Starforts and Elsinore

For me, the most glorious prose ever written belongs to the Shakespeare play HAMLET.

I wrote about Kronborg Castle, Denmark way back in June 2019.



Jacquelyn GreigBeautifulStar Forts1 CommentEdit”Mysterious Elsinore”

Kronborg Castle, Denmark was supposedly the model for Hamlet’s Elsinore.

Kronborg is a fecking beautiful Star Fort.

Will come back to it another time :o)


Aewar and Wooden Nickels just posted a fabulous video about Starforts.

“I’ll be with you straight. Go a little before”

Far too many of my nearest and dearest know that I have a Not So Secret Pash for KenBran.

This speech. About war. Spine-tingly.

Simon Forman & Shakespeare

I posted the other day about Dr. Simon Forman, the Elizabethan astrologer, physician.

He’s somewhat connected with the much better known Dr John Dee.

These “physicians” were also astrologers and alchemists and occultists. They were seekers of knowledge beyond the earthly realm.

For better or for worse.

I, personally, believe that there was zero evil intent to any of them. They practised what we’d call, today, Natural Magic.

Shakespeare? Wow. A journey into the Bard is life-long. Through his works, as we know them today, we enter so much. Every human emotion, so many skills and trades, the occult, magic, the philosophy of a time before ours.

Dr Simon went to The Globe Theatre on April the 20th, 1610 to watch Macbeth.

The original of this cut and paste is here : Amanda Mabillard Going To a Play in Shakespeare’s London – Dr Simon Forman’s Diary.

In Macbeth at the Globe, 1610, the 20 of April, Saturday, there was to be observed, first, how Macbeth and Banquo, two noble men of Scotland, riding through a wood, there stood before them three women fairies or nymphs, and saluted Macbeth, saying three times unto him, “Hail, Macbeth, King of Codon; for thou shall be a King, but shall beget no kings,” etc. Then said Banquo, “what all to Macbeth, and nothing to me?” “Yes”, said the nymphs, “hail to thee, Banquo, thou shall beget kings, yet be no king”; and so they departed and came to the country of Scotland to Duncan, King of Scots and it was in the days of Edward the Confessor. And Duncan had them both kindly welcome, and made Macbeth forthwith Prince of Northumberland, and sent him home to his own castle, and appointed Macbeth to provide for him, for he would sup with him the next day at night, and did so.

And Macbeth contrived to kill Duncan and through the persuasion of his wife did that night murder the King in his own castle, being his guest; and there were many prodigies seen that night and the day before. And when Macbeth had murdered the king, the blood on his hands could not be washed off by any means, nor from his wives hands, which handed the bloody daggers in hiding them, which by means they became both much amazed and affronted. The murder being known, Duncan’s two sons fled, the one to England, the other to Wales, to save themselves. They being fled, they were supposed guilty of the murder of their father, which was nothing so.

Then was Macbeth crowned kings; and then he, for fear of Banquo, his old companion, that he should beget kings but be no king himself, he contrived the death of Banquo, and caused him to be murdered on his way as he rode. The next night, being at supper with his noble men whom he had to bid to a feast, to the which also Banquo should have come, he began to speak of noble Banquo, and to wish that he were there. And as he did thus, standing up to drink a carouse to him, the ghost of Banquo came and sat down in his chair behind him. And he, turning about to sit down again, saw the ghost of Banquo, which fronted him so, that he fell into a great passion of fear and fury, uttering many words about his murder, by which, when they hard that Banquo was murdered, they suspected Macbeth. Then MackDove fled to England to the kinges sonn, and soon they raised an army and cam to Scotland, and at Dunstonanse overthrue Macbeth. In the meantime, while MacDove was in England, Macbeth slew MackDove’s wife and children, and after in the battle MackDove slewe Macbeth. Observe also how Macbeth’s queen did rise in the night in her sleep, and walked and talked and confessed all, and the doctor noted her words.


Shakespeare’s plays abound with the “supernatural.”

Which Evil IS Evil?

Lavinia : Always Back to Lavinia

I am the quintessential REJECT. A funny age. Too old to considered for a “real” job. Too young to be given a “pity the poor dear” job.

Shakespeare wrote an incredible play that few know about. Or if they know it, they will dismiss it as BLOODY & HORRIFIC.

No, disagrees there. It IS bloody and horrific.

Way back in 2019 I wrote….


