History, Literature, Medieval, Romance

On This Day in 1485

On July 31, 1485, William Caxton first printed Sir Thomas Mallory's Morte d'Arthur. Five hundred thirty seven years ago today.  Only seven years before Christopher Columbus voyaged to the New World.. I believe in the importance of history. And so, therefore, it's surely OK to recapitulate a post from a few years ago (even if… Continue reading On This Day in 1485

Family Matters, History, Medieval, Religion

The Power, and the Glory, of the Word

The church of my childhood was St. Mary’s, Handsworth, just outside Birmingham, in England. Although I probably attended services there only a few dozen times, while we stayed with Granny and Grandpa during my father’s infrequent “leave” periods from the Colonial Service in Nigeria, it was a bulwark of stability in my life. Like the… Continue reading The Power, and the Glory, of the Word

Culture, History, Medieval, Quote of the Day

Chivalry as “Art” Rather Than “Nature”

The medieval ideal brought together two things which have no natural tendency to gravitate towards one another.  It brought them together for that very reason.  It taught humility and forbearance to the great warrior because everyone knew by experience how much he usually needed that lesson.  It demanded valour of the urbane and modest man… Continue reading Chivalry as “Art” Rather Than “Nature”

Culture, Family Matters, History, Literature, Medieval, Womanly Feminism

On Household Relations and the Natural Order of Things

There have been so many posts on the Internet lately, and many more over time, about relations and dynamics between the sexes, the state of Western Civilization, the role of men and women in it, and how soon the handcart we’re all bouncing around in will reach the gates of Hell (not long, FYI), that… Continue reading On Household Relations and the Natural Order of Things

History, Literature, Medieval

An Unlikely Troubadour; An Unexpected Gift

Thomas Mallare, of Newbold Revel in the County of Warwickshire, died 550 years ago on March 14, 1471. He was born fifty-six years before that, with a bit of a silver spoon in his mouth, to a Midlands Justice of the Peace and his heiress wife. Mallare had an uneventful childhood, was knighted in 1441… Continue reading An Unlikely Troubadour; An Unexpected Gift

Literature, Love, Medieval

Happy Seynt Valentyn’s Day!

. . . from Geoffrey Chaucer, who, as with so many other things, is often credited with starting it all. His dream vision poem, The Parliament of Fowls, was written about 1380 and begins with the narrator (who seems not to know how to love, has perhaps never been in love, and will very likely never… Continue reading Happy Seynt Valentyn’s Day!

Feminism, Literature, Medieval

Patient Griselda: Perfect Wife, or Credulous Fool?

I’ve long thought that some of my better and more interesting posts are ones that I don’t think about much in advance, but which come to me spontaneously, or as a result of something I fall over on the way to looking up other things. (I do realize that your mileage may vary on this… Continue reading Patient Griselda: Perfect Wife, or Credulous Fool?

Education, History, Literature, Medieval

Occasional Quote of the Day: The First Eighteen Lines

I know many of you know them by heart. I’ve seen some of you say so, on Ricochet, over the past nine years. At some point in your lives, you probably had them thrust at you; you might have struggled through them; maybe you cheated with the Cliffs Notes; perhaps you said you couldn’t possibly… Continue reading Occasional Quote of the Day: The First Eighteen Lines