Posts Tagged ‘NSW Branch’


Book Launch for Isolde Martyn’s latest book

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Bookworm

frame_IsoldeMartyn_TheGoldenWidowsOn Thursday evening, 21 August 2014, Abbey’s Books in Sydney’s CBD hosted a launch for our member Isolde Martyn’s newest book, The Golden Widows. The publishers, Harlequin Mira, provided a lovely selection of wine and hors d’oeuvres for the after-work crowd, which included a good turnout of fellow Ricardians and Plantagenet Society members, many of whom queued to buy the book and have it signed by the author.

The official program began when the book’s editor spoke to those assembled and then introduced Isolde who gave a gracious talk thanking everyone involved with the publishing of this book. She explained that the story is that of Lancastrian widow, Elizabeth Woodville, who later married King Edward IV, and the Yorkist sister of Warwick the Kingmaker, Kate Neville, also newly widowed. Life in the 15th century was hard for all widowed women, even the young and beautiful – wherever their loyalties lay in the War of the Roses.

With her love and extensive knowledge of the late medieval era and armed with finely honed historical research skills, Isolde has produced a new book that promises to be as satisfying to her fans as have her previous works.

You can find out more about previous Isolde’s books by visiting her website.

The Golden Widows is available in Australia and New Zealand in print format or as an e-book through Amazon etc.

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The August NSW Branch Meeting

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Meetings, News, NSW Branch News

David MeeThe August meeting of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society was held on Saturday, 9 August 2014, at the Sydney Mechanics’ Institute. Chair Judith welcomed all members and guests. Leslie introduced the guest speaker, David Mee, who presented a fascinating look at the years between 1485 and 1520 in order to put into cultural and historical context the development of the coinage of the day. David has been a serious coin collector for over 20 years, and has European coins from Ireland to the Latin East, as he called it, defined as ‘wherever the crusaders went’. His many slides showed the artistry of the coin makers, and reflected the changing styles over the decades from frontal images of the symbolic head of the monarch, to the classic profile first used by Henry VII and soon copied by other rulers, as well. The coins minted during the reign of Richard III had a mintmark of a boar, the Duke of Gloucester’s symbol. There was a lively question and answer following the talk, as David was able to shed light on the more arcane aspects of the topic.

There were no committee reports presented but one important item of business was the announcement that the membership fees would not be increased for the coming year, and that all renewals are due before the next meeting in October. Renewal forms will be posted soon and all cheques are to be sent to the Secretary. Please note that even if you are not renewing your membership it is requested that you inform the Secretary in writing as a courtesy, if possible.

Business also included the discussion of the re-interment of Richard at Leicester Cathedral in March 2015. The events will be spread over a week, 22 to 28 March. After three days of lying in state for the public to pay their respects, Richard will be reburied with a formal Church of England service on 26 March. A special service for Society members will be held at the Cathedral on Monday, 23 March (more information can be found on the website of the Richard III Society). It is expected that several of our members will attend the ceremonies.

The New Zealand Richard III Society will be holding the biennial Australasian Convention over their long weekend of 23 -25 October 2015, and organisers were hoping to get an idea of how many members and friends might be making the journey to join them from Australia but it was too soon to tell.

Our member Isolde Martyn is having a book launch of her latest production, The Golden Widows, about Elizabeth Woodville and Katherine Hastings, on 21 August at Abbeys Bookstore on York Street, Sydney, 6pm for 6:30pm speeches and formal program. All members are invited.

The not-to-be-missed St Ives Medieval Fair will be held over the weekend of 20 and 21 September 2014, with a great line-up of family-friendly activities and attractions, including world-class jousters from Europe competing against the Australian contenders.

The Bosworth Service scheduled for the 24 August 2014 will be held at St Mary’s Anglican Church on Birrell Street in Waverley at 10am, with lunch at Arthur’s Pizza in Bondi Junction for interested members and friends afterwards. St Mary’s is a fine old sandstone church with lovely stained glass windows and gardens, and the Minister Rev Peter Clark and his congregation have always been very welcoming.

The Bring and Buy Table was a success, with many interesting items contributed to the branch for fundraising, and many pleased buyers, as well. The raffle was also drawn, then all broke for afternoon tea. The NSW Branch Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday, 11 October 2014, featuring this year’s ‘Scrabble Speakers’, members Dorothea, Maggie, and Rachel speaking on various gripping Ricardian topics

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Additional information for the Bosworth Service

   Posted by: Kevin Herbert    in News, NSW Branch News

travel-trip-bus-clip-art_423386Kevin informed us of the following options of catching buses to St Mary the Virgin, Waverley:

a) Bus 361 leaving Bondi Junction Interchange at 9.28 a.m.


b) Bus 360 leaving Bondi Junction Interchange at 9.41 a.m.

