The Traitor’s Arms?

In 1840 workmen carrying out repairs to St Bartholomew’s Church, Ashperton, Herefordshire were collecting stones from the ruins of a nearby manor house when they discovered a heavy stone plaque, carved with an elaborate coat of arms, among the rubble. The stone was taken to the church for safekeeping and has hung on the wall… Continue reading The Traitor’s Arms?

I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

Recently while perusing a book of folklore, I came across this traditional rhyme- I had a little nut tree, Nothing  could it bear But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear; The king of Spain’s daughter Came to visit me; And all for the sake of my little nut tree. Apparently, this rhyme is supposed… Continue reading I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

Where did the Tudors come from….?

For those of us who may wish to know where the name Tudor comes from, here’s a thorough explanation.  

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?

The truth about Prince Arthur, Prince Henry, and Katherine of Aragon….?

As so often happens, acquiring a book for a specific reason leads to something else that is quite thought-provoking. In this case, the book is The Medieval Python: The Purposive and Provocative Work of Terry Jones, in which the subject of one of the eighteen contributions is Catherine of Aragon and her two marriages. Do not… Continue reading The truth about Prince Arthur, Prince Henry, and Katherine of Aragon….?

More’s cryptic reference explained?

In his unpublished semi-satirical volume, More has the Lord Protector and Defender of the Realm, Richard Duke of Gloucester who was also Lord High Constable of England for life, call for some strawberries before the Constable’s Court could pronounce sentence on William Lord Hastings. Many historians have struggled to understand the significance of the strawberries… Continue reading More’s cryptic reference explained?

History and cultural history (II)

In this piece, we introduced the idea that Shakespeare, although a very inaccurate historian, accurately reflected the cultural history of his time with respect to the political execution of women. We have also discussed how the Bard’s Richard III may actually have been a portrayal of Robert Cecil. Another piece showed the uncertainty as to… Continue reading History and cultural history (II)

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…

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…

Most-Famous 20th-Century Tarot Deck Features Death’s Banner Emblazened with the White Rose of the House of York

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck (RWS) is arguably the most famous of 20th-century Tarot decks. For decades, I’ve been using the RWS as an aid to developing fictional characters. Only recently did I notice the Death card in the Major Arcana features a skeletal knight carrying a banner on which is imprinted the White Rose of… Continue reading Most-Famous 20th-Century Tarot Deck Features Death’s Banner Emblazened with the White Rose of the House of York