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

Friday, March 26, 2010

Origins & Ten Commandments of Medieval Knighthood...

To coincide with our HFBRT The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick event I have decided to do my creative post on Medieval Knighthood.

William Marshall being The Greatest Knight and my 27th great grandfather sparked a keen interest in me to explore the origins of Knighthood in the Middle Ages further. Through my research I have learned that knight is a "gentleman soldier". Knighthood in the Middle Ages found it's genesis with the Emperor Charlemagne, King of Franks in the 8th century. It was during the Crusades in the 11th century that knights began to gain their notoriety. A well known and often legendary order of knighthood during this time was The Knights Templar; a holy order of knights which William Marshall always had an affinity towards and joined the order with instructions to the Templar's regarding his burial while on his death bed.

Basically a medieval knight was a warrior, from a middle to upper class family who was considered a protector and servant of the realm. They really held no political office, knighthood was granted by the sovereign to a selected person for some merit of achievement. In the medieval era only the sons of a knight were eligible for knighthood. These young men who were singled out were sent off to a castle as pages, and then later squires for other knights. Around the age of 20 they would be admitted to their rank and expected to obey the code of chivalry at all times, no failure was accepted.

It would be rare, if not impossible during the middle ages for a poor man to become a knight. The heavy armor worn and weapons used by the soldier was very heavy and very expensive. The soldier needed family support to purchase his armor, and horse(s), it was not provided by the state, thus William's uncle was his sponsor and later through ransoms gained in battle or tournaments William supported himself.

A knight rode into battle on horseback he was not a foot soldier. In battle a knight would carry his colors on his horse, armor, or on a banner. This was an identification similar to dog tags used in today's military. His colors also indicated he was a knight, and if captured by the enemy was afforded military courtesy. Beginning in about the 12th century knights carried their color banners to tournaments for identification in the games. These colors were actually the beginning elements of a family's coat of arms, which became very popular from the 12th century to present day. Once a knight they were expected to obey the code chivalry at all times. Their social status was permanently controlled, and their lives were always under watchful eyes.

Below are the Ten Commandments of the Code of Chivalry:
1. Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe all its directions.

2. Thou shalt defend the Church.

3. Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.

4. Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born.

5. Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.

6. Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy.

7. Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.

8. Thou shalt never lie, and shall remain faithful to thy pledged word.

9. Thou shalt be generous, and give largess to everyone.

10. Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this HFBRT event it's been my favorite so far. I hope you all will pick-up a copy of both The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick. I cannot recommend these two books enough. You will be in for a treat.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick...

Another winner by Elizabeth Chadwick. The Scarlet Lion is the continuing story of William Marshall found in The Greatest Knight. The Scarlet Lion continues now with William and Isabelle Marshall's family and marriage.

The story begins during the labor and delivery of the Marshall's fourth child in Normandy while William is at the service of King Richard. William has been in the service to the royal family all his adult life. He has earned their trust through time and again proven loyalty to them.

King Richard will die of a festering wound leaving no heirs to the throne. He will name his youngest brother John rather than his nephew Arthur the son of his elder brother Geoffrey his heir. This will cause dissension among the barons, some in Arthur's camp and others in Johns. William Marshall will campaign heartily along with William De Brasoe for John being King believing he is choosing the best of two evils. Arthur is a teenager and will fight for his right to be heir to the throne leading him to seek the aid of the French. Nothing goes as planned. John will end up capturing Arthur and use him as a hostage. Eventually John will kill Arthur himself and have him dumped in the Seine no one being the wiser about what happened.

The Marshall's will travel to Ireland to claim Isabelle Marshall's estate Kilkenny Castle in Leinster. Isabelle is reunited with her mother Aoiefe who is the daughter of the late King of Ireland. Aoiefe doesn't take to well to William because he is of Norman descent. She becomes a wedge in their marriage and thank goodness she doesn't live long enough to do some real damage.

Kilkenny is the place of choice for Isabelle. She wants to live and raise her children there. Can you blame her it's beautiful. However; can anything be easy for the Marshall's other than having children? Local nobility resents the fact that an English Earl is now their overlord, and will stir up trouble and rebellion from the beginning.