SparkNotes Character Analysis of Lavinia in Titus Andronicus:

Lavinia –  The only daughter of Titus Andronicus, she spurns Saturninus’s offer to make her his empress because she is in love with Bassianus. She is brutally raped and disfigured by Chiron and Demetrius in the forest during the hunt. Thereafter, she is a mute and horrifying presence constantly on stage, complement to her father’s loquacious sufferings, and accomplice to his bloody vengeance. Deprived of every means of communication, and robbed of her most precious chastity, she comes across as one of Shakespeare’s most incapacitated heroines. Yet, as she is physically pared down, her narrative and thematic importance escalates, drawing our attention to the importance of pantomime on the stage. The rape of Lavinia is undoubtedly the central and most horrific crime of the play, which is why Edward Ravenscroft’s adaptation of the play has the alternate name of “The Rape of Lavinia.” For this reason, her character invites especially careful scrutiny.

Lavinia is also Lucretia, as in the Rape of Lucretia by Tarquinius. This event from the annals of “Ancient Rome” began the Tarquinian Wars that destroyed the Kingdom of Rome.

NC equates Lavinia with the Virgin Mary and  for me, she is the embodiment of the Divine Female. The Holy Mother, mutilated and destroyed by the people around her.

She is the symbol of abuse that transcends time and space. Shorn of all her divine rights.

The double rape takes away her chastity, dignity and self-respect. The cutting off of both her hands destroys her ability to function normally.

The cutting out of her tongue silences her. Forever.

She is the Sacrifice of the Innocents in every way,shape and form. The lesson always repeated but never learned.


Tony Hopkins as Titus Andronicus is very, very good.

Here is a scene from the 1999 film that shows the fate of Lavinia.

Men get castrated because sex is their modus operandi.

Women are silenced and handless – unable to speak or to touch or to feel.


JulietChristineTudor654 subscribersSUBSCRIBEThis is the tragic story of Shakespeare’s Lavinia. I know this song is about child abuse but Lavinia takes a lot of abuse in this play. She is disowned for marrying the man she loves, then her husband is killed right in front of her. The murders cut out her tongue, cut off her hands, and rape her. Then her father kills the murders and then kills her because “The girl should not outlive her shame”.

I don’t own anything.

A Shakespeare By Any Other Name…

This intrigues me.

I’m neither a fan nor an expert on Betty I Tudor but she certainly lived in interesting times.

My recent researches are all about the men around her. Giordano Bruno, Essex, Florio, Walsingham, Cecil, Dee, Rutland….Shakespeare.

What catches me most here is not so much the panegyrics around her as Goddess of the World but the connection made right at the beginning of the video with the rulers of Constantinople.

John II Comnenus had a younger brother called Isaac who married a woman called Kata/Irene. Kata/Irene was a daughter of Emperor David IV (The Builder) of Georgia.

Isaac and Irene had three children – Andronicus I Comnenus, John and Anna (?)

Andronicus married – and I have yet to find his REAL wife – and had three children, one of whom married the granddaughter of David of Georgia, Rusudan.

Rusudan’s older sister was Tamar, Empress of Georgia, who rescued her nephews, sister and maybe her brother in law from Constantinople after the crucifixion of Andronicus.

Ergo – The picture of Mother Mary and the Christ child with the rulers of Constantinople makes sense to me.


Phoenix : The Muse of Fire

I’ve long been a fan of Sir Philip Sidney. He pops up through many avenues along my decades of research without shame or warning!

Right now I’m trying to research his only child. She seems to’ve been forgotten/neglected/overlooked/rejected :o(

Because she killed herself with poison? Or because her father and her aunt (Mary Sidney) were too famous in their own lifetimes as well as now?

Poor lass. She needs a voice.

Bel-Voir vs Beaver

Getting up at 4am with chronic heartburn has it’s compensations.

Wow. I learned many things in the next 2 (quiet) hours.

This is so linked that it resembles a Gordian Knot.

I’ll explain more when I know more but for now…

Links include :

The Manners Family

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham


Penelope Devereux, her brother, Robert Devereux – 2nd Earl of Essexand her son, Henry Rich



Titus Andronicus

Robert Dudley

Edward de Vere

Ivan Grozny

Elizabeth I Tudor

Sir Philip Sidney and his sister Mary

James VI & I Stuart

Silly Kate


And Belvoir (Beaver, please!) Castle

Oh. Let’s throw in a Witch of Three like in Macbeth :o)

Blast From the Past : Constant Craving

Even through the darkest phase
Be it thick or thin
Always someone marches brave
Here beneath my skin

And constant craving
Has always been

Maybe a great magnet pulls
All souls towards truth
Or maybe it is life itself
Feeds wisdom
To its youth…..


I’ve always felt this song.

All the World is a Stage is now a stupid cliche.

One of the best and most emotional readings of this scene from As You Like It was given by Scott. It describes the 7 ages of us all. Where we end up sans everything :o(

                                        All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion;

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Posture : Nothing Is as Simple as we Think

For some reason (?) the subject of posture has been relevant here for several days.

