All of the people I write about took the day off on November 30th. But there were two non-medieval deaths worth mentioning. On November 30, 1705, Catherine of Braganza, the much put-upon queen of Charles II, died. I always felt sympathy for Catherine. Deeply pious, this convent-bred bride was never at home in England, distrusted for her Catholic faith and scorned for her inability to give Charles an heir. Charles, of course, was probably the greatest womanizer ever to sit on the English throne; sorry to deny you the laurels, Edward IV. (And yes, Henry I sired over 21 illegitimate children, but I think he cared only about the sex; the women were merely the means to an end. Whereas I think Charles and Edward genuinely liked the ladies.) Catherine had to accept the presence at his court of her husband’s favorites, which had to be painful as well as humiliating, for she seems to have developed real feeling for the charming, lusty, and good-humored man she’d married. Charles became fond of her, too, not enough to “stay faithful to his marriage bed,” as they phrased it in the MA, but enough to try to protect her from the hostility of his more rabidly anti-Catholic subjects; he also intervened whenever a royal mistress was too disrespectful of his long-suffering queen. He refused to put her aside even after it became obvious she would never give him an heir, in kindly contrast to Henry Bluebeard Tudor. Of course it could be argued that in sparing Catherine’s feelings, he did his country no favors, for England would surely have been better off without the kingship of his inept, idiot brother, James. Catherine survived Charles by twenty years, remaining in England instead of returning to Portugal. She is said to have been the one who introduced tea drinking to the British public, thus inadvertently contributing to the causes of the American Revolution—remember the Boston Tea Party, people? The New York City borough of Queens is named after her, as she was the queen at the time of its founding—or so says Wikipedia. And on November 30th, 1910, the man I consider the greatest American writer, Mark Twain, died. His last years were filled with sorrow and bitterness and I think he was probably glad to go. RIP, Mark. I think you would be pleased to know that you are just as esteemed in our time as you were in your own.