The Marshall's family will grow to 10 children and they will move back and forth from Wales to Ireland to England. They will have joy and sorrow as all families. William and Isabelle will grow older physically and wiser, but will remain in love and devoted to each other through-out. There will times that will heavily strain their marriage. Isabelle will not understand how William can completely serve King John knowing how evil and manipulative John is. William will remain true to his character through-out his life and men and women will hold his name in reverence, a man of integrity.

The characters are richly portrayed. I was transported back in time, truly feeling how it must of been to raise a family in the Middle Ages. Ms. Chadwick's descriptions never went over the top, they were just enough to get her point across and I as a reader really appreciate that.

I really enjoyed all the labors and deliveries especially of their seventh child Sybrie. Sybrie is my 26th great grandmother so it was really fun reading about her. I know it was a fictional account of the birth but really well done.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I do recommend you read The Greatest Knight first, it will just make this story all the more enjoyable. Ms. Chadwick has a marvelous writing style that transports you right into the story. I look forward to reading A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick which is actually the prequell to The Greatest Knight, about John Marshall, William's father.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to win the HFBRT Chadwick Event giveaway of The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Scarlet Lion Event begins today...

Begins today!!! Check out HFBRT daily for updates on Guest Posts,
Book Reviews, Creative Posts and Author Interviews.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday's Royal Review The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick...

I NEED A HERO, He's got to be strong, He's got to be good, He's got to be larger than life...

Imagine a father putting up his 5 year old son as collateral for a bargain being made to a King, and if he doesn't fulfill his part, his son will be hanged. Can't imagine this, well it's true. William Marshall was just that child, and his father failed in his part of the bargain with King Stephen, bragging that what is his child's life to him after all he still had "his hammer and anvils to produce another one".

King Stephen, fully prepared to keep his word and hang young William recognizes something tenacious and noble about the little guy and spares his life. William will grow up being a squire to the great knights and learns the trade very well. He will become a knight that truly adheres to the chivalrous code.

He becomes a part of King Henry II's household pledging his loyalty to the royal family. He is put in charge of teaching and preparing the heir, young Henry, to be King. He pledges his word and life to this young man being there through the good and bad, and at his bed side when the young heir dies of camp fever. He will travel to the Holy Land to bow at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to keep his pledge he gave to the dying Henry to ask for forgiveness in his behalf for his sins.

Through-out this story William will time and time again prove his loyalty and integrity. He is no bottom kisser for sure. Ms. Chadwick has done a marvelous job of portraying a man, a very good man, not a god that no one can relate to, but a man of flesh and blood. A man that is kind, funny, focused and passionate. In truth one HOT guy that every woman would desire.

I likened him to:

Russell Crowe as Maximus Mel Gibson as William Wallace Clive Owen as King Arthur

His character made me think of the song I Need a Hero from Shreck 2. Went on an YouTube search for a music video and found this:

Ms. Chadwick has now become one of my top 5 favorite Historical Fiction authors. I loved every chapter and that is saying a lot considering it is 529 pages. The book has it all: drama, comedy, adventure, intrigue, and romance. Treat yourself, get the book and go on a three day reading vacation. You will be transported back in time with a man that is larger than life.

This Sunday begins HFBRT The Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick Event. Don't miss it. The Scarlet Lion (the continuing story of William Marshall) is another gem.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Toast to you St. Paddy...

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,

Who through strategy and stealth,

Drove all the snakes from Ireland,

Here’s a toasting to his health.

But not too many toastings Lest you lose yourself and then

Forget the good Saint Patrick And see all those snakes again.

'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!

'Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Winner of The Secret of the Glass is...

RACHEL. Congratulations! The luck of the Irish is with you today!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Single Black Female...

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting....

Miss Daisy
Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin Giveaway!!

I am offering m advanced readers copy (ARC) of The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin as a giveaway. It is in EXCELLENT condition. I take very good care of my books.

If you would like to enter this contest please:

  • 1 entry leave a comment and your email address.
  • 2 entries become a follower, if already a follower please indicate.
  • 3 entries comment, follow and leave this link on your blog or tweet

For USA mail only. Contest concludes Tuesday March 16,2010

Good book and this gives you the perfect chance to get to read it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Descending from William Marshall 3rd Earl of Pembrooke,27 generations...

