The lack of posts so early on has left my blog-conscious heavy. Perhaps it's warm weather and summertime social calendars that disallow frequent posts. While I did spend the weekend at the beach, Marquess of Pembroke was on my mind. (I pray for the days to return when pale was beautiful for the sake of those that go from lobster back to translucent. I had to take a mid-day aloe break to relieve my poor skin.) The delay is not so much clear skies and rhythmic waves, but a clouded vision of what to do next, the organization of my Tudor thoughts.
In my premier post, I mentioned creating a time line on a roll of butcher paper, and I was only semi-facetious; I do have the paper sitting in the garage, just waiting for a project. Chronological organization could be the most useful format for anyone that happens by, and I'm 90 percent certain this is the path that I'll loosely base things on. I'm one chapter away from finishing The Children of Henry VIII. (I must say, the title drives me crazy. Lady Jane Grey is included, as she should be, but wouldn't one call it The Heirs of Henry VIII? Elizabeth isn't even covered past the death of Mary.) Once it's completed, I will resist the urge to continue on with Elizabeth's story and go back to the beginning to bring about the fruition of my time line desires.
I possess a gene, possibly passed through my family tree, that causes unhealthy adoration for birthdays. I love birthdays, and today is mine. While home for a birthday weekend with the folks, I went to the local book retailer to find a present for myself, as previously pondered upon. While they did not have Henry's love letters (that will have to be a web purchase, I suppose), I did pick up two light-hearted royal reads. My mother, who was shopping with me, must secretly fear that my affinity to dry, historical nonfiction is carrying too far into my late twenties and encouraged me to reshelf the volume on Henry's wives that would have added nicely to the other volume I already have on the same topic, but by a different author. (Nevermind that her preference in reading material is medieval romance -smut- complete with lords, ladies, and the like. Could this be another family gene, only slightly mutated to crave the real scandals and sexual escapades? Perhaps.) I listened to her motherly advice and couldn't be more pleased with the results.
A Treasury of Royal Scandals by Michael Farquhar and Doomed Queens by Kris Waldherr have both been delightful. Doomed Queens has fabulous illustrations. The whole feel of the book is absolutely wonderful, from the paper to the inside cover art complete with reaper-like skeletons dancing about. Oh, these little details give me so much joy and titillate my design sensibilities.
I'm about half way through ...Royal Scandals. The accounts within make Henry's escapades pale in comparison (though he receives his fair share of the spotlight) and serve as a nice reminder of all the debauchery that carried on once upon a time. I'm developing a theory that Katherine of Aragon's stubborn reluctance to leave Henry could have been a strand of her family's DNA causing madness and obsession, shown best in her sister, Juana the Mad. Oh, wouldn't that be interesting? I shouldn't let my imagination run away like this, or maybe I should.
Farquhar's family trees in the beginning of his book are just what a birthday girl craves, covering from William the Conqueror to the current royal family in England, along with France's Valois line and Katherine's Spanish Habsburg family tree. It's an intertwining mess of history, so neatly placed in little boxes for us to view. It's worth the buy just for that in my opinion.
Ah, aren't birthdays grand?
Posted by Shannon at Tuesday, June 09, 2009