abendgules: (ohnoes_omg)
...hate it when that happens.

Ink and Gold: Islamic Calligraphy is already wending its way, courtesy of the online-book-dealers-that-are-not-Amazon.

It's from a Sam Fogg exhibit: Sam Fogg being an exclusive dealers' gallery, where you buzz in to enter, and can browse the displays and fondle the books if you ask. It's like seeing how the other half (well, 1%) live: the neighbourhood is about as exclusive as it gets for shopping in London.

If you have to ask, you can't afford...

ETA: second time in 2 days. Now have 2 different fencing manuals en route.
abendgules: (monsters)
...I now have downloaded more 19th c books than I can likely read in a lifetime of commuting.

I'm intrigued by the iBook tools, that allow you to select from 4 very closely related serif fonts for reading, as well as a white background, off-white (like old paper) and black with white text).

These tools don't work equally well for all publications; possibly only work w/ the crack dealer's offer those items from the Apple shop, rather than just any e-book.

The archive.org PDF copy of 'Last of the Mohicans' doesn't benefit from them.

To me the interesting part is imitating the typeface of print. In user research, research showed that

  • people reading computer screens understand more if the text is in sans serif font, w/ serif fonts for headers

  • people reading paper copy understand more if the text is in serif font, with sans serif for headers

It appears that this was possibly a screen resolution issue, rather than a human-being issue; something I hadn't considered.

With better resolution (even for small screens) you could read something in serif fonts, and not get eyestrain.

Still trying to master the tapping skills required to turn pages, and not accidentally select text.


Mar. 12th, 2015 06:45 pm
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
Sir Terry Pratchett, renowned fantasy author, dies aged 66

I hope BBC re-run all the Pratchett radio plays.

Maybe even a couple of movies - though the first half of 'Hogfather' I watched on DVD didn't do the story justice, sadly. Susan StoHelit was very good visually but the rest of the production disappointed.

Want to curl up with 'Thud'.
abendgules: (editor)
...courtesy of Dan Snow.

HMS Surprise. Built for Master and Commander, now biding her time at the brilliant San Diego Maritime Museum.

A photo posted by Dan Snow (@thehistoryguy) on

abendgules: (abbey_cats)
abendgules: (Mountjoy)
I'm unlikely to ever do first hand research on theories of medieval history, so I rely on professional historians to explain it to me.

I find it fascinating to hear historians argue about theories. This is a nice summary of ten books, several of which I knew of, particularly Norman Cantor's one at the top - it had come out just as I joined the Society.

I hadn't realised 'the stirrup theory' had been discredited: I thought the stirrup was an important advancement in horseriding, and thus mattered a lot. But perhaps it's the 8th c 'introduction' that's in question, b/c I thought I'd seen a Roman stirrup at the MoL. [livejournal.com profile] jpgsawyer, do you know?
abendgules: (knitting)
I have knitting on the brain.

I can do it without having to find all my craft supplies in our new place - just go with what is at hand. It's mindless and soothing.

Of course I've now just received both Kaffe Fassett books and a book about traditional sweater patterns, so I have slightly obsessive knitting-brain, and my plans are running miles ahead of my actual capacity and stash.

Ah yes the stash. I'm still trying to stick to my resolve to work from my stash. It doesn't always work, and I've stumbled and bought myself treats here and there, but I try to keep it to enough for a pair of socks at a time...

except last week I ordered 1/2 a kilo of black Shetland yarn for making Tudor flat hats. Whoops. Well, it's a commission.

So is the Kaffe Fassett, as it happens; the books are inspiration to make silly sweaters for a friend. But he'd better give me an idea of what he wants or I may run amok. It's hard to sit still reading a knitting book, my fingers begin to twitch. And Robert's taste does not run to Kaffe Fassett...

Slowly, the flat is looking more homey. We manage to empty a box or so a day, and have invited friends to come unbox our books with us tomorrow.

They're the biggest bibliophiles I know outside the SCA (we still have friends outside the SCA, it's allowed - I checked) and the best people to ask for help in reshelving.

Til now we've simply reshelved at random - truly at random, as in 'take out books and put on nearest shelf' so right now it's genuinely weird - there are' books on shelves but no discernible order. Even my self-help books are out on display.

It's a symptom of just how wearing the move was that we're not busy fixing it all RIGHT NOW MUST FIX and that we're simply ignoring it. But tomorrow we gird loins and fix it.

