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.
6 likes ·   •  3 comments  •  flag
Twitter icon
Published on November 30, 2012 07:10 • 165 views
Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Leila (new)

Leila When I get up each morning
The first thing I like to see
Right before me steaming hot
Is a lovely cup of tea

Time moves on, the hours pass
With one cup, two or three
Of that traditional beverage
A refreshing cup of tea

I know that coffee’s popular
I don’t mind a drink of that
Even milk straight from the fridge
Though that can make you fat

Milk can give you problems
That might end up at your rear
I’ll be polite and call it wind
Can’t say the other word here

Hot chocolate is another drink
That many folks adore
But a cup of tea is best
One or two or even more

Breakfast tea or China tea
Herbal or Earl Grey
Drink a gorgeous cup of tea
At any time of the day

Lemon tea or green tea
Fruit teas, black or red
Whichever is your favourite
Have two cups instead

Everyone knows the British
Must have their cups of tea
Whether at home or on holiday
It’s what we want to see

“Your cup of tea coming up”
Are words we love to hear
“Would you like a cup of tea?
Or would you rather have a beer?”

I guess the British public owe a lot to Catherine. I read somewhere that Queen Victoria also quite liked her genteel tea parties too and Twinings was her choice!

message 2: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Penman That is very clever, Leila. I am a tea drinker, too, never drink coffee.

message 3: by Leila (new)

Leila LOL I've got to admit that I do love a cappuccino now and then but tea is my favourite, especially Earl Grey ( Captain Jean Luc Picard's choice too)

back to top