GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! CHARLES VI OF FRANCE

On January 28, 1393, Charles VI decided to partake in the  Bal des Sauvages, the Ball of the Wild Men, a masquerade ball in which the ruler joined with gusto, joining a party of five other nobles to perform a frenzied dance dressed as a ‘woodwose’–a Wild Man of the forest. Unfortunately, the Ball ended… Continue reading GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! CHARLES VI OF FRANCE

St Maurice, patron saint of knights….?

  On reading Chivalry by Léon Gautier, I learned that St Maurice was the patron saint of knights. Another interesting fact about him is that he’s often depicted as a Black African man in armour. He apparently came from Upper Egypt, so he probably was black. I’m reminded of the Black Madonnas. We’re always surprised… Continue reading St Maurice, patron saint of knights….?

The Royal Progress of Richard III

Following his coronation, Richard III – like all medieval monarchs – went on his “royal progress” through the realm.  Along with an entourage in excess of 200 household men, ecclesiastics, supporters, and administrative officials, he visited towns and cities as far west as the River Severn, as far north as the River Ouse, and as… Continue reading The Royal Progress of Richard III

What was a Mattins of Notre Dame….?

When my research unearthed a will in which the lady left her “Mattins of Notre Dame” to her daughter, I had pause to halt. I’m not well versed in such matters, and had no idea what, exactly, a Mattins of Notre Dame was. I did know, of course “….the canonical hours of Matins (after midnight),… Continue reading What was a Mattins of Notre Dame….?

Epiphany – medieval and now….

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the following two definitions refer to the use of the word epiphany:- The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). Definition (1) A moment of sudden and great revelation/realisation. Definition (2) Epiphany has been a recognised feast of the Western Church since the 5th… Continue reading Epiphany – medieval and now….

Anyone for tennis?

There is an issue with Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, who was shot and beheaded by Vikings, today in 869. He isn’t England’s patron saint, although he is far more English than St. George, who is thought to have originated in modern-day Turkey or Syria. However, unlike St. Edward the Confessor, whose brother-in-law… Continue reading Anyone for tennis?

INSIDE THE MEDIEVAL MIND: THE WALL PAINTINGS OF NETHER WALLOP

In the small quaint Hampshire village of Nether Wallop, filming location for the BBC’s MISS MARPLE, stands St Andrew’s church, a medieval establishment built on Saxon foundations. From the exterior it looks rather ordinary (save for the strange funerary pyramid in its grounds!) but inside is a glory of wall-paintings dating from the Saxon era… Continue reading INSIDE THE MEDIEVAL MIND: THE WALL PAINTINGS OF NETHER WALLOP

Images of Power: Royal iconography during the Plantagenet period

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
Combining my two great loves, history and art, I want to look at some of the imagery used to depict Plantagenet kings during the period and taking a few examples examine what the visual language may be telling us about how kingship was viewed and how the kings themselves…

Revisiting Azincourt – 600 years of myth making.

Originally posted on Giaconda's Blog:
King Henry Vth ‘O for pity!–we shall much disgrace With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mockeries be.’ I have always been fascinated by the battle of Azincourt…