07 January, 2007

Happy New Year

So here we are in 2007! Unbelievable, isn't it? Sounds strangely futuristic to me, somehow. Hope you all had better weather over the festive period than I did in the Lake District - I spent 2 weeks and 2 days there, and saw the sun for a grand total of about 3 hours. Most of that was on the last day. The rest of the time, it was grey, murky, foggy and pouring down. Ugh....

2007 will be a big year on 'Edward II', as it's the 700th anniversary of his becoming king. I'm delighted to see that over 200 people have voted on my poll (see left) about Edward's fate in 1327. That's great - please keep the votes coming in! And don't forget to vote for 'your favourite medieval king', too. I'm also pleased to see that Edward II has 4 votes - I voted for him, obviously, and I'm sure Susan did too, so that's another 2 people who like him more than all the other medieval kings! Yay! :)

Until I get round to writing another post, here's a link to Susan's recent post on the fate of three of Hugh le Despenser the younger's five (or possibly six) daughters: Joan, Eleanor and Margaret, sent to convents in January 1327, a few weeks after the execution of their father. They were forcibly veiled by Queen Isabella, a fact rather conveniently ignored by Isabella's recent biographers, such as Alison Weir and Paul Doherty. Weir writes only that the little girls "became nuns" and entirely ignores the role Isabella played - a puzzling omission. Or perhaps not - maybe I'm just being cynical, but it seems odd to me that a biography as historically accurate as Weir's is should suddenly get the facts wrong when it comes to her beloved Isabella doing something that could be seen in a negative light by modern readers....

11 comments:

Carla said...

Welcome back, and Happy New Year!

Alianore said...

Thanks, Carla - same to you!

Gabriele C. said...

Welcome back, and Happy New Year. :)

Alianore said...

Thanks, Gabriele!

Sarah said...

Welcome back!

Sorry about the horrible weather. We had very odd weather over New Year's. It was more like spring, and on New Year's Eve my husband and I went walking around the university campus in t-shirts and jeans. Should've taken a picture just to prove it! Global warming at its finest.

Looking forward to learning more about Edward in the New Year.

Kate said...

Hi Alianore,
Thanks for a great website. I am enjoying it very much. I am a historian/genealogist who has just discovered I descend from Edward I, II, and III and then down from John of Gaunt. Fascinating. I will check in regularly! Keep up the great writing.

Alianore said...

Thanks, Sarah! Hope you had a great festive season. It's strangely mild here, too - about 15 degrees C, which is 60 F, I think.

Hi Kate - delighted to hear you're enjoying the site,and thanks for the compliments! How exciting to discover that you're descended from John of Gaunt and all the Edwards. My dad is an amateur genealogist, and I keep hoping he's going to discover our own royal descent, too...;)

Madeleine said...

Happy New Year!

I feel like Weir did everything she could to make Isabella likeable, and that's why she left details like that out. She obviously didn't have the same affection for Isabella that she had for Eleanor of Acquitaine. And Eleanor did her share of despicable things too.

But I have my own issues with Weir's book (her treatment of Ireland and Scotland, for two). Personally, I find Isabella fascinating already and not so difficult to sympathize with. But. I mean, I also like Edward. And this comment has DEFINITELY gone on too long.

Alianore said...

Happy New Year to you too, Madeleine! And don't worry, there's no such thing as a too-long comment...;) I'm glad you like Edward! I have a lot of sympathy and liking for Isabella, too - just not as much as I have for Edward.

I haven't read Weir's bio of Eleanor - must get round to it some day. Interesting that it seems she didn't have the same affection for Isabella as for Eleanor.

What is it about Weir's treatment of Scotland and Ireland that gets to you? I have to admit I can't remember a lot from her book about the two places.

Madeleine said...

I enjoyed her biography on Eleanor. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember finding it engaging and well-done.

There seems to be a sense of entitlement in Weir's writing - that *of course* Ireland and Scotland belong to the English which really, really irritates me. But I might be hypersensitive.

Alianore said...

I understand why that would be really irritating. I don't think that's being too sensitive, considering the long, painful history between England and Ireland/Scotland! :)