It began when eldest son stood up straight as…and I went to hug him. My head fit perfectly under his armpit. Oooh.

Then I watched a yt video about fitting a Victorian dress toile and was told that all original Historical Garments have the shoulder seams so far back that they will now lie behind a modern shoulder. ‘Cos we are lazy slumps.

I listened to a Miss Marple (Agatha Christie) book and was told that Jane Marple spent her girl hood school years using a back board to straighten her posture.

I’ve studied the Alexander Technique which teaches us to imagine a thread coming out of the very centre of our cranium and pulling the neck up and the chin level. The shoulders then automatically fall into place. Well. They should. But we have had our skeletal nature disformed by modern gadgets.

A head weighs – urm – a lot. And today we are all slumped/hunched, head forward, eyes on a screen etc.

I’ve always suffered from bad headaches/migraines. As a teenager I was once laughed at for my straight posture. Look at any dancer. Straight and aligned.

Himself gives me unexpected shoulder massages most days. My language can get fruity because of the pain involved but…..they are very welcome. In a strange way (!)

Sewing is a posture crippler and I’m all too aware of the fake history about Richard the Third.


John Dee’s Secret Sigil

The THEY almost had me believing that I was a totally useless waste of space and oxygen.

‘Specially yesterday when I got into a discussion with a KING Viking who KNOWS exactly how to push my buttons – so he said in in chat. Even though I’ve never come across him before Scott’s channel.

Anyhoo – he and his chummies go into Crowley and dark stuff etc and I mention John Dee

Tumbleweed blows through….

I don’t even know a dang thing about Scotland either. Shrug.

That KING is a brilliant psychic, methinks. Got me sussed anyhoo


JOHN DEE via someone very intelligent and learned and eloquent. IMHO.

Words, Words, Words

Hamlet. KenBran and Richard Briers.


I’m a writer. Words are my WORK. I’m also a new sub to Scott. BUT… ever, I’ve brought along MY mess to HIS channel.

I’m so sorry.

Hopefully we can do more words today without being FLAT-SMACKED….which is a phrase that I posted live on the GlobeLieTour way back with T4 and fam. I was told off for saying that. Smack = BAD.

Just a word, peeps. Just a word.

Always the 3

Of all the scenes in Bram Stoker’s book (and there are many that freak me out….Renfield?)

The THREE Weird Sisters (get it?got it?good!) that Harker meets on his exploration of the castle is uber creepy.

Why 3? 1 would do. IMHO.

But then Stoker is well-known for picking bits from here and there. Like we all do.

It’s called RESEARCH.

But that scene always reminds me of Macbeth’s Witches.

P.S. Done this before but the BEST audiobook book for this book is narrated by Greg Wise and Saskia Reeves. Just saying :o)

Regan, Regan, Merrily

When real life and the supernatural (?) collide.

Yesterday was a bit disturbing to me for several reasons. I thought I’d laughed the dark away but apparently not.

It came back to haunt my dreams.

I have no memory of the dream but – as I was told this morning – I spent half the night talking in my sleep.

What did I say? I asked, warily.

No, bloody idea. It was like listening to Regan, speaking in tongues!

Oooh. Kay.

Regan |

My kind of Regan |

Merrily? Anna Maxwell Martin, Regan in King Lear also played Merrily Watkins in Midwinter of the Spirit.

I’m hecking good at this. The quote above is by Ashley Jensen, best known now for playing Agatha Raisin in the M.C. Beaton TV adaptations :o)

That Total Fascination with “The Bad Boy.”

Oh. Iago. Iago. Iago.

Such a brilliantly written character.

Even the Mistress of Crime, Agatha Christie, finished her final Poirot book with an Iago.

Even people who loathe Shakespeare understand this universal Archetype – The BAD BOY.

If I hadn’t been so desperate to leave home/school/everyone & everything at 17, I might’ve taken this literature obsession of mine to somewhere beyond the Amateur, Know-Nothing, Housewife Vibe.

Thanks to those who all believed that LIE…told far and wide by a pure and perfect Iago.

On the Cusp of The Tempest : And No Birds Sing

I always know when we have a storm approaching. The many, many trees outside start going all bendy and floppy. The windows of the house start to rattle. And…

…No Birds Sing.

The Sedge has Withered From the Lake and No Birds Sing – Keats, methinks. La Belle Dame Sans Merci.


We had no wind and sunshine earlier on. The rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, birdies were all galivanting about loudly. Now – Nothing.

Animals know when to hunker down and they don’t even have a telly to watch the weather forecast on.

We may be in for a rough couple of days.

The Man from La Mancha/or Moscow

I’ve gone as far as I need to go in my AltHist journey into Don Quixote for the moment.