Yesterday for a laugh I fired up LibraryThing which I haven't touched in several years. I was keen to record all our books but mostly stopped after 2008, when I had most of them recorded at that point - probably in anticipation of our next move, and influenced by Terafan the raging keen got-a-database-for-everything guy. Har har! They've run away again.

Now is a good time, because the LT interface has improved, a lot, since I last used it. And I can tag stuff better now. I can even delete stuff, because we've parted with a lot of books - otherwise we'd have no room for the new ones.

I know that weeding out books is a rare things for a lot of bibliophiles. But I genuinely want a working library, one that I use, not one that just causes L-space, a la Discworld. I don't want bad books; I want things I read, that I re-read even.

Someday, I'll have to pack and leave again. I only want to take what I absolutely need, for wherever that next trip takes me.

And on that trip I don't need still more cat books or schlock paperbacks. The cats know I am a cat person, and I know, and that doesn't need a book collection to illustrate it. And paperbacks I vet carefully for 'will I really read this again?' And a lot of them don't pass.

Books are for the things I can't keep in my Sherlockian mind-palace, and that keep stuff together (stories, ideas, instructions) so I can find them again...YMMV.

Robert is on a mission to cross the city today to visit w/ Vitus, so I'm free to putter. So I think it's more exploring the neighbourhood - find the nearest Lidl, for one. Part of moving is finding the new 'local' stuff.

We've determined the local Aldi is crap; the local Sainsbury is ok, but not 'friendly' as a trip on the bike.

We don't visit Iceland, typically, b/c most of what they sell is not food as I know it. The Morrison's is ok but is on the other side of a tricky bike ride, or a tedious Tube+walking trip.

The truly local shops are excellent for food, so we're good there, but thin on some of our staples, that we used to get from Lidl in Hackney.

So today it's Lidl's turn, as it's listed as just over 1 mile away. And it's beautiful out.
abendgules: (Mountjoy)
The night watch is running on Radio4X in early March, starting on the 3rd.

It's not a new production, but if you like his radioplays, it's on. It's because of the radio plays that I now know that Captain Carrot speaks with a Welsh accent, even though he's not explicitly from Llanmedos. (The latter is where the bards come from.)
abendgules: (self-portrait)
Author has a book deal to run to 8 books!


As a regular library user, I've gone so far to even buy these, so I can reread them.

Yay for Ben Aaronovitch!
abendgules: (Romanesque_Initial)
This weekend I fought the sloth - well, once I'd gotten out of bed, I did.

Saturday we went to see Elizabeth I and her people, exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Very worthwhile, even if you're not a 16th c mavin. Attended with Kat, who was a PS4 widow for the weekend.

I was very excited to find a portrait and works of a woman 'caligraphist' - a professional woman calligrapher, who lived in Edinburgh at end of 16th c. How cool.

Had a drink in the Coal Hole afterward, and then vietnamese for dinner with my sweetie. While we had a pleasant time, our frugal souls felt a bit hard done by.

exhibit: £12.50 x 2 = £25
drinks: £4 x 3 = £12
dinner: £35 (won't go there again, not worth it)
giftshop: £16

Total: £88 for an afternoon in London, and we haven't travelled 5 miles. I didn't count travel because we already have travelcards. I'll point this out next time someone moans about cost of events...

On Sunday I wrestled with my usual weekend blahs: have loads to do, can't settle on a task, sit and have a cup of tea til I figure it out, half the day disappears while I argue with myself. I sometimes wonder if anyone else loses days this way.

In the end, I settled for hauling out my perfumery supplies and looking at soapmaking again for Christmas. It's a slightly fiddly process, but an engaging one, and I now have the supplies for at least 2 batches of soap.

Ordered some supplies from Baldwins to this end.

I may try 'Spanish leather' this year, as described by S Pointer in her book about historic cosmetics, though I suspect it will be a very heavily scented process.

I did have a go at making scented bath bombs, but managed mostly to make a mess. Will double check the method for getting them to 'set' into a shape that is a little less chaotic - it worked well at the Make Lounge a couple of years ago, but I may have missed a step.

Late afternoon (took that long to pry myself out of the house) walked to Bangla City on Brick Lane, for more supplies - they're a good source for food-grade oils for creams and scrubs. Was reminded how much I hate crowds, especially oblivious ones. However, they also stock lye on the shelf, very cheaply.

Anyway: the upshot is, if you're on my giftlist, you're getting smellies.

Haggis entertained us on Sunday chasing her tail: apparently this tail is still giving her grief, and needs chasing, well into adulthood.

