So you loved Horrible History, but what happened to the Crude Chronicles, the Naughty Narrative, the Dirty Days of Old … ? (that’s enough alliterations for now, thank you—Ed)
Edward IV it seems was a real bon viveur, and in fact it was to become his downfall in the end, as his over-indulgence contributed to his early demise, most people seem to agree. And by some accounts, Edward IV had a legendary appetite for mistresses as well. My quick video (above) mentions the most famous among them, but also considers why we know as much about them as we do.
Because it wasn’t especially unusual for a king to keep mistresses. Quite the reverse. But if you recall Cersei Lannister’s ordeal of walking through the streets naked (I’m assuming you watched Game of Thrones—apologies to the other 2%), that episode was based on the true account of Jane Shore (so-called) who was “made an example of” by Edwards’s brother and dodgy successor Richard III.
Although Richard was trying to discredit Edward’s reign and its legitimacy, his brother had given him plenty of material to work with. On the matter of his mistresses, Edward supposedly also had an unpalatable habit of sharing them with his friend William Hastings and his stepson Thomas Grey. Normal good behaviour in those days was to treat your mistresses with a little more respect and set them up nicely after you’d had your use of them. For a longer article, by the way, see History Extra.
So now you know! How many of these women (or ladies) do you recognise from my novel, Knights of the Blackdowns?