It’s a story that I’ve covered a few times before… my fave time was via Shakespeare’s play Henry VIII.

This can be found on my previous blog – July 2018 – August 2021

I re-watched Lindsay’s video on the same story yesterday just to cement a few of my own findings.

As a MS History video – I find her very informative.

No antsypantsy vibe on my side. Fact!

I’m just a housewife & blogger :o)

There Is So Much We Can Learn From Iago

OK. This is NOT just another excuse to post a KenBran clip (!?)

Life is just full of the IAGO archetypes – once you understand the character and his pattern, you can’t unsee.

I’ve just experienced yet another one IRL. I swear they are lining up to spit poison – just because they feel like it.

Anyway. DID YOU KNOW that there has been a huge revival in the appreciation of Shakespeare’s works?

Mmmmn. How strange.

First Ken doing the bad guy.

Put Money in Thy Purse.

Followed by a guy talking about the Bard.

I’m all smiley :o)

POETS DAY : Muse of Fire

I wrote recently about Sir Philip Sidney. For whom I have great admiration. And a bit of a girly crush (ssssh)

Historical Timeline Stuff can go by the wayside when he’s around :o)

I first began to really appreciate him when researching my novel. It was his link to Penelope Rich, the mother of Henry Rich … who was the lover of Marie de Rohan and by whom she had a daughter – born in London.

Sheesh. The Stuff that went on in that Tudor Court would put Hollywood to shame :o)

Frances Yates and The Art of Memory

I had a wonderful comment this morning. Thank you :o)

It took me back to the bookshelves and (not unconnected with the previous post) back to The Art of Memory.

WikiWhatNot :

The Art of Memory is a 1966 non-fiction book by British historian Frances A. Yates. The book follows the history of mnemonic systems from the classical period of Simonides of Ceos in Ancient Greece to the Renaissance era of Giordano Bruno, ending with Gottfried Leibniz and the early emergence of the scientific method in the 17th century.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, its publication was “an important stimulus to the flowering of experimental research on imagery and memory.”[1]

Modern Library included The Art of Memory on its list of 100 best nonfiction books.[2]


Most of us “moderns” will know this system via Tony Buzan or Sherlock.

Nothing New Under The Sun???

No Rest for the Wicked…LOL :o)

Bite Size Chunks is all I’m allowed lately.

I started at 6am and I’ve just gone back to the beginning of my formulating hypothesis, theory, doobery whatnot.

I’m NOT up on the Shakespeare Sonnets. A part of his works that I’ve neglected for a long time. But I was sent back to them at stupid o’clock this morning. Also to something that I’d read a couple of days ago…see quote below :

Please note that all researchers of the “Shakespearean question”, including I.M.Gililov, are absolutely convinced of the stability and correctness of the general picture of the events of the 16th-17th centuries, drawn to us today by Scaligerian textbooks. They think that the mysteries surrounding the identity of the Great Bard concern only him, and are built into the generally reliable history of the 16th and 17th centuries. But they do not understand that in reality the entire historical building of the 16th-17th centuries is very shaky and needs to be substantially rebuilt. Moreover, starting from the foundation! For example, for Shakespeare scholars, trained in Scaligerian history from childhood, the identity of Queen Elizabeth does not raise any doubts. There was, they say, such a real famous queen on the island of England. But after all, we already understand that the “English Elizabeth” is, basically, a phantom reflection of the Russian-Horde queen Sophia Paleolog. And that a significant part of the “English island events” actually unfolded in a completely different place – in the metropolis of the Great Empire, in Russia-Horde. The same should be said, for example, about Henry VIII, see chapter 5. And about Catherine of Aragon. And about Mary Stuart…

As we have shown in this book,

Shakespeare’s works are even more important and interesting than is commonly believed. 

That is, their high assessment adopted today should be strengthened. After all, many of his texts turn out to be not just plays on “very ancient themes”, but in fact – chronicles of the formation and development of the Great = “Mongolian” Empire. For example, the poet talks about Andronicus-Christ (calling him Hamlet), Judas Iscariot (Timon of Athens), the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, King Herod (Macbeth), Queen Herodias, Sophia Paleologus (Cordelia and Catherine of Aragon), Ivan the Terrible (Henry VIII ), stories of Esther (Anne Boleyn)… Shakespeare scholars did not even suspect this, since the true essence of some of the poet’s fundamental works was distorted by later layers.


They have a point, NC. We are all so conditioned to fit our theories around the “SOLIDITY” of the History that we’ve been taught.

Did the likes of Scaliger know, when he was first commissioned to rewrite HIS- story, that he was creating a HYDRA that would grow a million heads throughout the decades and centuries without him?

Was that the plan?

To fiddle with the compass bearings and just sit back and watch the chaos of their descendants’ travels?

