...making decisions on the basis of what seems best instead of following some single doctrine or style.
Me in a nutshell!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bloggin from London...

I'M at the British Visitor Center picking up travel passes and decided to get online for a few. Having a great time. Weather is perfect!!! Going to the Tower and Abbey today. Check in later. It's wonderful here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane. Guess where to....

LONDON and the South of England for 2 weeks beginning this Monday June 22nd. My daughter and I have been planning this trip for over a year now. We have our whole itinerary planned out. We will be London, Bath, Wales, Cornwall, Winchester and Canterbury.

I am so glad that little Miss Marion showed up on the scene before I left.

I won't be around for a couple of weeks, but you will all be in my thoughts. When I get back I am going to have the best giveaway. A little hint an out of print book by Susan Kay about Elizabeth I, and some goodies from my trip.

See you in a couple...

Meet Maid Marion Rose Wallace...

My new grandchild, first granddaughter, born yesterday 18 June 2009 2:00 p.m. 8lbs 9oz 21". Oh am I in love!!!!

Virgin's Daughter Giveaway Winner!!

Congratulations Virginibarbeau!!!! You Won!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Royal Book Review...

I finished The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy and loved it. I am a big fan of hers anyway and this book certainly lived up to her reputation. I have always been fascinated with William I mainly because I descend directly from him no less than 7 or 8 times. This is nothing unusual, he had a lot of children and they had a lot children. Multiply that by 23 generations and you are talking millions of descendants. Nevertheless his story is amazing anyway, because it changed England forever.
William's father Robert the Magnificent, the Duke of Normandy was out riding one day and saw this fair maid washing her clothes in the river. He was simply dumb struck at her beauty. He made inquiries and found out she was the local tanner's daughter. He sent his "boys" out to bring her to him in secret by night. She refused and said if he wants me, have him send me a nice horse and body guard to take me in full view across the castle bridge to him. I'm not going in the back way as some local whore. She had nerve, Robert was not known for his patience. He did as she requested and as they say "the rest is history".

As a result of their love affair, Arlette had two children William and his sister. The Duke loved Arlette, but never married her. He decided to go off to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage to purge his sins and left William as the new Duke of Normandy. William was only 7 years old. William was serious about being Duke and he learned very well the art of warfare, chivalry and government. He prided himself in being a strict but fair ruler.

He married Matilda of Flanders and had 9 children. Matilda was his number one fan and supported him in all his campaigns. He had his eye on the greatest prize, England. His father had failed to conquer England. England was considered the beautiful jewel to obtain. The country side, fertile fields and forests to hunt were very sought after by many nations. William was determined to conquer and rule. He did at a great cost. The Battle of Hastings changed England forever. William was Duke of Normandy, and William I of England. He conquered England with great destruction, but rebuilt her better than before. He brought a united rule to England, built castles, abbeys, and universities. He was a rich man and he invested heavily in the beautification of England.

He became known as the Conqueror throughout Europe because he never lost a battle. He could not be defeated. He was larger than life, however; his life was plagued with betrayal, death, and sorrow. He lost his beloved son, was hated by his other son and betrayed by friends. He had more enemies than friends. He often referred to David in the Old Testament "Live by the sword, die by the sword".

This has been the most enlightening insight into his life. Jean Plaidy makes it a very personal view. William and Matilda are easy to love and hate. I came away from reading this book very emotionally touched.

I give it a ***** review!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...

Truer words were never said when it comes to Matilda of Flanders the wife of William I (the conqueror). Oh wow was she a little tyrant. She was all of 4'2 but man alive beware if you were to have offended her. I have been reading Jean Plaidy's Bastard King and what a tale.

When Matilda was a teenager, ripe for marriage she fell head over heals for a Saxon Ambassador of England named Britric. He was a beautiful blond man with sky blue eyes. She pursued him like crazy and finally she didn't want to wait any longer so she asked him to marry her. He refused, he was betrothed to another in England. She was humiliated!!!! How could he, a mere ambassador refuse a beautiful princess. He did and he left in a hurry to return to England never to return again to Flanders.

Matilda went onto marry William, but secretly brooded over Britric for years. She couldn't wait for William to conquer England so she could be set up as Queen and take her revenge.

