Chaucer’s Horse of Fame….

Oh, dear, sometimes typos are inadvertently funny. I’ve just been looking through a serious book on the history of English literature (I won’t identify it further, because it wouldn’t be fair – the work is serious). Anyway, we come to Chaucer‘s, um, Horse of Fame. Yes, you read it correctly. Horse, not House!

THE ANCIENT GATES OF OLD LONDON

REBLOGGED FROM A MEDIEVAL POTPOURRI THE ANCIENT GATES OF LONDON Old London Map c1572.  Franz Hogenberg And so Dear Reader, we are going to take a break from murderous queens, scheming duchesses,  bad kings, good kings, missing royal children and silly bishops.  We are going to take a look at London’s Old Gates.  Where were… Continue reading THE ANCIENT GATES OF OLD LONDON

To go or not to go, that is the politically correct question….

So Sir Michael Morpurgo is refusing to include The Merchant Of Venice in a new book adapting Shakespeare’s plays for children under 16 because the portrayal of Shylock is too offensive. See this link.  Well, let’s be honest, there are precious few Shakespeare’s works that won’t offend someone. Everything of his that I endured at… Continue reading To go or not to go, that is the politically correct question….

Bromholm Priory & the Pastons

  Recently Bacton Priory, destroyed in the Reformation, has recently been recreated as a 3D model to show how it may have appeared in the late Middle Ages. This is part of a project on the Paston family, who wrote over 1000 letters during the Wars of the Roses period, helping to give historians greater… Continue reading Bromholm Priory & the Pastons

How did those Canterbury pilgrims hear at the back…?

There is something that has always puzzled me about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: if there were up to thirty pilgrims (which is what’s reckoned) how on earth could one of them (at a time)tell a tale that the other twenty-nine could hear? In the text Chaucer has his pilgrims point out places they’re passing, so it… Continue reading How did those Canterbury pilgrims hear at the back…?

Oh where, Oh where, has Chaucer’s “Foul Oak” gone….?

    According to Project Gutenberg, on 6th September 1390 Geoffrey Chaucer was mugged at a place called the Foul Oak, but not the Baginton Oak. Rather was it on what we now call the Old Kent Road but was originally the Roman Watling Street, leading out of London, on the way to Canterbury and… Continue reading Oh where, Oh where, has Chaucer’s “Foul Oak” gone….?

Chaucer was a “hot” young man in tighter than tight tights….?

  As the author of this Guardian review points out, when we think of Chaucer, we visualise a rather chubby, light-hearted, witty, somewhat cheeky middle-aged man as portrayed in the few portaits we have of him, such as the one above. Well, it would seem that as a younger man he was indeed cheeky! And… Continue reading Chaucer was a “hot” young man in tighter than tight tights….?

Lancastrians unfairly condemn another King Richard (Part II)….

  This article Lancs Live article is Part Two of a three-part series concerning the history of the House of Lancaster, which we reviewed earlier. Almost at the beginning (well, three short paragraphs in) I found “…. Edward II whose piety could not make up for his lack of leadership….” Piety? Edward II? Well, he… Continue reading Lancastrians unfairly condemn another King Richard (Part II)….

Would we have liked Chaucer to narrate audio books of his works….?

  There is an increasing appetite these days for audio versions of books. Whether just sitting at home, driving your car, or even out in the garden, listening to a famous actor reading to you, or even the author, is a great pleasure that sometimes beats reading the book for yourself. Which makes me reconsider… Continue reading Would we have liked Chaucer to narrate audio books of his works….?

What distilled spirit might perk up a 14th-century English prince? Was the hard stuff even around then…?

  Rightly or wrongly, when someone has had a shock, it’s often the impulse of those around him/her to offer a “stiff drink”. This usually means spirits, although I admit that in Britain a cup of tea is as likely “to do the trick”! The spirits thing appears in novels and films, and is well… Continue reading What distilled spirit might perk up a 14th-century English prince? Was the hard stuff even around then…?