I like medieval history and modernist literature
Blouse Collars, 1940s-50s - By Charlotte Dymock.
there was a lot of bullshit in the forties and fifties but the style was not part of it
Can we talk about how unbelievably adorable Winnie the Pooh is? I mean look at him all snuggled up under his blanket for safety!
Why has he got rifle?
to keep away the heffalumps and woozles you moron
The Age of Innocence (1993) and the influence of Impressionism
And felled in the night
By the ones you think you love
T h e y w i l l c o m e f o r y o u
Detail of Josephine from Jacques-Louis David “The Coronation of Napoleon”, 1807. (via)
Margarita Georgiadis - Landscapes, 2009 - oil on canvas
There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmonid knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.
Avenue House, Ampthill
A collection of Georgian furniture, paintings and sculpture lovingly assembled by Sir Albert Richardson the eccentric architect and historian over forty years. Now, sadly, being sold-off piecemeal after an attempt to sell the house to the National Trust fell through.
Rejected Riches: Avenue House by Gavin Stamp
Day 3: the Tudors
History Meme: Day 1: a Movement, Day 2: a Leader, Day 3: a Dynasty, Day 4: a Religious Movement, Day 5: a Conflict, Day 6: a Civilization, Day 7: an Individual, Day 8: an Artistic Movement, Day 9: a Death, Day 10: an Innovation, Day 11: a Mystery or Story, Day 12: a Small Human Moment
For me, the Tudors were characters before they were historical figures.
There was the young Elizabeth, a victim of her father’s neglect, haunted by the knowledge of her mother’s execution at the hands of her father, taunted by her sister’s cruel remarks about her mother, a victim of her sister’s paranoia and the Seymours’ ambition. There was older Elizabeth, torn between her love for her country and the pressure to marry, besieged by the Spanish, both betrayed by and cruel executioner of her cousin Mary Stuart.
There was Anne Boleyn, the victim of her family’s ambition, of Henry’s desire for a son, the ambitious woman who destroyed Catherine of Aragon’s life and marriage, who bullied a young Mary Tudor and stole away her father. There was Jane Grey, a lone intellectual, the victim of her parents’ ambition, thrust onto a throne she didn’t want, a throne she would die for. And there was Mary Stuart, queen of a throne she barely knew, victim of an education she never received, ambitious plotter for the throne of her cousin, and victim of Elizabeth’s paranoia.
As I grew up, I began to understand that these people were actual historical figures, not characters with whom you could choose a side. But still, there was always a part of me which “sided” with Elizabeth and Anne, because they were the first characters I met in this sub-genre of historical fiction, and the first characters I became attached to (perhaps as a result of a childish form of nascent feminism). I met their fictional constructions before I was old enough or knowledgeable enough to confront their historical realities, and even when I was old enough, it was hard to shake off my attachment to their fictional counterparts.
But now, looking back, the way I related to these “characters” was so similar to how I related to the characters in Harry Potter (I started reading HP and Tudor fiction at around the same age). However, Harry, Ron, Hermione et al, for all their depth, were (are) fictional. Elizabeth and the rest weren’t, aren’t. The Tudors were real, complex, multi-faceted people whose actions had consequences on others, and who had a real effect on the course of history. Elizabeth wasn’t an unlikely hero. She was a brilliant queen who defeated the Spanish, shed more blood than her sister, began the English colonization of North America, embraced a form of religious toleration, and possibly refused to marry as a result of sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of that “ambitious character” Thomas Seymour. And so forth down the line.
Now I must ask: is this dangerous? Is it dangerous to allow the persons of historical figures to be constructed through fiction? Is it dangerous to take a complex human being and construct them into the protagonist or antagonist of an ahistorical narrative? Is it dangerous to mold someone acting within a different moral/ethical context into our own conception of what constitutes right and wrong? Is it dangerous to construct a character with whom people are intended to sympathize or reject while ignoring, or glossing over the parts of their historical persona which do not fit into the fictional one?
As a person who has (and still does) read a LOT of historical fiction (and not just about the Tudors) in her day, who has thought quite seriously about writing historical fiction, and who appreciates the genre as a means by which to get people interested in history, these are uncomfortable questions for me to ask. But the truth of the matter is that historical fiction puts forth versions of historical figures to people who may never have reason to read a history book about that figure and their context. And that, whether I like it or not, is worthy of concern.
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Today has been a day of pretty medieval churches #history #southwold #medieval #church #roof