I so badly want to debunk the theory that Rutland and Elizabeth Sidney were the man we call Shakespeare but… I have so much more work to do :o)

Meanwhile – whomever wrote the words – here is something beautiful.

More About Manners

Forgive me. I’m still recovering strength from being slightly under the weather for a week and more so…this has taken me a while to process.

Back to Manners and Shakespeare and October 2018 when I wrote a post called Did Mary Sidney Write Shakespeare’s Plays?

Mary Sidney


Did Mary Sidney write Shakespeare’s Plays?

Friday, 19 October 2018, 14:42

Did Mary Sidney write Shakespeare’s Plays?

What a wonderfully loaded question, hey?

Another question – What on earth has this got to do with the 12th Century and The Ravens of Dinefwr?

If you bear with me, I will try to explain but first – I don’t know whether to go down on my knees and Thank the Research Angel who forever sits by me, or to roll my eyes at her.


‘What, you have given me yet another research lane to wander along? Puh-lease, my lady.’

OK. I will start with the first question and answer it with two more questions!

Did you know the following about the Bard of Avon aka William Shakespeare….?


All thanks to The Mary Sidney Society for the following information.

There is no evidence he was ever paid as a writer.

There is no evidence he was recognised by a patron.

There is no evidence of an education in French, Italian, or Latin, languages in which the author was obviously fluent.

There is no original manuscript or even a piece of one.

There are no records from anyone in which Shakespeare is personally referred to as a writer (read the contemporary mentions of William Shakespeare carefully—the works are referred to, not the man).

Not Shakespeare, not his family, not anyone in Stratford is recorded as having mentioned he was a writer.

There is no evidence that he owned or borrowed any books or ever used a nobleman’s private library to access the more than 200 source materials used in writing the plays.

There is no evidence he was ever present in the royal court, where most of the plays take place.

There is no correspondence extant from Shakespeare, and only one unsent business letter to him; that letter makes no literary reference.

There is nothing in Shakespeare’s handwriting except six signatures (one illegible), all on legal documents, all within four years of his death, all spelled differently.

There is no evidence that anyone noticed when he died.

Did you know the following about Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke…..?


All thanks AGAIN to The Mary Sidney Society for the following information.

(She) was known to be a hot-tempered redhead, brilliant, multi-talented, strong, dynamic, passionate, generous, and a bit arrogant. She was born three years before Shakespeare and died five years after.

For two decades, she developed and led the most important literary circle in England’s history, Wilton Circle, taking the mantle from her mentor, her brother Sir Philip Sidney, who died in the Queen’s Protestant war. Her work, the work of her brother, and the work of many of the writers in her circle were used as sources for the Shakespearean plays.

She was devoted to literature and to creating great works in the English language. This was a brave mission since English was not considered a significant language at the time; there were great works in Italian, French, Latin, and Greek, but few in English. Nor was English spoken anywhere else in the world—rarely even in Scotland, Wales, or Ireland.

She was fluent in Latin, French, and Italian, and is believed to have also known Welsh, Spanish, and possibly Greek. She was one of the most educated women in England, comparable only to Queen Elizabeth. She was politically involved and outspoken, although she disliked the fawning and superficiality of the royal court.


She also owned a prestigious library that included just about every book needed to research the magnificent treasury of subjects covered in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Whereas, there is not a single recording of a single book in the possession of Will.

OK. Things get lost in time etc etc. And I am not trying to prove that Mary was the true author of this marvellous opus. It was just that, whilst deep in researching 12th century Wales, I came across this unexpected reference to Mary Sidney.

Now for the second question. What on earth does this have to do with my work in progress?


Well, the strangest thing, and the reason it stopped me in my tracks, is because Mary Sidney not only connects to The Ravens of Dinefwr but also to my first novel Weave a Garland of my Vows.

It will be much easier to explain Weave a Garland. This novel is about a French woman called Marie de Rohan (1600-1679)

At the age of 23 and married for the second time, she comes into contact with Henry Rich, Earl of Holland. She falls in love at first sight and bears him a daughter, born in London.

Henry Rich was the second son of the Lady Penelope Rich.

Lady P is easy to find on the t’internet. Her beauty, love affair, husbands, treason etc. But she was also the model for Stella of Astrophel and Stella fame written by Sir Philip Sidney.

The brilliant Sir Philip was said to be deeply in love with Lady Penelope, hence his portrayal of her as Stella. Were they lovers? Who knows.

AND ALSO – Sir Philip was the much loved and deeply admired older brother of MARY SIDNEY.


I’m almost at 12th century Wales. Be Patient!

And also note that Mary Sidney was the Countess of Pembroke.

Pembroke was the home of Nest ferch Rhys, one of the Ravens.

