youngest sister of Lady Jane Grey. Through her grandmother, Mary Tudor, she had a claim on the crown of England. Mary did her best to stay out of trouble, but her secret marriage to a non-royal landed her in a world of trouble.

References:

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy by Leanda de Lisle

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How To Lose A Queen In Nine Days: Lady Katherine Grey, Countess of Hertford

Katherine Seymour, Countess of Hertford (25 August 1540 – 26 January 1568), born Lady Katherine Grey, was the younger sister of Lady Jane “Nine Days Queen” Grey. Following the execution of her older sister, Katherine was seen as a potential new heir to the throne/a royal rival to both Queen Mary I and Elizabeth I. But Katherine didn’t care about all of that, she was all about her secret sexy marriage to Ned Seymour, which would prove her undoing. Also, she had a pet monkey.

References: 

Elizabeth’s Women: Friends, Rivals, and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen by Tracy Borman

Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis

Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England by Kate Hubbard

The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots: Elizabeth I and her Greatest Rival by Kate Williams

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy by Leanda de Lisle

https://www.britain-magazine.com/carousel/tudor-of-the-month-katherine-grey/

https://tudortimes.co.uk/guest-articles/love-and-loss-lady-katherine-grey

https://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2012/03/born-in-tower-crimes-of-lady-katherine.html 

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Lady Jane Grey, or, How To Lose A Queen In Nine Days

Lady Jane Grey (c. 1537 – 12 February 1554) was kinda the first-ever woman to rule England, except she was technically a girl and technically sort of didn’t actually rule? Hence this whole season-long discussion. Anyway, this week is LJG’s time to shine!! Learn about how and why she sort of reigned for nine days, how and why she was executed, and most importantly: how will she score on our scandilicous scale?? 

References: 

Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey by Nicola Tallis

The Sisters Who Would Be Queen: Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy by Leanda de Lisle  

Lady Jane (the movie, starring baby Helena Bonham Carter and baby Cary Elwes!!)

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