Posts Tagged ‘Books’

24
Aug

24 AUGUST 1456

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

The first Gutenberg Bible is printed.

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25
Jul

25 JULY 1896

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Inverness

Birth of novelist and playwrite Elizabeth MacKintosh in Inverness.  One of her pen names was Josephine Tey, and her 1951 novel The Daughter of Time was probably for many the starting point of a fascination with Richard III and the later Middle Ages.

For more information on Elizabeth MacKintosh:

Jennifer Morag Henderson, Josephine Tey: A Life.  Sandstone Press, 2015

Death of Elizabeth MacKintosh‘, Dottie Tales (13 February 2016)

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17
Apr

17 APRIL 1397

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II.

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26
Mar

Reinterment of King Richard III

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Reinterment of King Richard III

Richard III statue at Leicester Cathedral during reinterment week

King Richard III’s remains were reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in a dignified and moving service on 26 March 2015.  The service was conducted in the presence of the Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.

The order of the service was designed in cooperation with Dr Alexandra Buckle.  Dr Buckle had found a manuscript, which contains details of a medieval service for the reburial of the human remains of a noble person.  She was researching Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was reburied in Richard’s presence in 1475. This document served as a basis for Richard III’s reinterment service.

During the service, Richard was also reunited with his Book of Hours, about which I had written on another site, though before Richard’s reinterment.

Reinterment of King Richard III

Richard III’s tomb

 

On the following day, 27 March, Richard III’s tomb was revealed during a service.  Together with several friends, I had in the opportunity on that Friday afternoon, to see the tomb in all its glory.  For me, the floor tiles with inlaid Yorkist roses were a nice touch.

Reinterment of King Richard III

Floor tiles with Yorkist roses

Together with many, many other Ricardians, I was able to spend the Reinterment Week in Leicester, a profound and exhilarating experience.  The week started for me by watching the cortege passing at Jubilee Square.  On Monday, 23 March, Memorial Service for members of the Richard III Society was held in Leicester Cathedral. I had been lucky in the ballot and received an invitation to this beautiful service. From where I was seated my view of the proceedings was obscured, but I had a clear view of the reason for the service, the coffin of Richard III. It was covered with a beautifully embroidered pall, on the one side displaying figures from the 15th century and on the other side figures involved in the 21st-century discovery of the King’s remains.

The Choir sang In Memoriam: Ricardus Rex by Graham Keitch.  Many of us remember this from the 2013 Australasian Convention in Sydney, where we were able to play it by permission of the composer. There can be no doubt though that to listen to it in a church sung by an outstanding choir beats a recording played over a loudspeaker system.

We all would have liked to attend the actual reinterment service in the Cathedral, but space did not allow that.  However, along with several of our branch members from NSW, I was able to watch the service on TV live at our hotel in Leicester.  The most memorable part for me was a natural phenomenon:  It was an overcast grey and drizzly morning, but at the exact moment, when Richard’s coffin was lowered into the ground, the sun broke through. His troubled afterlife had finally come to rest.

It should also be mentioned that the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society made a donation to Leicester Cathedral to help cover the costs of the reinterment.  This was received by Revd Peter Hobson with thanks to all members of the NSW Branch in the name of Leicester Cathedral.

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26
Mar

26 MARCH 1484

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Publication of William Caxton’s translation of Aesop’s Fables, printed at his workshop at Westminster.

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24
Feb

Geoffrey of Monmouth goes to Wales

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Geoffrey of Monmouth elected to the see of St Asaph in Wales on 24 February 1151.  It is assumed that he was born between 1100 and 1110, and died between  25 December 1154 and 24 December 1155.

He is mainly known as a writer of the Historia Regum Britanniae (The history of the kings of Britain), which includes stories of Arthur, Merlin and kings Leir and Coel.

Geoffrey will always remind me of my classes in medieval Latin at university, where we studied his story of King Arthur.  Though I had disliked Latin at school and only did the course because it was a prerequisite for graduation, here I discovered that studying a ‘dead’ language could actually be fun.