The same buses – 361 and 360 – can be caught from the opposite side of road (adjacent to Waverley College) to return to Bondi Junction Oxford Street Mall, where Arthur’s Pizza is located at 139 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction (next to Commonwealth Bank).

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Bosworth Commemoration Service

   Posted by: Judith Hughes    in News, NSW Branch News

bosworth service 3 smlMembers and Friends of Richard III NSW Branch are invited to the annual service commemorating the death of Richard III and many of his followers at the Battle of Bosworth, on 22nd August, 1483

at St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church
240 Birrell St

at 10 am, to be followed by morning tea with the congregation.

The preacher will be the Rev Dr Michael Spence, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and the chairperson of the NSW Branch will read a lesson.

Parking is available in front of the church, in the grounds or behind the hall.

Any members who would like lunch can meet at Arthur’s Pizza, Bondi Junction, afterwards.

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Medieval coin expert and collector David Mee will speak on “Coinage during Richard’s Reign” and display examples from his collection. David is a popular speaker, having addressed many community groups including the Plantagenet Society, and our own conference in Mittagong. His writing has also appeared in a number of numismatic journals.

David Mee

We will also be having a Bring & Buy table for members to recycle their Ricardian books and memorabilia and in turn get something new to read. The only proviso is please be prepared to take anything back home with you if it does not sell, as there is nowhere to store unsold items.



What’s new on 26 June 2014?

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News, NSW Branch News

In Leicester, the restored statue of Richard III will today be installed in its new home in Cathedral Gardens. The statue had been donated by the Richard III Cathedral 34 years ago and until recently stood in Castle Gardens. It was not only cleaned and waxed, but Richard also got a new sword instead of the dagger he used to hold in his right hand. You can find more information here.

Andrew (Dorothea Preis)

Andrew McKinnon at the 2013 Australasian Convention (Photograph by D Preis)

The other bit of news is closer to home. Our friend Andrew McKinnon, who delighted – in full armour – those attending the 2013 Australasian Convention (and quite a few other people who just happened to be at the hotel, where the Convention took place!), today is the topic of a whole article with wonderful illustrations in the Manly Daily, the local paper for Sydney’s northern suburbs. Andrew will joust at the first ever St Ives Medieval Fair, which will also include a variety of medieval attraction. Mark 20-21 September in your diary to attend this must-see event.


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Our Next General Meeting – Saturday 14 June 2014

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Meetings, News, NSW Branch News

Our guest speaker for the June meeting will be circus historian Dr Mark St Leon, speaking on the topic of the “Evolution of the Medieval Fair”.

Mark is a direct descendant of one of Australia’s most prominent circus families in the mid-19th century through the 1950s. St Leon’s Circus was one of Australia’s major circuses spanning the decades from the 1870s through the 1920s. Mark has devoted many years to the documentation of his family’s history in the circus and Australia’s circus history generally. He has been widely published in this area. He has also documented the history of other famous circus families who travelled Australia and the tours of the large American circuses which came here in the 1800s. Mark is the author of several published books, articles and encyclopaedia entries. He currently lectures and/or tutors at universities in New South Wales and Queensland. Signed copies of his books will be available at the meeting.




   Posted by: Barbara Gaskell Denvil    in Bookworm

A new novel by Barbara Gaskell Denvil, much appreciated member of the NSW Branch, has recently been published.  Barbara shares with us a blurb for her new book.  Having read and thoroughly enjoyed her previous novels Summerford’s Autumn and Satin Cinnabar, I can’t wait to spend some pleasant time in The King’s Shadow

(Page Admin)

King's ShadowBarbara Gaskell Denvil, The King’s Shadow.  Simon & Schuster Australia, 2014.  ISBN 9781925030068 (Trade Paperback and ebook)

Andrew Cobham is a man of unconventional behaviour, his home is unusually grand, and he answers no questions. But as he keeps his own secrets safe, so he works to uncover those of others.

It is 1483 and King Edward IV sits England’s throne, but no king rules unchallenged. Often it is those closest to him who prove the unexpected danger. When the king dies suddenly without clear cause, then rumour replaces fact – and Andrew Cobham is already working behind the scenes.