William did conquer England, she was Queen. She bided her time and then approached William with an idea of building her own castle. He agreed and left the matter to her. Through some investigation she found out that Britric was a very wealthy man on vast estates. She made her move and seized his estates, all his fortune and had him imprisoned. He had no idea why until right before he was murdered in his cell when his murderer would divulge that Queen Matilda was building a castle on his estates and spending his fortune.

You would think it would end there, oh no! William finally caught onto what his wife had done and was very jealous of the fact that she married him on the rebound so he decided to have an affair to spite her. He was a very faithful husband and never had strayed even when women were offering themselves to him every where he went. He decided upon a beautiful young woman who was the daughter of a Saxon Sheriff. It was basically a one time deal, afterwards he went on his way a little disappointed that he didn't feel avenged. The tragedy was that Matilda received an anonymous note revealing William's affair. In her rage she had the young woman murdered and her face disfigured because William had looked upon her and thought she was beautiful.

Did this upset William, a little, he felt sorry for the young woman, but oh what a wife he had. Matilda was as ruthless as any man and that was very pleasing for William.

William Congreve,the playwrite, who in 1687 coined the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" must have been inspired by Matilda of Flanders. Yikes!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Free Forum Friday...

Free Forum Friday is the day I can post what ever the heck I want to. Doesn't have to be royally connected at all. Today is Do You Have a Hobby Day!
O.K. let's have a little fun! Do you have a hobby that you are passionate about beyond our books? If so please share it. I think it would be wonderful hear what other of our blog friends like to do. If you have picture links, etc. that would be great.

My hobby that I do in my spare time is the art of Reborning dolls. I love to make dolls, it's so relaxing. Every baby comes out a little different. You really never know what they will look like until your have a finished product.

I have created a new blog for my dolls if you would like to visit.

Hope you all will share your hobbies with us. I look forward to knowing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday's Royal Trivia and Giveaway!

I am giving away a brand new hardback edition of the newly released The Virgin Queen's Daughter by Ella March Chase. This is from my own library. I want to have a little fun with this, so here are the rules:

Take the Liz Quiz part two. I did terrible, 6 out of 10. Must post your results to enter contest and you will receive 1 entry, become a follower = 2 entries, post on your blog = 3 entries. If you are already a follower indicate in your post. Please provide the link if you post on your blog.I do have to limit this to my United States and Canada followers becaue of the cost of postage, I'm sorry.
This is a short contest. All entries must be in by midnight Thursday June 18.

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Royal Who...

Who am I? I was born in 1343 in London. I come from a long line of merchants of Ipswich. My family was considered upper middle class. I cannot say where I was formerly educated, apparently I didn't leave that information behind, but trust me I was fluent in several languages, and will often be referred to as the father of English literature. Writing was more of a beloved passion and hobby for me, it wasn't my livelihood. My career was in the royal court of Edward III, I served him in many capacities, mainly as his chief comptroller of his ports. He sent me on foreign errands, because I was so fluent in many different languages. I also became a member of Parliament in 1374.

I married his wife's lady in waiting Phillipa de Roet who was also sister to Katherine Swymford who became the Duchess of Lancaster through her marriage to John of Ghent, the Duke of Lancaster. I really admired the Duchess of Lancaster and will go onto write my first major work for her,The Book of the Duchess. I will write many tales in my life. Some of my major works that you may recognize are:

Troilus and Criseyde
The Legend of Good Women
The Canterbury Tales
Treatise on the Astrolabe

The following is taken from one of my major works "Summoner's Tale" that compares my text to your modern translation:

Line Original:
This frere bosteth that he knoweth helle,
And God it woot, that it is litel wonder;
Freres and feendes been but lyte asonder.
For, pardee, ye han ofte tyme herd telle
This friar boasts that he knows hell,
And God knows that it is little wonder;
Friars and fiends are seldom far apart.
For, by God, you have ofttimes heard tell

I will die 25 October, 1400 of unknown causes,I have even heard it said that I was MURDERED! Well, I guess that's for me to know, and you to find out, ha ha. They buried me in Westminster's Abbey, and in 1556 I will be given a substantial tomb and inducted as the first person into the Poet's Corner of Westminster's Abbey.

Do you know who I am?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Teasers...

