I love the fact that, in ‘olden times’, people were referred to as ‘the’ something. Charles the Bald, Philip the Ugly, Frederick the Handsome, Philip the Unnecessarily Violent, Brian the Boofhead, etc. It makes history just that bit more comical.
Today, finally back at work, I was fixing up a record for Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Oddly, the was also the king of a few other places as well. Seriously, how could he possibly shoulder that sort of responsibility? Also, I reckon it was a bit selfish.
Anyway, Chuck 5 was the son of Philip the Handsome and Joanna the Mad. And I’ve been trying to find out why she was mad. Though, suffice to say, she doesn’t look too happy in this portrait.
She was, by all accounts of Wikipedia, a highly intelligent (and attractive) woman. She spoke many languages, could read and write, inherited many kingdoms and titles, outlived her husbands, yadda yadda yadda. However, by the end of her life, she’d been confined to a convent for reasons of insanity.
It could have been her marriage to the good looking Phil. He was one for ‘putting it about’, which she didn’t like. She also disagreed with his political views. Of course, she had little choice in the marriage given it was in order to link a couple of powerful European dynasties
It could have been the death of most of her family at a young age. Though this did make her heiress to lots of land, titles and power. Or, it could have been because her sister was Catherine of Aragon.
But, I reckon it was merely expedient. Philip the Handsome (and Rather Horrid) was rather keen on getting his hands on her titles and so, along with Ferdinand the Nothing-written-after-his-name, signed a treaty to have her deemed too insane to rule anything.
Whatever the reason, poor Joan has now gone down in history as The Mad. Poor, incredibly rich and powerful, thing.
The rest of my day involved researching ships, steam turbines and the like before heading home, into the snow and ice.
South West Trains, in their wisdom had decided to employ an inclement weather timetable. This meant the trains (to Alton, at least) were halved. I don’t mean the capacity! Rather the number. Instead of one every half an hour, I had to sit on a train for an extra 45 minutes before it left Waterloo.
I shouldn’t complain…it worked. I managed to get home.