And Philip and Mary’s younger brother was ROBERT SIDNEY.

This Robert Sidney married a lady called Barbara Gamage of Coety Castle, Glamorgan, Wales.

Barbara Gamage was a direct descendant of the original owners of Coety Castle – which in the 11th century was situated in Welsh county of Morgannwg, an early name form Gwent and Glamorgan.

Around 1092, a Norman knight called Robert Fitzhamon was asked by the ruler of  Morgannwg (Iestyn ap Gwrgan) to help him fight against his neighbouring King in Deheubarth…..who just happens to be Rhys ap Tewdwr, father of all the Ravens of Dinefwr. Robert succeeded, reneged on his deal with Iestyn and became most famous as The Conqueror of Glamorgan. He took all of the land and all of the castles except one.


Are you still here with me? Can you guess which castle?

Yes. COETY Castle. There is another whole story about Coety Castle and the Breton knight Payn de Tuberville and his family that, in the 16th century, produced a daughter called Barbara Gamage who married the brother of Mary Sidney.

If you are confused – imagine how I feel. I do this kind of thing every day!!

And one day, I WILL find out if Mary Sidney wrote the Shakespeare Plays. Wish me luck.


What does Mary Sidney have to do with this recent research?

Elizabeth Sidney married the Earl of Rutland and became Elizabeth MANNERS. She was the daughter of the wonderful Elizabeth poet Sir Philip Sidney…who was the brother of MARY SIDNEY!!!

Quote :

<< The hypothesis that Roger Manners (see Fig . 1 – Auth.), 5th Earl of Rutland, was hiding under the pseudonym mask “Stunning Spear”, was formulated at the beginning of our century (XX century – Auth.) in the writings C. Bleibtreya and especially S. Demblon and then developed and supplemented by P. Porokhovshchikov, K. Sykes … My research of the Chester collection, Coryet books, poems by Emilia Lanier, … “Parnassian” plays showed that only through the extraordinary Belvoir couple (meaning Earl Roger Manners and his wife, the poetess Elizabeth Sidney-Rutland, Fig. 2 – Auth.) one can comprehend a number of hitherto incomprehensible historical and literary facts of the era and, ultimately, the ingenious Game of the Awesome Spear.

If I was confused back in 2018, things haven’t improved much today :o)

Your Baby Has Gone Down The Plughole

The video is no longer available.

When the perp is about to be hanged and sings this song.


Someone else seems to be skinny and thin. His mate earns 10 times more a week than he does. His like ratio is high. His comment ratio is VERY HIGH but…his views are now VERY LOW.

Mmmmn. Propped up by his merry band of mods, methinks. ‘Cos no one else is allowed inside this sacred, hallowed ground (?)

Hey. If that’s the way y’all swing your pants – keep swinging mes braves :o)

Oh. Where was I?


Oh. Hello !

P.S. The Shakespeare quote in the above is from Julius Caesar. Spoken by Et Tu Brute aka Brutus. One of the assassins.

Clan Douglas : Salamander

I am NOT a fan of reptiles.


Salamanders are slightly fascinating though and the fact that Clan Douglas has one on their coat of arms is telling.

Salamanders have thin skins and soft bodies, and move rather slowly, and at first sight might appear to be vulnerable to opportunistic predation. However, they have several effective lines of defense. Mucus coating on damp skin makes them difficult to grasp, and the slimy coating may have an offensive taste or be toxic. When attacked by a predator, a salamander may position itself to make the main poison glands face the aggressor. Often, these are on the tail, which may be waggled or turned up and arched over the animal’s back. The sacrifice of the tail may be a worthwhile strategy, if the salamander escapes with its life and the predator learns to avoid that species of salamander in the future.

They also change colour which might be a natural representation of the phrase – TURN COAT.

Heralds of old used to wear tabards. They were sent out onto the battle field to parley (from the French verb To Speak, if I remember rightly?) with the enemy for terms. Sometimes when the enemy appeared stronger than the herald’s army, they’d turn their tabard inside out and display the arms of their new best mates.

Now Is The Winter of Our Discontent Made Glorious Summer by this Sun of York

I remembered :o)

Back with Ben and Shakespeare.

There has been loads of hooha about Richard III. Was he an evil, plotting hunchback?

About 30 years ago Sharon Kay Penman wrote The Sunne in Splendour – her HistFic Novel that went a long way to rehabilitate the damaged reputation of Richard.

Not many know that there are “rumours” that started long ago when someone found an entry in a manuscript at Rouen Cathedral which might have been proof that Richard’s brother – The Sun of York aka Edward IV – was a bastard.

Lovely bit of Mystery History here!