Hosted by:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share with us two "teaser" sentences from that page somewhere in the middle
Make sure to share the title and author of the book

I am currently reading The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy, her first book in the Norman Trilogy. It isn't any wonder that Jean Plaidy is one of my favorite authors. I love her writing style, she is very direct and to the point, she doesn't waste time on too much description, just the right amount. I highly recommend this read. It's out of print now, I found it at my local library. Great read about William I and Matilda.

Teaser #1 He was treated to the hospitality of the palace, although he was aware that her parents eyed him with some misgiving. Nor could he blame them. What had possessed him to drag this beautiful girl into the mud? And what possessed her to have forgiven him so easily for doing so?

Teaser #2 He thought her enchanting; nor could he be blind to the adoration she was offering him. Poor little girl. As much a pawn as one of those pieces her father was moving across his chessboard.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thursday's Royal Trivia...

Have you ever wondered how the name Plantagenet,originated?
I have and found out that this iconic dynastic name in medieval European history originated from Geoffrey the Duke of Anjou back in circa 1120. Geoffrey was married at 15 years old to Matilda, the widow of Henry V of Germany and daughter of Henry I.

He was a snappy dresser and loved beauty. Apparently he would always wear a sprig of Broom flower common to the area of Anjou in his cap. I can see why the flower is beautiful and smells like honey. Broom is known as planta genesta in Latin, genĂȘt in French which is why the locals began referring to Geoffrey as the Plantagenet. Geoffrey took on the name Plantagenet and
incorporated into his Coat of Arms and motto.

Geoffrey and Matilda's son Henry II would become the first Plantagenet King of England, ruling over half of Western Europe.

Suggested reading:

Pillars of the Earth: Ken Follet
War of the Roses: Alison Weir
When Christ and His Saints Slept: Sharon Kay Penman

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wedensday Royal Review...

Katherine by Anya Seton: I finally finished this book. I am not really good at writing reviews, so here goes.

Katherine de Roet was raised in a convent until she was called to court by her sister Phillipa at the age of 15. Phillipa was a ladies maid for Queen Phillipa the wife of Edward III. In those days the Ladies in Waiting worked their rears off for the Queen and your station in life had little to do with being one of her maids. Katherine came to court and was blown away by this new and different lifestyle. She immediately became friends with the Duchess of Lancaster, Blanche, the wife of John of Ghent. Katherine was having a grand ole time attending jousts, fairs, games, and feasts until one evening a Knight tried to rape her in the bushes. She was really in for it until all of the sudden she was rescued by this big tall handsome man, the Duke of Lancaster. It was love at first sight on Katherine's part, for the Duke, she was just another fair maid and he was loyal to his wife.

The knave, Hugh Swymford, who tried to rape her ended up marrying her. The Duke approved the match, in fact he encouraged it, because after all what better chance in life would Katherine have than to marry a Knight. Katherine's sister was actually jealous that Katherine was to be married to a Knight. She would have such riches and a beautiful home, who cared if the guy was an ugly brute who tried to rape you, at least you would have notoriety. Hugh carts Katherine off to his family estate which is a run down castle with a crazy woman who talks with the river children living in the turret. The serfs are all a bunch lazy pigs according to Hugh and he proceeds to beat them back into servitude while Katherine runs to furtherest most corners of the castle trying to avoid his caveman advances.

She gets pregnant immediately and Hugh goes to war. The plague comes and the Duchess of Lancaster gets it, Katherine leaves her baby in the care of her sister and goes to help the Duchess. Katherine can't get the plague because she already had it as a child, so apparently she is immune. The Duchess dies and everyone is grieving. The Duke returns from war and is an emotional mess because of his wife. He finds out that Katherine was there to take care of her and wouldn't you know it falls madly in love with her. She of course is a very pious young woman and refuses the Duke's advances because of her darling Hugh, she must remain loyal, but oh the pain in both of their hearts. The Duke doesn't give up. He is going to get married again for political advantage and decides the best way to be around Katherine and wear down her defenses is to make her his new wife's lady in waiting. Well, that's when all the intrigue, suffering and self-deprecation begins.

They say truth is stranger than fiction it's true in this story. Katherine sort of reminds of Tammy Wynett singing Stand by Your Man , which was a little sickening at times. She was a tragic figure in history. She did leave an amazing legacy through her children by the Duke of Lancaster.

