This is another fascinating BBC2 series, illustrating English and British history through the evolution of our art. The eight one-hour episodes, narrated by David Threlfall (Men of the World), feature:The Roman and pre-Roman periods, Beowulf, the Norman conquest and the Bayeux Tapestry; The Black Death, Wilton Diptych, Piers Plowman, Chaucer, Julian of Norwich,… Continue reading The art that made us
In the aftermath of certain historical novels I have read recently, I should like to give the following information, in the hope it will be helpful to authors, editors (if they still exist) and indeed readers. SLAVERY – Although slavery was quite common in England in Anglo-Saxon times, it was became less usual after the… Continue reading A pedant writes…
We all know that pinpointing Easter in the medieval period is awkward – well, it’s awkward in any period, come to that. I want to know exactly when Easter Day fell in 1394. But do all the clever-clogs sites agree? Nope. They say they give you the correct date, but one of them had moved… Continue reading Chaucer’s Pilgrims and calculating Easter Sunday 1394….
“….During his life and in the years following his death, Pedro [I of Castile, 1350 to 1369] became a central figure in a wide range of historical narratives composed in Castilian, French, English, Catalan, Latin, and Arabic. These accounts present contrasting depictions of Pedro; however, as it is well known, the lasting image of… Continue reading Another king slain by a treacherous Henry….
In this article I wrote the following:- “….The Walbrook flowed quite swiftly [south] from its source, but on nearing the Thames the land flattened considerably, and the river seems to have indulged in a curve….” This curve or meander, when filled in and “improved” in the 15th century, for the river to flow more… Continue reading Giving the Walbrook the Elbow….
This extract is from https://gardenandhappy.com/medlar/ “….Great writers such as Shakespeare and Chaucer used medlars to convey the loss of womanly virtue. In The Honest Whore, Thomas Dekker wrote: “Women are like medlars, no sooner ripe but rotten”. Hmm, that bit about “no sooner ripe but rotten” is more likely to apply to the male of the species. As soon… Continue reading Medlars – the medieval fruit we’ve nearly forgotten….
Treasure buried in fields and discovered centuries later are always in the news these days. These are usually coins, of course, but also jewellery, including posy rings. A posy ring was found in Wales very recently so I was interested to then read about the true meaning of such rings in A Crisis of Truth… Continue reading The true significance of posy rings….
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!
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
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….