I took NO PART in the media scramble a few years back when archaeologists unearthed a skeleton in a Leicester car park. Too ridiculous for words ?

I may have to do more research on my prior opinion…….but then again :o)

Now Is The Winter of Our Discontent

Made Glorious Summer by….

I forget the rest.

Richard also said (via Shakespeare) :

“I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.”

It reminds me of the Julius Caesar misquote – The Die Is Cast.

I thought DIE was the plural of DICE (?)

So that would be – The Die ARE Cast (?)

Pedantic Polly again :o)

Mmmn. Not a cucumberpatch on KenBran but a fair watch :o)

BTW : Fake History aboundeth.

The 6 to 8 Wives of Ivan the Terrible

I see Ivan Grozny as more Weak than Terrible. He went back and forth between two women but History says different. See video below.

About 5 years ago I just HAD to debunk the New Chronology claims about Shakespeare’s plays. I started with Macbeth…Out, Out Damn Spot.

By the time I got to Henry VIII I was feeling slightly less cocky about MY knowledge of the Bard’s works.


Katherine of Aragon or is that Zoë?

Wednesday, 12 June 2019, 9:40

Oh, yes. I was here…with Shakespeare and Henry VIII and the women.

We are back with the four!!

Katherine of Aragon

“Sir, I desire you do me right and justice; 
And to bestow your pity on me: for 
I am a most poor woman, and a stranger, 
Born out of your dominions; having here 
No judge indifferent, nor no more assurance 
Of equal friendship and proceeding. Alas, sir, 
In what have I offended you? what cause 
Hath my behaviour given to your displeasure, 
That thus you should proceed to put me off, 
And take your good grace from me?”

I won’t go into her story. It is too well-known and/or too easy to research.

She is the good woman in Henry VIII.

Zoë Palaiologina

Destruction of Zoë Palaiologina’s grave – Kremlin, Moscow 1929

Who was Zoë Palaiologina? Otherwise known as Sophia Palaiologina.

She was the daughter of Thomas Palaiologos, Despot of Morea…

Flag of Morea

Am I getting boring now? :o)

She married Ivan III/Ivan IV the Terrible etc etc. See previous posts. And he exchanged her for a younger model.

Zoë was a true Lady of Tartary. The Hordian Princess. She and Ivan ruled over the entire Empire in the 15th century.

She/her story is also reflected in other historical figures besides Katherine of Aragon.

Elizabeth I Tudor and Catherine de Medici.

What Connects Poirot & Macbeth?

Kenneth Branagh?

YES. Too Obvious though.

It’s a quote. See above.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is one of those books that I like slightly less than the David Suchet TV version.

Only slightly.

It is such a fitting book for me to listen to tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Christmas Eve….!

I love Mara though.


Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow : 21/12/21

The Winter Solstice and mayhaps the date of birth of Andronicus and his twin brother, John.

It is also the wedding anniversary of my parents…and my brother and his glorious, gorgeous wife – who was born on the 21st of December.

Tomorrow is the shortest day and the longest night here in the UK.

It is also YULE.

Goddess and the Green Man :

At Samhain we honour, celebrate and welcome the descent into, and return of, the dark – the beginning of the New Year, acknowledging that all beginnings emerge from darkness. At the Winter Solstice we reach the depth of that darkness with the longest night of the year. Darkness has reached its peak.

“Now we start to wonder: will this continue? Will the Earth grow darker and colder as the Sun disappears into the south until only darkness is left? But at Yule a wonderful thing happens. The Sun stops its decline and for a few days it rises in about the same place. This is the crucial time, the cusp between events. The Sun stands still, and everyone waits for the turning.

In our heads we know the light will return. But in the darkness of Winter, can we be sure? do our hearts believe what our heads tell us? Will the light keep its promises? We all have moments of darkness, when we don’t know how much deeper we will go before the light starts to return (or even if it will). The world has moments too; it understands us, and lives as we do.

The Sun does start north again and the light comes back. In the world, in our lives, the light comes back. This is indeed something worth celebrating, and it has been celebrated throughout the Northern Hemisphere in remarkably similar ways.” (quote from The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith)


OUT. Out brief candle.

Jeez. Shakespeare – whomever he was – knew more than we will ever understand!

Bear with me and my ongoing lust for … Shakespeare :o)

Quote – She WILL out Shakespeare you – Unquote


I’m stunned.

My Shakespeare rose has formed a bud in deep mid-winter. Wow!

The image above is of a David Austin Shakespeare rose. In full bloom they are beyond divine – in my humble opinion.

I collect all the rose petals in my garden and replenish my decades old pot pourri pots with them. Waste not….!

To me a rose is a symbol of our own life cycles. We bud, we bloom, we wither, we die. Time after time (Go away, Cyndi Lauper!)