Tyballis, when orphaned young, was forced into marriage with her neighbour, a bully and simpleton. When she escapes his abuse, she meets Andrew Cobham, and gradually an uneasy alliance forms. This is a friendship which will take them in unusual directions as Tyballis becomes embroiled in Andrew’s work and the danger which surrounds him. Eventually it is a motley gathering of thieves, informers, prostitutes and children that joins the game, determined to help Andrew uncover treason. Abduction, murder, intrigue and political subterfuge come to a climax as the country is thrown onto the brink of war.

Richard of Gloucester is designated Protector of the Realm, and it is his responsibility to bring peace to England’s troubled land, and discover those who are determined to disturb the peace for their own ends. This book brings light to some of the more troublesome mysteries and the doubts surrounding his decisions, based firmly on what truths are at present known, and especially on those frequently overlooked.

This novel combines history and imagination, but in no place is wilful inaccuracy permitted. These are the facts both as they actually occurred, and as they probably occurred.

But it is also a book about the whole adventure of an uncommon life.

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Review of 12 April 2014 Meeting

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley    in Meetings, News, NSW Branch News

meetingThe NSW Branch of the Richard III Society met on 12 April 2014 at the Sydney Mechanics Institute Building in the Sydney CBD. Branch Chairperson Judith welcomed all the regulars and several new members from Wagga Wagga who had made a special effort to attend the day’s meeting during their visit to Sydney.

The regular business of the branch was suspended due to time constraints, so there were no reports presented from the officers, nor review of previous minutes. However, this business had been taken care of during the Committee Meeting that preceded the General Meeting, and the Sales Officer, Treasurer, and Webmaster reports will be in the Minutes taken by the Branch Secretary.

The NSW Branch also wishes to extend their best wishes to a seriously ill member and wish her a speedy recovery

Our Guest Speaker, the Dean and CEO of the Sydney College of Divinity, Professor Diane Speed, was welcomed and introduced. Her presentation was a comprehensive and extremely interesting overview of the existing early medieval illuminated Bibles, Gospels and Psalters in the English Cathedral libraries and museums, illustrated with wonderfully detailed images painstakingly created by the monks throughout the centuries.

The next meeting will be on Saturday, 14 June 2014, when the speaker will be circus historian and author, Dr Mark St Leon, on Fairs and Circuses.

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Talking takes history to a wider audience

   Posted by: Julia Redlich    in Bookworm

Mistress to the CrownThis is how Isolde Martyn, author, past chairperson of the New South Wales Branch and welcome speaker at our meetings, spent Thursday, March 27th. A guest of the Port Stephens Libraries at Tomaree and Raymond Terrace, she spoke on her novel Mistress to the Crown, her absorbing and well researched story about Elizabeth Lambard (aka Jane Shore). Many NSW Branch members attended the launch of this book last year.

Isolde’s talk gave wonderful insight to Elizabeth the person, the problems and people she had to cope with, as well as a fascinating view of the London in which she lived, loved and – not so well known– ran a successful business. And, no, William Shore was not a goldsmith, and examples of early novels whose covers implied that Elizabeth was a goldsmith’s wife were amusing viewing if bodice-ripper style appealed.

It was, as is often the case, a shame that those attending were quality not quantity, but enthusiastic questions and opinions gave hope that a few more people now realise that history was alive and well long before the Tudors butted in! This will be helped by the sales of the book, as well as those of Isolde’s novel about Harry Buckingham The Devil in Ermine. Richard was mentioned of course, especially his “what fools these mortals be” style letter about Tom Lynom. Another attendee was thrilled to know she shared Richard’s birthday!

We can look forward to another of Isolde’s books titled The Golden Widows that will be published by Mira in August this year. And the identity of the widows? The book opens with this introduction:

It is estimated that between 1450 and 1500, during the struggle for the crown between the Houses of York and Lancaster, 62 of England’s lords and their heirs were slain. Of the 44 noble ladies who were left as widows, 21 remarried.

This is the story of two of those women, Kate and Elysabeth, whose husbands fought on opposing sides. Kate was the sister of the earl known in history as “Warwick the Kingmaker” and Elysabeth became very famous in her own right.

This will be another welcome addition to Isolde’s portraits of medieval England. Each is eminently readable as fiction, excellent for accurate research – andlet’s give a huge plus for the lists of the historically correct characters (a minimum of invented names for lesser ones) and a glossary of medieval terms.

Mistress to the Crown, published by Mira, rrp $25, ISBN 978 1743560211, soon available in a smaller paperback edition.

The Devil in Ermine, an e-book available for Kindle or from Amazon Print on Demand. ISBN: 0-9873 8469-0; ISBN-13: 978-098738460-0-7.

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