For added annoyance, her tail appears to send out 'I need chasing' signals in the most awkward of places: while she's perched on a windowsill, or on the top of the bedstead rail, or while she's exploring inside my large backpack, that was sitting on the landing. She only escaped her tail's clutches when the backpack started sliding down the stairs.

On the knitting front, am now experimenting with a TARDIS scarf to use up the 3/4 of a skein of TARDIS blue yarn leftover from the shawl. Am debating whether to add Daleks for variety.

I just finished the third book of Manda Scott's series about Boudica. I found the author in a Big Book of Historical Whodunnits recently, and was really impressed, and the series is just as good. 4th is on order at the library.

It's rare to find an author who incorporates a meaningful spiritual experience into the story - a bit like Pullman creating the daemons for his alternate world, the characters in this Britain have a vivid spiritual life, full of ghosts, gods and results from prayers,and they fully expect their actions affect their souls directly. These ghosts and gods are real, just as real as the physical, living people. Most (non-believing) authors can't set aside their modern selves enough to 'speak' as a believer from another period would.

Where her characters are speaking to ghosts of ancestors, friends and family, we as modern people would say, 'my mother's voice in my head says...' or 'that's my grandmother talking'.

It's akin to the different 'strains' of voices in your head; the ones that nag, the ones that tell you you're doing it wrong, you 'should' be doiong X, why aren't you doing Y, you're letting Z down. The gods, consistently, are neutral, avoid answering questions, but do ask a lot of probing, reflective questions of their believers.

I quite enjoyed this dimension in the story, but I know not everyone would.

Also interesting is that Scott is a reenactor, someone who has fought in battles, worn the clothes, eaten the food, camped under canvas.

Her characters still seem almost supernaturally physically fit and active (surviving swimming in winter streams), though perhaps I just don't expect anyone to be physically resilient, when I am so unfit. Only 100 years ago people living such an active life would not be so unusual.
abendgules: (Confesse)
Crown tourney looks like it's coming together - weekend after next.

Cross your fingers that it doesn't turn tooooo wet, and we'll have an excellent event in Caerphilly castle. Crown tourney Saturday, and then fighting, fencing and archery for all takers on Sunday.

After a masterclass in quill cutting at 20-year with Mistress Caitlin, I've been plugging away with cutting quills and using them. I'd used quills before, but Caitlin identified a few key errors in my technique, that I've been following up since June.

The biggest mistake, easiest remedied, is using the wrong part of the quill. A feather crossection is oval, and I'd been sharpening a nib out of the narrow 'end' part of the oval, rather than the wide flat bit. I just hadn't thought it through, but when you do think of it, of course you want as flat a surface as possible, to create a non-curved edge for ink.

Using a quill is fiddly-er than nibs. It's not physically harder - if anything you need a lighter touch, a lighter hand than with a metal nib and plastic pen holder - and the crispness of the thin lines are to die for.

The fiddly bit is the preparation and getting your nib to the size you want, without managing to take the whole thing off in one clumsy slice of the knife. Ask me how I know.

Most recently, after a lengthy round of trim > fiddle > test > trim > fiddle > test > argh, I settled on a hour of nib-whittling to prepare 4 nibs, getting them as close to each other in width as I could, so I could get on with scribing uninterrupted, and just change pens if I needed to. They're still wider than my smallest metal nibs, but they're as small as I can make them consistently, and they 'fit' reasonably well in a 5mm line height.

Having them ready meant I didn't end up needing them all, of course, though I do notice that I wear down the right corner of my quill faster than the left. It would be great to get to the point of being able to trim and re-use as I go, but I don't know if I can get to that point.

I lashed out on a true pen knife, courtesy of Tod's Stuff after 20 year. Man, a sturdy sharp knife makes a world of difference. Talk about a tool for the job.

I hadn't realised how dull my paper-cutting knife had grown til Caitlin pointed it out. Hopefully I won't have to sharpen the pen knife for awhile.

While in Germany in June I also bought a small pocket knife - haven't had a lot of opportunity to try it, as the pen knife is working beautifully.

So my plan is to do my forthcoming scrolls with quills barring emergency ones done in a hurry. Three quill-done scrolls so far.... all waiting on Crown for sharing online.

I thoroughly enjoyed the most recent Rivers of London book, Broken Homes by Ben Aarnonovitch. I'm noticing tighter, more piquant writing, things I hadn't seen before, that are funnier if you live in London.

Not certain if it's because it's improved (think so) or because I'm noticing more about the craft. So I'm investing in copies of the series to review and confirm.