Reference:

J. C. Crick, ‘Monmouth, Geoffrey of (d. 1154/5)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Dorothea Preis

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3
Feb

Death of Johannes Gutenberg

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Death of Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg

Death of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press

The death of  Johannes Gutenberg occurred on 3 February 1468 in Mainz.

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, his full name, was born c. 1398 in Mainz.  In approx. 1439 he invented a mechanical printing press using moveable type.  This was later, in 1476, introduced into England by William Caxton.  The invention of the printing press is regarded as one of the most important developments in the history of mankind as it allowed the fast dissemination of written texts.

A fascinating novel about the first printed Bible is Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie.  You can find a review here.

More information on Johannes Gutenberg:

Tejvan Pettinger, ‘Biography of Johannes Gutenberg’, Biography Online (28 December 2012).  URL: http://www.biographyonline.net/business/j-gutenberg.html  [last accessed 1 Feb. 2020]

Dorothea Preis

 

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21
Dec

NSW Branch meets for a Book Club

   Posted by: Judy Howard    in Meetings, NSW Branch News

The NSW Branch held its 1st Book Club at the Members’ Meeting on 8 June 2019 and it was a very lively and stimulating discussion.  It was so successful the Committee decided that the Book Club will become an annual event.

The books reviewed at our Book Club this year were: –

  1. “Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England” by Thomas Penn
  2. “The Devil in Ermine” by Isolde Martyn
NSW Branch meets for a Book Club

Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England

The “Winter King” was acknowledged as not an easy read due to the writing style and terminology used by Penn.  The book was a more scholarly read and the narrative was not necessarily chronological, however Members persevered, and a very interesting picture of Henry VII arose, one that we may not have previously understood.  Henry VII emerged as a paranoid, secretive, devious and duplicitous individual who would stop at nothing to hold on to his crown and fill his treasury – he was unsentimental towards those who had served him well and subsequently, had fallen from favour.  Henry was avaricious and Penn’s narrative about how this was enacted was revealing.  Although it was hard going, the majority of the book club members finished the book, and all acknowledged they found it interesting and learnt from the experience.

NSW Branch meets for a Book Club

The Devil in Ermine

“The Devil in Ermine” was acknowledged as excellent, as we have all come to expect from Isolde.  Isolde’s story on the Duke of Buckingham and his revolt was well researched and very informative about this troubling and treasonous event during the reign of Richard III.  Isolde made this complex event into an easy to read and understand narrative that brought to light a treacherous, inexperienced, reactive and emotional character in Buckingham that seriously threatened Richard III and his reign.

We look forward to the next Book Club, to be held on Saturday 4 April 2020.  The Books we will be reading are:

  1. “Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses” by Sarah Gristwood
  2. “Women of the Cousins’ War: The Real White Queen and Her Rivals” by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones

Please join us!

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16
Dec

Birth of Jane Austen

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Birth of Jane Austen

Jane Austen

Birth of Jane Austen

On 16 December 1775, Jane Austen was born in Steventon, Hampshire, where her Father, George Austen, was rector.  We all know and love Jane Austen’s novels, but her History of England, from the Reign of Henry the 4th to the Death of Charles the 1st is less widely known.   She wrote this at the age of 16 in 1791, but even at this early age it shows the wit she was to become famous for.

Of particular interest to us is of course what she had to say about Richard III.  Jane acknowledges that his character has been badly treated by historians, however, she is “inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man”.  The reason for her positive impression is that “he was York”, so not too many Lancastrian sympathies there.

Quotes taken from:
Jane Austen:  Love and Freindship and other early Works, The Women’s Press, London, 1978, reprinted 1979.  ISBN 0 7043 3823 8, p.71

You can read a short biography here.

Dorothea Preis

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23
Nov

23 NOVEMBER 1503

   Posted by: Michael    in Events in History

Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy, dies at Malines.  She was a sister of Edward IV and Richard III.  After Richard’s death she supported the Yorkist pretenders.  She was on very good terms with her husband’s daughter and her family and had a successful and positive influence on Burgundian politics.  She was a patron of William Caxton, who introduced the printing press to England.

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