Author Isabel Stilwell will be talking about her books Philippa of Lancaster and Catherine of Braganza at upcoming talks organised by the Algarve History Association (AHA) – the first on Monday, May 20 at Tavira Library, and the second on Tuesday, May 21 at Lagoa Library, both commencing at 6pm.
These two books have been translated into English, and copies will be available for sale at these two events.
Isabel has also written other historical novels such as D. Maria I, O Frasco das Memórias, Isabel de Aragão and Isabel de Borgonha. The histories of England and Portugal have been intimately combined over the centuries, principally because they were linked by their maritime activities in the Eastern Atlantic.
This relationship was cemented by two prominent royal matrimonial alliances. First, in 1387, the first Portuguese king of the dynasty of Avis married Philippa of Lancaster. João Mestre de Avis, the illegitimate son of D Pedro I of Portugal, won the throne against his legitimate sister and her Castilian husband at the Battle of Aljubarrota, and his popularity with the people of Portugal cemented his victory. Marriage into the established royal family in England further strengthened his legitimacy.
Similarly, when Portugal was winning its independence from Spain in a long-running war (1640-1668), English military support was desirable. That support was acquired through the marriage of the Infanta Catherine of Braganza in 1661 to the restored King of England, Charles II. England, of course, benefitted from an enormous promised dowry, some of which was never paid, and the acquisition of the ports of Tangiers and Bombay. Without Bombay, it is likely that the British Raj in India would never have developed. Both marriages had long-lasting historical significance, and Isabel Stilwell explains how.
Talks are free to attend but donations are welcome to help towards the running of AHA.