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Showing posts from October, 2013

Not Enough Henry.... Or How To Get Lost In A Book

Hello everyone! A few more thoughts on Henry to share. Since last August I've been a happy owner of a fantastic book. Highly recommended to those of you who have become members of the Angevin royal households for good. England under the Norman and Angevin Kings by Robert Bartlett has comfortably settled on my working desk, ready to fall in my greedy hands whenever I choose. Professor Bartlett provides a reader with all sort of useful information, from court politics, royal finances and administration, via saints and their cults, overseas pilgrimage, dance and drama, to naming patterns, love, sex, marriage, manners and „beings neither angelic, human, nor animal”. I have learnt of the English kings' miraculous abilities to cure swelling of the throat glands, discovered St William of Norwich's love for candles, travelled with the portable royal household...

Unfortunately the book, excellent as it may be, suffers from one major drawback: not enough Henry the Young King. I am…

17 October 1173: The Battle of Fornham

‘I have been concerned here to record what I know from personal experience of the events that took place in St Edmund’s church in my time, describing the bad deeds as well as the good, to provide both warning and example. I begin in the year in which the Flemings were taken prisoner outside the town…’ With these words Jocelin of Brakelond begins his Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds and adds that 1173 was the year when he himself entered the monastery. Following suit, Jocelin must have known every detail of the battle that was fought at nearby Fornham St. Genevive on 17 October 1173, the first serious defeat of Henry the Young King’s forces on English soil in the rebellion against his father, and probably, as John D. Hosler points out ‘the most decesive battle’ in Henry II’s reign.
‘… on the fourth of July, by the king’s command, the city of Leicester is said to have been besieged, because the earl, its lord, had left the king and taken part with the young king his son’ (Roger o…

CrazyCris's Thoughts on Sharon Kay Penman's Devil's Brood. A Guest Post

Today I am very happy to welcome the fellow admirer of Sharon Kay Penman's novels, CrazyCris, who kindly agreed to share her thoughts and impressions after reading Devil's Brood, the last part of Ms. Penman's Angevin trilogy. You are in for a... crazy ride!
With a title like that you might expect a fantastical tale of some demon spawn, but then you wouldn’t be reading about it here at the Young King’s court, now would you? Nope. This is a much more terre à terre tale. That of quarrelsome children and stubborn parents, but on a much grander scale than that which we’re used to today, for these children’s quarrels played out across half of France in bloody fields of battle, mighty sieges and include epic tales of betrayal (but also touching scenes of loyalty amongst some of their retainers). Betrayal of each other, betrayal of their oaths, betrayal of their father… It’s almost enough to make you believe the family legend that they were descendants of the Devil via his "…