Vaughan’s Vocabulary


I enjoy biographies, particularly those about people who are little known to me. Recently I was reading about Mary of Burgundy (1457-82). I learned from the Webster Encyclopedia that she was the daughter and heir of Charles the Bold and the wife of Maximilian of Austria. points out that since Charles had no male heirs, potential marriages with her were plotted almost from the day of her birth, which was one day before Valentine’s Day.

Mary was 8 when her mother died. Her father was away from home a great deal. Mary of Burgundy could be used as a metaphor for a child who has various pet animals because exotic animals were often brought to her. She owned several dogs, parrots, monkeys and giraffes. also points out that she developed a keen interest in hunting, riding and other outdoor sports, as well as gardening.

The online article points out that she fought to save her land from France and preserved what was to become the modern country of Belgium. I encourage you to read more about this fascinating woman. I especially encourage you to watch a brief but poignant video that can be found by searching for “Mary of Burgundy, Archduchess of Austria.”

Burgundy is in

A. England.

B. France.

C. Scotland.

D. Canada.

E. None of the above


2. Which one is closest to burgundy?

A. saffron

B. green

C. blue

D. maroon

E. gray


No. 1 is B. No. 2 is D.


3. duchess (DUH-chis)

A. the wife or widow of a duke

B. a woman holding a rank equivalent to duke in her own right

C. a woman who holds in her own right the sovereignty or titles of a duchy

D. All of the above


Mary’s father died when she was only 19, making her Duchess of Burgundy in her own right. D is the answer. Thanks to English Oxford Living Dictionary and for A, B and C.


4. Which one tried to force Mary into a marriage with his son who was 13 years younger than her?

A. Philip the Handsome

B. Louis XI

C. Machiavelli

D. Philip IV

According to the Royal Women blog, Mary’s stepmother advised her to turn to the Netherlands for help against Louis XI, who tried to force her to marry his dauphin son, Charles.

Editor’s Note: Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D., is the pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church near Eupora and is on the faculty of East Mississippi Community College, Golden Triangle Campus. Contact him at