Anya Seton is an amazing author, her detail on the period is astounding. It is well worth the read, just be prepared that it isn't a fast read. The only complaint I have is that sometimes it was just too wordy. You will learn a great deal about the Plantagenet's,the late 14th century,and what not to do if a Duke rescues from being raped in the bushes.

I give this 4 stars ****

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday Treats...

No Teaser today~I'm still reading Katherine by Anya Seton. I have joined two new fun challenges, that you may be interested in joining.

The Romance Challenge over at Queen of Happy Endings

I don't read Romance per-say, but this challenge looks like fun, and every once in awhile it's nice to have a sweet treat in between.

The other challenge is over at Virginie Says...

I know I can do this challenge! I'm going to read anyway and it looks like there is several categories that you can have your current read fit into.

Some good summer fun!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Monarch...

Empress Matilda, The Forgotten Queen (7 February 1102 - 10 September 1167) daughter of Henry I King of England and Matilda of Scotland. Her, and her brother, William were the only legitimate heirs of Henry I. William died young, leaving Matilda as the last heir from the her paternal line, William the Conqueror.

She was betrothed at age seven to Germany's King Henry V~Holy Roman Emperor. She was sent to Germany at age nine to be prepared to be Henry's wife. She was married at age 12 to Henry acquiring the title Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry and her had no children when Henry died in 1125 leaving Matilda a widow at 21 years old.

Matilda became heir to the English throne in 1120 when her brother William drowned in a ship wreck, leaving Matilda as the only legitimate child of Henry I. Like Matilda her cousin Stephen of Blois was also a legitimate grandchild of William I (the Conqueror), but Matilda's paternal line to William I made her senior of Stephen's maternal line to William I.

Matilda,23 years old, returned to England as the dowager Empress. Her father, Henry I arranged a political marriage between Matilda and Geoffrey of Anjou a young man of 15 years old, 11 years her junior. The couple had three sons, Henry II, Geoffrey, and William.

While she was with her husband living in Anjou, her father King Henry I died in 1135. Matilda was too far away from London to prevent the events that would rival her claim to the throne. Her cousin Stephen of Blois rushed to England and moved quickly to seize the crown of England. He was successful in London and was proceeding to do the same in Normandy, creating a civil war. Matilda launched a military campaign against Stephen almost immediately. She was successful in retrieving the crown in April 1141. Her reign lasted all of seven months and in November 1141 Stepehn regained power. She barley escaped and returned to Normandy retiring from the campaign. I would be her son Henry II that would the beginning of England's Great Kings. She died at the age of 65 in 1167 and is buried in the Rouen Cathedral in France.

Point of interest:Her epitah reads: Great by Birth, Greater by Marriage, Greatest in her Offspring: Here lies Matilda, the daughter, wife and mother of Henry.. How interesting is that, she was daughter to Henry I, wife to Henry V of Germany, and mother to Henry II. Henry II would be surrounded by agressive women all his life, his mother Matilda and his wife Eleanore of Aquitine, my 22nd and 21st greatgrandmothers.

Suggested reading:

Jean Plaidy: The Passionate Enemies, the third book of her Norman Trilogy
Sharon Penman: When Christ and His Saints Slept
Haley Garwood: The Forgotten Queen
Ken Follett: The Pillars of the Earth

You may like these posts as well:

Matilda of Flanders

John of Gaunt

Monday Moments...

Thanks to Heather at Maiden's Court I have been given this awesome award! This award is given to people who show great attitude and gratitude in their blogging. I would like to pass this on to:

Dar: Peeking Between the Pages
Ms. Lucy: Enchanted Josephine

Thank-you Marie at Burton Reviews for the thinking of me and this lovely award!

Post 7 things you love.
Give award to 7 other bloggers who are creative.

Here are seven things I love:
My big family (6 children and 5 grandchildren)
My 3 Westies and 2 Golden Retrievers
My Blog Buddies
My books
The Pacific Ocean
Family History
Making Reborn Dolls

I am awarding:
Arleigh and Ms. Lucy: Royal Intrigue
Ms. Lucy: Enchanted Josephine
Dar: Peeking Between the Pages
Jenny: Jenny Loves to Read
Susan: Medieval Woman:Historical Fiction
Alabama Bookworm
Matterhorn at The Cross of Laeken
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