History Book Part One

The Legendary Ten Seconds have a new album out. The tracks go back chronologically to Arthurian times, before including two about the Battle of Hastings – or of Battle to be precise. The last six cover Richard III’s adult life and reign, from the seemingly effortless taking of Edinburgh to the Harrington dispute and the… Continue reading History Book Part One

Was Sir Gawain’s head still displayed in Dover Castle in 1485….?

One of the greatest of Arthur’s knights was Sir Gawain, hero of (among other legends) the tale of the Green Knight. There is some very interesting information about Gawain here: I always knew that the Welsh tradition has Gawain (Welsh – Gwalchmai) buried as follows:- “The grave of Gwalchmai in Peryddon, as a disgrace to… Continue reading Was Sir Gawain’s head still displayed in Dover Castle in 1485….?

EDWARD IV-THE OTHER RED DRAGON?

While doing some research, I came upon a beautiful 15th century scroll of Edward IV  on the website of the Philadelphia Free Library, showing the King’s full line of descent with stunning imagery and symbolism. What was particularly interesting was that Edward also used, as did Henry Tudor, the image of the Red Dragon in… Continue reading EDWARD IV-THE OTHER RED DRAGON?

Did Richard hear the old Welsh legend of the Twrch Trwyth…..?

    I have often wondered why Richard chose a boar as his cognizance. There are other heraldic beasts and symbols that might have appealed to him, but it was a white boar that he chose. Why? Well, from all accounts, he was only a child when he made the decision, so what might have… Continue reading Did Richard hear the old Welsh legend of the Twrch Trwyth…..?

Tintagel-More Kings Than Just Arthur

Tintagel in Cornwall is best known for its connections to King Arthur. However, the castle, although reputed in folklore to be Arthur’s birthplace, does not date from the Dark Ages but from medieval times, being first built by Earl Reginald, the illegitimate son of Henry I, then later remodelled by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, younger… Continue reading Tintagel-More Kings Than Just Arthur

Which man fathered the first Beaufort….?

Here is the scene. The mother with her newly born child, her ladies, the air of relief and happiness. But presumably she is a faithful wife, and her delighted husband will soon be summoned to see his new offspring. No doubt he hopes for a son. But what if she isn’t a faithful wife, and… Continue reading Which man fathered the first Beaufort….?

King Arthur, King Richard and the Wars of the Roses….

  The following is just a little diversion; the result of that strange half–world we go into when we’re dropping off to sleep. There I was, not counting sheep, but matching Arthurian characters with figures from the Wars of the Roses. Now, I am not an expert on Arthur, or indeed on Richard, just an… Continue reading King Arthur, King Richard and the Wars of the Roses….

Nostalgia, Anglo-Saxon poetry and JRR Tolkien’s world view

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
The common thread that runs through Anglo-Saxon poetry like the golden coils of a Sutton Hoo serpent is the nostalgic pain of longing for lost things. Again and again the same phrases are spoken in ‘Beowulf’ and in poems like ‘The Seafarer’ and ‘The Wanderer’. It feels as if one…

Selective Memory: How does contemporary culture influence what we focus on from the past?

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
‘Memory studies is a new field, focused on how nations and groups (and historians) construct and select their memories of the past in order to celebrate (or denounce) key features, thus making a statement of their current values and beliefs. Historians have played a central role in shaping the…