I have currently been reading the The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick about William Marshall. I never even really heard about him until reading this book in preparation for the HFBRT event featuring the Scarlet Lion by Elizabeth Chadwick. I thought it would be best to read The Greatest Knight first since Scarlet Lion continues the story of William Marshall. While reading I started recognizing different names and places mentioned beyond the obvious royal characters. I knew I had seen these names before somewhere and then I put two and two together and pulled out my genealogy and found out that William Marshall 3rd Earl of Pembrooke is my 26th great grandfather. I have skimmed by his name so many times, never giving it much thought. I will never do that again. After reading this fantastic book I am in awe of this man and in awe that he is my direct ancestor.
I have had several people contact me a little skeptical of my claims to my royal heritage. I just chuckle, because as unbelievable as it is to them it is just as unbelievable to me :-). I am not the only one to descend from these people, many of you out there reading this if you had the inclination to do your family history you may be surprised to find out who you are related to.

Anyway I'm really not out to prove anything, but I did think it would be fun to create a descendant chart of my relationship to William Marshall, so I did and I'm including it in this post below. If any one's interested you can follow beginning with William 27 generations down to me. The bold type individuals represent a generation and the bullet italicized individuals are their spouses. This is just represents one direct family line.


Descending from William Marshall “The Protector”
3rd Earl of Pembrooke

William Marshall 3rd Earl of Pembrooke (1143-1219)

Isabella Fitzgilbert De Clare (1172 – 1220)

Sibyl Marshall (1209 – 1238)

William De Ferrers (1200 – 1254)

Matilda De Ferrers (1228 -1299)

William “Fort” De Viivonne (1225 – 1259)

Joan De Viivonne (1249 – 1314)

Reginal FitzHerbert (1232 – 1285)

Peter Fitz Herbert Baron of Chewton (abt 1254 – 1323)

Alice Broadspeare (1254 - ?)

Herbert Fitz Piers ( 1269 - ?)

Margaret Walsh (1270 - ?)

Adam Fitz Herbert (1290 - ?)

Christian Verch Gwarin Ddu (1295 - ?)

John J, Gwarin Lord of Adam (1316- ?)

Gwinillian ap Bleddin (1328 - ?)

William ap Lord of Gwarinddu Herbert (1346 - ?)

Gwinillian Vaughn (1350 - ?)

Thomas ap Gwillem Herbert (1372-1438)

Maud Morley (1380 - ?)

Jevan ap Thomas Ragland (Died 1416 Ragland Castle Monmouth Wales)

Margaret Grant (Glamorgan Wales)

Robert ap Jevan Ragland (1408 - ?)

Joan Clerke (1410 - ?)

Lewis ap Robert Ragland (1440 – 1526)

Joan David (1442 - ?)

Robert Raglad (1510 - ?)

Alice Matthew (1510 - ?)

Thomas Ragland (1530 – 1565)

Mary Carne (1530 - ?)

John Ragland (1545 - ?)

Alice Kingson (1543 - ?)

Thomas Ragland (1575 - ?)

Marie Ingram (1605 - ?)

Thomas Ragland (1628 – 1653)

Jane Morgan (1628 - ?)

Evan Ragland (1656 – 1716)
shanghaied by Colonist Captain in Cardiff, Wales and sold as a white slave to Stephen Pettus in Baltimore, Maryland at age 16. He later married Susanna Pettus, Stephens daughter and inherited a large estate.

Susanna Pettus (1656 – 1717) New Kent, Virginia

Stephen Ragland (1687 - ?)

Mary Hudson (1692 - ?)

Agnes Ragland (1723 – 1760)

Eprahim Merritt ( 1705 – 1760)

Elizabeth Merritt (1743 – 1814)

William Rose (1757 – 1835) Revolutionary War Soldier

Elizabeth Rose (1782 – 1860)

Edward Bennett (1791 – 1880)

Mahala Jane Bennet (1848 - 1913)

Eprahim Rose ( 1847 – 1915)

William Merritt Rose ( 1871 – 1940)

Elizabeth Lawson (1874 – 1904)

Lawrence Rose (1898 – 1989)

Anna Mae Bryant (1899 – 1998)

Ruby Elizabeth Rose (1921 – 1994)

Harvey Walter Fritz (1917 – 2008)

Susan Kay Fritz (1954 - )

James Anthony Fiorito ( 1951 - )
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