Between 1590 and 1634, a period more or less exactly coterminous with the great age of English Renaissance drama, a group of remarkable houses took shape in the north Midlands of England, on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Painter of genius, gifted courtier and much-travelled man of the world, Rubens reached England in 1629, charged with the delicate task of furthering an entente between the Spanish government and Great Britain. C.V. Wedgwood shows how he enjoyed the conversation of his youthful host, whose fine aesthetic taste he shared, but shrewdly judged the weakness of King Charles I’s diplomacy.
Violence and duelling between exiled courtiers: the case of the Caroline Stuart Court in exile, c. 1649-c. 1660
Yet, though we can clearly say that the duel was not unique to the exiled Caroline Stuart Court, we must still concede that such acts of violence occurred quite frequently there. This was especially true from 1656-59, when Charles II’s Court was in the Spanish Netherlands, and this tendency to conflict was even remarked upon by contemporary observers.
The term ‘vivisection’, which refers to the act of dissecting a live animal or human being, was coined in 1709. Yet, it celebrated a long tradition reaching back thousands of years. One of the earliest recorded accounts dates from 500 B.C., when Alcmaeon of Croton severed the optic nerves of live animals in order to understand how it affected their vision.