Of all flowers, Methinks the rose is best.

Timon of Athens

I really resonate with this little performed or known Shakespeare play.

When we had, we gave. Freely. We even cleared a family members 1000’s of £ worth of debt so that they could keep their home.

But I didn’t learn from this.

A handful of years later I gave and gave elsewhere. With zero thanks and multiple blanks and – EVEN WORSE- when I went to that community asking for help…I was totally ignored.

“I must not break my back to heal his (her) finger.”

Moving on and way beyond :- My community here is building nicely.

Thank you to all who have begun to follow this blog over the past couple of months. Not just my daily posts are being read and liked but also posts from the past.

Heartfelt and Humble Gratitude for sparing your time to read my crazy rambles :o)

Timon of Athens. A summary.

Dwarfie Stane

I could go so deeply into this but I’m all organised out, right now.

Maybe tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Dorothy Dunnett : King Hereafter.

Ken Bran being Gorgeous (why did I NOT meet him?)

Phil Rickman’s obsession with healing barrows and stone thingamebobbies.



Dry Stane Walling – I grew up with this phrase and will forever use it.


……OK. I can’t help myself and my yearnings. Ken first….and always :o)

Side Note : Is there not another story of a rock chamber and a boulder somewhere in history?

Noli Me Tangere.

Lavinia : My Heartfelt Thanks for Forcing ME to Play this Role.

There is always a Lavinia or several in every generation.

Lavinia and Lucretia

Tuesday, 4 June 2019, 7:45

SparkNotes Character Analysis of Lavinia in Titus Andronicus:

Lavinia –  The only daughter of Titus Andronicus, she spurns Saturninus’s offer to make her his empress because she is in love with Bassianus. She is brutally raped and disfigured by Chiron and Demetrius in the forest during the hunt. Thereafter, she is a mute and horrifying presence constantly on stage, complement to her father’s loquacious sufferings, and accomplice to his bloody vengeance. Deprived of every means of communication, and robbed of her most precious chastity, she comes across as one of Shakespeare’s most incapacitated heroines. Yet, as she is physically pared down, her narrative and thematic importance escalates, drawing our attention to the importance of pantomime on the stage. The rape of Lavinia is undoubtedly the central and most horrific crime of the play, which is why Edward Ravenscroft’s adaptation of the play has the alternate name of “The Rape of Lavinia.” For this reason, her character invites especially careful scrutiny.

Lavinia is also Lucretia, as in the Rape of Lucretia by Tarquinius. This event from the annals of “Ancient Rome” began the Tarquinian Wars that destroyed the Kingdom of Rome.

NC equates Lavinia with the Virgin Mary and  for me, she is the embodiment of the Divine Female. The Holy Mother, mutilated and destroyed by the people around her.

She is the symbol of abuse that transcends time and space. Shorn of all her divine rights.

The double rape takes away her chastity, dignity and self-respect. The cutting off of both her hands destroys her ability to function normally.

The cutting out of her tongue silences her. Forever.

She is the Sacrifice of the Innocents in every way,shape and form. The lesson always repeated but never learned.

Shit. I’m beginning to really hate this play. 

The cutting out of her tongue silences her. Forever.



She had to come back because history repeats and repeats and repeats

The Cult of IAGO

For some reason, of all the Shakespeare characters, Iago fascinates me the most. And I don’t mean that in a good way!

Iago-ism is RAMPANT in the world today. Well, it always has been been but TODAY this energy is suffocating.

We all know many an Iago-ist.

The ear whisperer with gilded tongue and poisoned kiss and empty promise and ….BOOM!


I’ll approach this character by two routes. KenBran is self-explanatory to those who know me…… :o)

BUT – what about Agatha Christie’s final Poirot book?

She wrote Curtain very early and locked it in a safe for 3 decades because her readers loved Poirot so much. And she hated him so much.

Curtain contains an Iago whose whispers result in the most UNEXPECTED murder EVER!

WARNING ; Mara does spoilers in the video below the video below.

Banquo’s Ghost

I’ve come to terms with the reality. I will always be the Ghost at the Banquet. The unwelcome guest. The spirit of a murderee.

Never the Queen but one day – my children may have peace and honour. Nothing wasted. It has been ALL for them :o)


Lord Banquo /ˈbæŋkwoʊ/, the Thane of Lochaber, is a character in William Shakespeare’s 1606 play Macbeth. In the play, he is at first an ally of Macbeth (both are generals in the King’s army) and they meet the Three Witches together. After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered by three hired assassins; Banquo’s son, Fleance, escapes. Banquo’s ghost returns in a later scene, causing Macbeth to react with alarm during a public feast.


A Shining Light in the darkness of LIFE?

THE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE of a mother for her children!