I'm knitting again - testing a lace pattern that I've ripped out 4 times already. My past efforts should tell me that IANALK (I Am Not A Lace Knitter), but I fell in love with the idea of this pattern as a perfect present.

But: C2R? C2L? Purl into the back loop?? Stitches done differently if you're on the right or wrong side? Hunh? WTF?

I'd pack it in, except I've already bought the yarn for the project...

This weekend is likely to be made up of
- knitting
- glass painting
- lists for Crown

Livin' in London: doesn't get better than this.
abendgules: (typonerd)

Broken Homes was released last week. I've reserved it in the library, along with 40 other people, for the 11 copies available. :-)

I'd buy it in paperback but that's not available til February, and I think the reservation will come in before then.
abendgules: (penwork E)
...catalogue came this week!

I was thinking of [livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san when I saw the titles

  • Ancient Textiles, Modern Science

  • Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East

  • Tools Textiles and Context: Textile Production in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age

  • Ancient Textiles: Production Crafts and Society

For myself, or other scribes:

  • The tres riches heures of Jean duc de Berry (£25, down from £65)

  • Choirs of Angels: painting in Italian Choir books 1300-1500 (not quite my thing but some people swing that way)

  • Italian paintings, 1250-1500 (£19.95, was £74)

  • Women Manuscripts and Identity in Northern Europe 1350-1550 (also pricey but sounds fascinating)

And just cause:

Medieval Hunting, on sale

Rites of Passage: Cultures of Transition (ceremonies! with heralds and stuff! whoo-hoo!), also on sale

Conspectus of Scribal Hands Writing Hands 960-1100 (pricey pretty specialist! but I'm so glad someone cares enough to study it)

Click at your own risk!
abendgules: (monsters)
I've been enjoying the Borowitz Report, a satirist from the New Yorker magazine. It's like a finely condensed Onion without the occasionally tasteless bits. Borowitz has been paying particular attention to the NRA and the gay marriage stories of late.

Browsing New Yorker led me to this post about 'spoiled kids'.

I can't decide which is weirder, having a six year old who can catch food and cook it, or the families from LA. I know my upbringing was certainly closer to the latter, if not quite so accommodating as described. I tied my own shoes, for one thing.

The author refers to someone writing 'Bringing up Bebe', which sounded familiar - it was sold in the UK as 'French children don't throw food' (no idea why, unless 'bringing up baby' is somehow an 'Americanism').

As a nice Canadian, I've found that many expressions, that I just thought of as 'two ways of saying things' prove to be firmly divided here: one will be the British expression, and one is judged an 'Americanism', which is always said with disapproval and a sniff.

It's that napkin/serviette, toilet/washroom/loo, trash/garbage type dichotomy, where I can't see a difference, but are apparently class indicators as well as signs of American influence, that I feel I'll never get hold of.

No real point, just passing on today's reading.
abendgules: (brocade)
The Tudor Child, written by Jane Huggett and Ninya Mikhaila, ed Jane Malcolm-Davies, is a delight. My copy arrived this week because I ordered in advance for a small discount. What a treat!

The same careful research, beautiful photos and well chosen examples go into this book as the previous ones, with a quick review of techniques familiar from the Tudor Tailor and the servants' books. It's the same page count and size as the Tudor Tailor - apparently it grew in the writing, from a small book to a sturdy one and took longer to assemble than planned.

Some highlights:
- photos of Ninya in two different high-Elizabethan outfits, non-pregnant and then at 7 months pregnant, to illustrate how existing outfits were modified to accommodate pregnancy (looser lacing, new plackets and stomachers) - she looks just like the portraits of pregnant women.

- photo series illustrating how to swaddle an infant (under 3 months) and the result is exactly as shown in portraits, with the baby looking eerily like a lifesize doll. Beautiful. The discussion of swaddling and of toilet training, is intriguing. Great outline of a 16th c layette set.

- wonderfully thorough study of surviving portraiture and accounts, to support their discussion of what you dressed children in - what was considered the minimum requirements for even the poorest children. They now divide the discussion into lower, middle, and elite class needs. When you dress boys and girls the same, you can only distinguish them in portraits by their accessories - hats, belts, swords, and kerchiefs. For some portraits w/out named sitters, they just describe the figures as 'infant' or 'child', because there's no real telling them apart.

- Great quotes from the Lisle letters, of the 'tween' daughter (around 13) being fostered in Paris, writing to ask for money for 'things that you just don't need when living in England, but you, like, *totally* need if you're living in France'.

