Knights united in life and in death….

In 1913 a medieval tomb was unearthed during excavations at the Arap Mosque in modern day Istanbul. It dated from 1391 and was a double tomb of two English knights, Sir William Neville and Sir John Clanvowe. That they were buried together is strange enough, but the carving on the tomb depicts them facing each… Continue reading Knights united in life and in death….

Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V DRIVER (presses bell) BUTLER (opens door) DRIVER: Mr. Monmouth? BUTLER: Sorry, he is busy at the moment. DRIVER: Dauphin’s Sporting Goods here. I have a delivery for him; can he spare a moment to sign for it? Otherwise I’ll probably have to take it back to the warehouse. BUTLER: He is with some… Continue reading Some Shakespeare scenes re-written

Henry V: one of the most influential kings of England….

“…Henry IV [Bolingbroke, as Duke of Lancaster] returned to England and became swept up in the Lancastrian campaign to unseat Richard…” Come on, Henry IV was the Lancastrian campaign! He certainly wasn’t an innocent bystander who was swept along in the stampede. You’ll never convince me he didn’t return to England intent upon getting rid… Continue reading Henry V: one of the most influential kings of England….

SIR THOMAS MORE , A MAN FOR ALL REASONS: SAINT OR SINNER?

‘Not exactly the horse’s mouth’ In Josephine Tey’s spellbinding novel ‘The Daughter of Time’, Detective Inspector Alan Grant has a reputation for being able to spot a villain on sight. Whilst in hospital with a broken leg, Grant is idly flipping through some old postcard portraits to while away the time. He turns over a… Continue reading SIR THOMAS MORE , A MAN FOR ALL REASONS: SAINT OR SINNER?

The Epiphany Plot of 1400

Following the deposition of Richard II, his leading supporters among the nobility were put on trial before Henry IV’s first parliament. Well, all apart from the Earl of Wiltshire who had – in plain terms – been murdered at Bristol on Henry’s orders before Henry became king. (As a Lancastrian, Henry was of course allowed… Continue reading The Epiphany Plot of 1400

No smoke without …

Today in 1417, Sir John Olcastle was hanged and burned at Smithfield , as a leading Lollard and political rebel who had previously escaped from the Tower. He had been a High Sheriff of Herefordshire, an MP and a soldier under the Prince of Wales in Wales and France, all in Henry IV’s reign. One… Continue reading No smoke without …

Julian of Norwich

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07l6bd0 I would highly recommend this documentary by Janina Ramirez, whose book on the subject will soon be available . She showed how Julian, who was female by the way, was born during the fourteenth century. She may well have had a husband and children but lost both to the Black Death before becoming an… Continue reading Julian of Norwich

Mythmaking: BONES IN THE RIVER

Night. The late Middle Ages. An angry mob rips open the sealed tomb of a man and carries his fleshless skeleton through the town streets, jeering. Reaching a field of execution, the bones are hurled on a pyre and burnt, then crushed to small fragments. This indignity not being enough, the desecrated remains are then… Continue reading Mythmaking: BONES IN THE RIVER

A 1950’s Kids’ Book with a Different View

We tend to think of anything relating to Richard  III prior to the last  forty years to be biased towards traditional views, with the exceptions of Josephine Tey’s novel, Paul Murray Kendall’s biography, a few other novels like Patrick Carlton’s Under the Hog, and the early  ‘defenders’ such as Buck, Markham and Halsted. Children’s books… Continue reading A 1950’s Kids’ Book with a Different View

Shakespeare’s Henry V – King Hal versus the real Henry Plantagenet

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
Following on from my recent post about the reception of the Agincourt campaign by later generations and the associated ‘myth-making’ which has informed our view of those events, I wanted to look at the character of the central figure in Shakespeare’s play and compare and contrast it with the ‘real’ Henry…