Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nothing much happening????

It's been pointed out to me that I haven't been blogging much lately. This is true. It's partly because the days go past so quickly. Those of you under 30 (if any) be grateful for the fact you currently have 36 hours in a day. By the time you get to my age you'll find it's more like 12. I have been doing some writing but I've also been engaged in quite a bit of more tedious stuff, and I often doss as my ailments make me the sort of lazy person my younger self would have held in contempt.

I have in mind some quite interesting write-ups about Edward IV and his crowd but before I write them I need to do you all the courtesy of checking my facts, given that this blog, at least, is not supposed to be part of my world of fiction.

In particular, I want to write about Edward IV and Henry Duke of Somerset, who for a time shared his bed even though they were not at all gay. It has also been pointed out to me that initially Somerset surrendered on terms to Warwick, and thus Warwick's alleged dissatisfaction with the favour shown to Somerset does not make entire sense. I suspect it was the degree of favour that was the problem.

However, before I try to make sense of it I need to work out the chronology of the surrender of the northern castles and the deeds and whereabouts of Queen Margaret and Henry VI, which is currently as clear as mud in my mind.

In the interim, another book recommendation for you: Malory by Christina Hardyment. There's some really interesting stuff in here, especially about the chaos that was England under Henry VI. If you don't 'get' why York and the other reformers were so unhappy with the set-up, this book will certainly help your understanding.


STAG said...

Ahhh. The voice of reason....

John Foelster said...

Awesome, awesome blog.

I stumbled across you researching a speculative Facebook note that took a tongue in cheek look at what the English succession would be like if Braveheart were true and Edward III were William Wallace's bastard. (Presumably through frozen sperm donation...)

I got the initial call spectacularly wrong by saying that nothing would change in the long run since Edmund of Kent's heir general would be Anne Mortimer through Joan of Kent and the Hollands, merging into the Yorks and so on down to Lizzy, Chuck and little Billy. Thus completely missing the obvious existence of Thomas of Norfolk and the fact that your rightful King would be the good old Duke of Norfolk.

To make up for this crass mistake I then tried to figure out who some of the heirs general of the Plantagenet women would be, which makes for an amusing read.

A lot of the bloodlines seem to make a beeline straight for the Hapsburgs and the Bourbons, and the fact that one of Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk's and by extension, Richard III's statutory heirs was the constitutional philosopher Montesquieu... the irony is just too rich. Almost as funny as the fact that Prince William's Jacobite rival is apparently going to end up being the future Prince of Lichtenstein.

Some of the girls were hard to figure out, even with Wikipedia's obsessive genealogical exactitude.

I can't pinpoint who Isabel of York's contemporary heir, for example. Wiki more or less loses interest after the Devereaux Earls of Essex die out.

Likewise, it is stated that the heirs of Anne St. Leger include Princess Diana, but there's no clear genealogical progression online.

I'm actually a wannabe historical fiction writer myself, as I have about an act and a half of a Yorkist slanted "Richard III" play that I affectionately nickname "Bizarro Richard III", attacking the Shakespeare representation from an equal and opposite extreme. Being a Yank, I'm actually approaching the subject from the patently ludicrous angle that Richard and Catesby were proto-Parliamentarians. Maybe someday I'll finish writing it... So many other projects on the front burner.

In any case, thank you for assembling an absolutely fascinating resource and please keep on updating. Rooting through the archive will keep me happy for a few days.