- pictures illustrating all the sets of clothes, including Master Paul's love-child! a boy dressed in tweedy breeches, woolly hose, a blue doublet and a flat cap. All he needs is a high-pitched giggle.

- knitting patterns! for hose with garter-stitch heels, a shirt (like the one in MoL, or in the painting of the Madonna knitting in the round), caps and mittens - a different mitten than the one in MoL! I was thrilled to see a different mitten option for knitters. All the items are very fine-gauge. I haven't read the patterns closely yet but am looking forward to doing so, because I have acres of double-knitting yarn to use up.

The patterns and line drawings look familiar from previous books (hose, doublets, gowns, kirtles) but are new - scaled to childrens' bodies and shapes.

The elite clothing patterns includes two of the best known Elizabethan child outfits: Edward Tudor as a boy, and Elizabeth Tudor as a teenager, in their respective finery.

And for those in the costume and filk-fan-con world - Teddy has a credit, as he and Ninya designed the fashion doll on the cover. I saw the doll, in fact, at Teddy and Tom's place, not realising it would be so prominent in the book. And there's a pattern for it.

Overall, the pictures of children in the reconstructions are a delight - a balance between careful sober portraits, imitating the originals, and children laughing and being children. The back cover shows a detail of a beautiful bodice and skirt on a child...who has her thumb in her mouth.

My only reservations - and these are quite small, given how much I like the book:
- the authors cite the 1560 Breugel painting 'children's games' several times - I wish there'd been one, single illustration of the whole painting. There are detail pics of different figures, but I'd love to see the whole.
- I've love a list of suppliers, to find out who provided what materials. The silks, brocades and velvets are just sumptuous, and I don't think I've ever seen the equivalent, so I'd love to know where to find them. Presumeably if you're a Tudor Tailor follower you know a lot of suppliers already, but I almost want cites at the bottom of the picture like in fashion magazines: Silk by Chatelaine silks, linen by Classic Textiles, hair model's own...

If you like clothes, knitting, or children, or some combination of these - it's worth the price of the book to have for yourself.
abendgules: (brocade)
Hurrah for new toys! Started browsing it on the train, but still haven't gotten even partway through.

Beautiful book, beautifully assembled. The esthetic alone is a pleasure.

This book includes work by Jane Huggett - someone I've known peripherally through a dance group. Excellent costumer and 'broiderer. So glad she's got her name on the cover of a book, and will get some of the credit due for her beautiful work.
abendgules: (winter arabesque)
Robert and I headed off in the snow to see The Hobbit last weekend (it's taken a week to post this).  He's the alpha Tolkien fan in our household who's read LoTR several times; I'm at best a fellow traveller, having gotten through it once (and trying again). 
However, I'd greatly enjoyed the Hobbit, and had re-read it, to remind myself of the story.  I had vague memories of the hobbit-hole, the ring, 'what has it got in its pocketses', and enjoying the story greatly - and not a lot else.
This is good and bad; you enjoy the details and the effort made to bring the story to life, but it means you cannot ignore the great swathes cut into the storyline, the rearranging, and the complete loss of the cheery, warm, good-humoured tone that makes The Hobbit such a delight to read.
It was this loss of tone that I felt was the biggest...artistic decision? change? choice? mistake? that for me, broke the film.

From the outset, the tone of the dwarves was, frankly, unpleasant and threatening. Aside from the first arrival, they help themselves to the larder and ignore their host. These are two things that would get a child reprimanded at a guest's house, never mind an adult. 
The fun of the book was the (very British) sense of obligation that Bilbo faced trying to address surprise guests who felt so free at putting in orders,  and the awkwardness of pointing out that in fact, he wasn't a burglar, when they were treating him as one. 
British humour is brilliant at social awkwardness; Hugh Grant is one of the masters at that excruciating social embarrassment, that made him so good in Four Weddings, and in Sense & Sensibility. 
And it's completely *lost* in this dining scene; the dwarves simply seem rude and greedy slobs. 
Robert pointed out that they were excruciatingly polite in the book, doffing caps and 'at your service'-ing, even if they were demanding.  They asked, but they never took.
And none of Bilbo's waffling between a quiet life and his Tookish side full of bravado, comes through.
Generally, the dwarves are a let down. Their leader is surly, glowering, and hostile; no amount of flashback to a great battle scene by the 2iC can save him from being a grumpy git, and he's out and out rude to the elves who are, again, their hosts. 
Leaders have to be more than fighters; they have to embody their cause and demonstrate it was just and worthy. In this regard he fails fairly thoroughly; why would you ever support this guy?

