Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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
NO SPOILERS PLEASE
My teasers come from pg 197: The Virgin and the Crab by Robert Parry:
To the very south there is the river, the broad Thames with its teaming populations of ships and small craft, while all around there stand the mighty ramparts that mark the boundaries of the fortress itself - the numerous towers and turrets in which prisoners are kept in all manner of conditions ranging from the most damp and rat-infested holes to rooms which by many people's standards would be considered quite palatial, even if not luxuriant in certain instances, depending on the status and wealth of the occupants.
Enjoying this book very much!
Friday, October 23, 2009
While traveling in London this past summer one of the highlights was visiting the Tower of London. So much history stored up in that place. I particularly wanted to see the infamous "Traitors Gate". It was eerie! One could truly imagine the boat pulling in through the gate with the prisoner being let out at the bottom of the stairs, then climbing up the stairs to be imprisoned waiting for execution.
Originally Traitors Gate was called the Water Gate which was commissioned King Edward I to have a water entrance into the Tower of London which was used at the time for Royal family accommodation. Over the years the Tower became a prison for traitors to the crown. To be imprisoned in the tower you had to be of some notoriety, otherwise you were sent to Newgate prison in London.
Most people will associate The Tower with Tudor history and rightly so. More imprisonments and executions were carried out in the Tower in this era than any other time period.
The journey for the condemned would start on the river Thames in a prison barge. The barge would sail down the river under the London Bridge which usually had the heads of recently executed prisoners on spikes for all to see. After passing under the bridge the barge would sail through the river entrance to the Traitors Gate coming to rest at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to St. Thomas Tower, one of 23 towers in the Tower of London
complex. This grisly practice would continue until 1648.
Some of the most famous people to make this journey were Anne Boelyn, Sir Thomas Moore, Catherine Howard, and the Lady Jane Gray. While Catherine Howard passed under the London Bridge she would look up and see her former lover Thomas Culpepper's head on a spike, thus she arrived at Traitor's Gate hysterical. Queen Anne upon arriving at the top of the stairs asked the Tower Constable if she were to be thrown into the dungeon. He told her she would have the same accommodations as she did on the eve of her coronation. Queen Anne began to alternately weep and laugh hysterically at this news.
Lady Jane Gray at Traitors Gate, Tower of London
Traitors Gate is closed now only to serve as a reminder of a grisly and sad past.
Suggested reading below. Please feel free to add to the list or mention other notable Tower prisoners. Some I have purposely left out to draw in some comments :-).
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Edward II the 1st Prince of Wales
The Welsh people wanted to have Prince of their own, one that was born in Wales and could speak neither English or French. He must speak Welsh. The Barons went to the King with their request. He thought it was a good idea. He wined them and dined them, and then brought out his infant son Edward, declaring him their Prince of Wales. He was born in Wales and he could speak neither English or French. He promised them that he would make sure that the first language the Prince would learn to speak would be Welsh. He asked the Barons if they would be willing to serve his son as the Prince of Wales. What could they say? They agreed and on 10 May 1301 when Edward was 16 years he was formally invested as the Prince of Wales in Lincoln.
From this time forward the heir to the Crown of England has been formally invested as the Princes(ses) of Wales. It is not a hereditary title or conferred at birth, it must be conferred in an official ceremony. The jewels that the Princes have received over the centuries as gifts now make up the official Crown of Wales.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page
I haven't posted Mailbox Monday before because I do not always receive books during the week or I receive too many to list all at one time. However; I did receive a goody this week.
Virgin and the Crab: Sketches, Fables and Mysteries from the early life of John Dee and Elizabeth Tudor by Robert Parry
Robert was good enough to send me a copy of his book to read and review. I checked him out on Amazon and he has received excellent reviews.
The brilliant young mathematician and astronomer John Dee has one overwhelming obsession:liberty. Abandoned and humiliated, Elizabeth Tudor has one simple aim: survival. What will happen when these two are thrown together by circumstances neither can anticipate or control? This is their story as Dee and the mysterious brotherhood of the Rose Lodge - working against almost insurmountable odds and threatened by a vengeful and unforgiving Queen - attempt to guide the nation towards enlightenment and stability. Here, a parallel universe of secrecy and faith is revealed in which the unseen forces of nature support all that is visible and real - a place, too, where the special alchemy of the Virgin and the Crab works its magic, growing from childhood friendship, through adolescent flirtation to mutual respect and admiration as together they prepare to sacrifice everything for the world they wish to inherit. "One of the most extraordinary and yet untold relationships of the Tudor age."
I am thrilled at the prospect of reading this book. It sounds like it is right up my alley for the genre I love to read. What could be a better read than something royal, especially Tudor royal!!
I will be posting my review soon.
Thank-you again Robert for sending me your book!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
I am going to start with All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott. I would say this book is probably one of my oldest friends on my shelf. I found this book 33 years ago when I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I had such miserable morning sickness it was hard to function. Everyday I would put my 15 month old baby down for a nap and I would take that time to nap myself and read. My friend brought this book to me and insisted I read it. She just raved and raved about it. It looked good to me. It was a true story about the life of a vet in the Yorkshire Dales in the late 1930's. I love true stories and I love stories about animals. From the very first page I was hooked! I read the book twice before returning it and was happy to discover that the sequel All Things Bright and Beautiful was already published and the same friend had a copy. I devoured that book the same way and was so anxious for the the third book All Things Wise and Wonderful to be published. I was the first on the reservation list at our local library.
Over the last 33 years I have read and re-read these stories countless times. Every chapter is an individual story. These books have truly been my friends during happy times and dark times as well. When I need some happiness and grounding in my life I will just grab one of these off the shelf and go to bed with it. They have become an institution in our home, my children know the stories, they have read the books several times themselves and I believe most of them have their own copies. I am sure many of you have read these books as well. BBC has done a wonderful job of creating a series based on these books. Check these as well. Available on NetFlix. I would love to hear from you.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
I think it's because October marks the end of the heat for us. I can actually pull out my cute sweaters, etc. for the office. Had to get my blog up to speed too.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Here goes... if any of you have any doubts to Mr. Polanski's guilt or are in a mind to defend him in anyway please take the time and read the actual March 11, 1977 Grand Jury testimony in regards to this case. I warn you it is not for the faint at heart.
Catch the link here:http://digg.com/celebrity/Roman_Polanski_s_rape_trial_transcript
I have heard arguments this week that it wasn't really "Rape, Rape" and/or he suffered as child and his wife and unborn child were murdered, he's just a little crazy. Are you really going to tell me this is justification for drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13 year old girl? I don't think so!!! There is no justification for these horrific crimes. And if our society will actually defend this man because he is a so called "artistic genius", then we are no different than the ancient Athenians or Romans and we are truly on our way to hell in a hand basket.
For the record I will not be a bystander and say nothing, I am saying this as loud and to as many people as I can; Roman Polanski drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl. He is a pedophile. He needs to be extradited from Switzerland, brought to the United States publicly stand trial and serve out his sentence in prison along with all the other convicted sodomizers and pedophiles.
as the English Philosopher Edward Burke said: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I know there are so many others that feel the same way, please make your voice heard!