Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home Again, with Pictures!

Me and My Hennin:

Don't Mess With Guys Carrying These:

The Woodville Family:


(Well, I thought that last Coca-Cola I drank tasted a little strange.)

I did thoroughly enjoy the Annual General Meeting. (As you can see from the picture of the Woodville family, who were housed across the street at a mini-golf course, we were in the heart of Tacky Tourism Country. That's only half of the Woodvilles, by the way--more were outside the picture.) We heard a very interesting theory that William Catesby, not Bishop Stillington, revealed the supposed precontract to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, enjoyed a presentation about Oxford University during the Wars of the Roses, were serenaded by several types of recorders, and had a visit from the Lincoln Company, a living history group that brought an impressive collection of reproduction armor and weapons for us to examine, including those in the picture above. As a writer who had to send one of my characters into battle, I found the last presentation particularly helpful for visualizing how he would have had to fight. In short, I was left with lots to think about, and I'm glad I went.

I got a couple of books read on the flights to and fro, and I'll be posting reviews in due course. Now, back to work!

11 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I think the Woodvilles looks quite cute.

Carla said...

My word, don't you look elegant in your hennin!

I agree with Gabriele - the Woodvilles do look rather cute :-)

What was the evidence for the William Catesby theory? I could sort of understand the Bishop Stillington theory as he'd have been in a position to know for sure (possibly the only person besides Edward IV and Eleanor Butler who could have known) if he had been the one to solemnise the precontract ceremony. If it was Catesby, how did he know?

Susan Higginbotham said...

The Woodvilles are quite perky, aren't they?

Thanks, Carla!

The Catesby theory was presented by Peter Hancock, who has written a to-be-published book about it. Based on my memory of his presentation, his theory is that Catesby as a lawyer had close connections to Eleanor Butler's family and that she might have consulted him about her marriage to Edward IV. Catesby held on to this knowledge until he could best benefit by revealing it, which of course came at Edward IV's death. Hancock points out that Catesby, unlike Stillington, was given generous grants by Richard III and that Catesby was executed by Henry VII, whereas Stillington was detained only briefly before eventually getting into trouble again with the Lammert Simmel rebellion.

It's an interesting theory. I can't say I'm persuaded by it, however, although of course there may be compelling arguments presented in the book that Hancock didn't have time to develop in his short presentation. For one thing, the supposed precontract had to have taken place before 1464, when the Woodville marriage took place, and Catesby's career doesn't seem to have taken off until the 1470's--I'm not even sure he had yet begun to practice in the early 1460's. (Oxford DNB lists him as being born on or before 1446.) If he was practicing at the time, it seems an awfully delicate subject to entrust to a novice lawyer. I would also think that a canon lawyer, instead of a civil lawyer, would have been the one for Eleanor and her family to consult. Still, I'm looking forward to see how Hancock develops his theory in his book.

Mimi said...

You look fantastic! And, glad it was fun.

Susan A said...

You look good in the hennin. And you didn't even need to shave your eyebrows like Elizabeth Woodville.

Alabama Book Worm said...

Love the hennin, especially without the plucked brow, receding hairline look of yore. The Woodvilles are hilarious!

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

Those Woodvilles must have been thick-skinned folks!!

Lady D. said...

Glad you had such a great time.

That Hennin really looks the business. About those Woodvilles - was it feeding time by any chance? They all look rather hungry ;-)

Margaret Evans Porter said...

Your hennin is splendid, as are you wearing it. The Woodvilles made me laugh soooooooo hard.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Thanks, ladies!

They had feeding devices so that passersby could feed the Woodvilles, who nonetheless didn't seem to get enough of the stuff.

elena maria vidal said...

I love the hennin!