And: where are their hoods?

What good is a dwarf if he doesn't have a splendid hood to sweep off and bow with?? Are these dwarves broken?
Something else that Robert pointed out: in the book  the travellers set out with food and baggage, but *no* weapons. Noone was armed. They found a cache of weapons, and armed themselves when they had the opportunity - but they did not start out that way. 
Being weapon-less obliged Gandalf and Bilbo to be very clever and use their wits when they run into  the trolls - since noone was armed, noone could fight. This focus on using your wits is preserved a bit with the film dialogue, but it's not a patch on the original and frankly isn't as funny.
The whole business of being chased by orcs all the way through the trip seems another attempt to lard up the CGI'ed fighting scenes - wasn't running into goblins and trolls and spiders enough? Sheesh.
I can live with re-ordering the story, because the book is deliberately indirect. I can live with spinning it out to three films. 
But the tone is what makes the book special - Tolkien's affection for hobbits and their fondness for good living, the mixed feelings about dwarves, the imperfection of the characters. With that gone, it might as well be a disneyfied fairy tale.

Verdict: A lost opportunity. Will wait for video for films 2 and 3.
abendgules: (tea in winter)
Two books, in completely different styles, that I'm enjoying right now - one is bleeding-edge modern, the other is a perfect accompanyment to Downton Abbey.

Reamde, by Neal Stephenson: It's hard to read anything after reading one of his books, it's so...thick, dense, complete. It's by times disconcerting, violent, funny, thought-provoking. I haven't read all his books - I managed 1 of the 3 books of the Baroque Cycle - but thoroughly enjoyed Zodiac, Snow Crash, and The Diamond Age.

For all the variety of people crammed into this book, Stephenson manages to seem to like almost every character, and make them sympathetic - perhaps all but one are presented in a way that you could love and appreciate them all.

I won't get into the plot which is extraordinary and involved. Suffice to say that if you know anything about online gaming, America and its beloved Second Amendment, airplanes, international espionage, the Internet, southeast Asia, or extremism...it's worth delving into. [livejournal.com profile] extemporanea, I think you'd love it.

I've mentioned Catriona McPhereson before. I'm now halfway through her latest whodunnit Dandy Gilver and a bothersome number of corpses (not yet on her Dandy Gilver website - the author has a new googlesite here, so she may be trying to get away from the genre, or at least give herself room to grow).

The books are set after the Great War, before there was any inkling of having to rename it World War I, and it is crammed full of details about life somewhere between nobility and genteel poverty, with maids and butlers and cooks in the house in Perthshire, and two boys at Eton, but not enough money to buy quite as many gowns and French lingerie as before the war. You can mentally clothe the characters in outfits from Downton Abbey, and charge off across Scotland by train and motor-car.

The charm is the wit of the main character Dandy, who bumbles through cases by being a clever woman in a 'good' marriage and social setting that leaves little to challenge her; the stories rely on historic events and social expectations of the time. If I knew more of early 20th c clothes and manners I might be able to find mistakes (I avoid most medieval whodunnits now), but as it is, I'm cheerfully ignorant, and enjoy the stories enormously.
abendgules: (Confesse)
This is a crosspost from my Mirrors for princes log.

Today I saw the Lost Prince exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery - featuring the life of Henry Stuart, first son of King James I and VI, heir to the throne.

Henry was groomed to be the next king, and it was a terrible shock when he died at 18, leaving a teen Charles to be refitted and trained in his place. I've read a bit about English Civil War, but I'd not known that Charles I had been the 'spare' to his brother's 'heir'.

When Henry was a child, his father wrote a book of advice for him - Basilikon Doron (1599). I'd never heard of it before today, and got to see both a beautiful embroidered book cover of it, and the original handwritten copy, in a delicate italic hand.

I'm not adding it to my book list for discussion at present; I have other medieval & renaissance titles I want to read first. But I thought it worth highlighting.

I was charmed that a royal father, whose son was raised apart from him, in another household, set aside time and energy to write out his advice for his son. He'd been Scotland's king for some years by then, knew many of the troubles of being Elizabeth's (unspoken) heir; noone else could speak to a prince with the same authority.

Luminarium page of James I & VIs writing

Folger Shakespeare library page with Basilikon Doron, with discussion for (highschool?) students


abendgules: (Default)

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