12 January, 2013

Edward II's Afterlife In Italy: A New Site, Novel And Talk

I'd like to draw your attention to an exciting new project about Edward II and the possibility that he survived Berkeley Castle and lived in Italy in the 1330s (for lots more information about all of this, see Ian Mortimer's book Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies in particular, and also his biography of Edward III, The Perfect King): a fascinating notion which is now the basis for a new novel called Towards Auramala, a website (link) and a talk which will take place in London on Wednesday 16 January and again in Winchester the next day.  Here are the details of the talk, with thanks to Ivan Fowler, the speaker, for getting in touch with me and letting me know about it:

Pavia, The English Speaking Town

Wednesday 16th January, 2013 6.30pm to 8.30pm

The Cultural Association The World of Tels/Il Mondo di Tels would be honoured by your company at the presentation Pavia: the English-speaking Town, to be held in London on Wednesday 16th January, 2013.

The talk, which deals with the historical mysteries of Pavia ranging from the artistic inspirations of Leonardo da Vinci to the possible ‘second life’ of King Edward II of England, will be given by Ivan Fowler on behalf of the Cultural Association.

The University Women’s Club, 2 Audley Square, London W1K 1DB.

Wednesday 16th January, 2013 6.30pm to 8.30pm

We look forward to seeing you in London.

RSVP: ilmondoditels@gmail.com

I'm really excited about this, and especially extremely keen to read the novel (to be published within the next few days as an ebook) - anything which promotes a more positive and less clichéd view of Edward II than is usually seen is of course always more than welcome with me, and to see a novel and website discussing the possibilities that he lived past 1327 and ended up in Italy is, frankly, thrilling and something I've been waiting for for a long time.  Best of luck to Ivan and his colleagues!  More information and discussion here about the whole issue coming up in the future, though if you're new to the debate, you might be interested in the section here in the sidebar called 'Aftermath of Edward II's Reign' with links to lots of posts where I discuss the things that happened in and after 1327, the possibility that Edward II survived Berkeley, the oddities in the usual narrative of his death and its aftermath, and so on.  Happy reading!  Coincidentally, I've just seen the film Uncertain Proof (many thanks to my friend Anerje at the excellent Piers Gaveston blog for lending me her copy), which also deals with Edward II's survival in Italy, and the Italian priest Manuele di Fieschi's long quest to find him.  I found the film slow to get going, but moving and fascinating.  And the Romanian actor Genovel Andrei Alexa, who plays Manuele, is extremely easy on the eye.  :-)  I really hope lots more people see this film, and Ivan's novel and site, and get interested in the debate about Edward II's post-1327 survival - if I may quote Ivan from his site linked at the top of this post, "we simply want the debate to move forward from the current stalemate, and see the academic world take a step backwards from its entrenched positions...".  Amen to that!


Rowan said...

Fantastic, Kathryn!

Katarzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik said...

Hi, Kathryn! Are you going to take part in the meeting? I hope you are! And I do hope you will later share your opinion and impressions with us here, on Edward's blog. Wish I could go! On the occasion like this I'm seriously considering moving to England :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

Ashmodiel, isn't it fab? :)

Hi, Kasia! I'd dearly love to go, but sadly London is too far and too expensive for me to go at short notice, and I have to work that evening. :( But lots more coming here about it soon. :)

Katarzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik said...

We're looking forward to the promised "more", then :-)

Kathryn Warner said...

:-) :-)

Undine said...

Thanks for sharing this news. Edward's possible "afterlife" is certainly one of the great historical mysteries. Glad to see more people are seriously exploring the issue.

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Undine! Me too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this ... and I also look forward to learning more about Edward II's "afterlife"


Anerje said...

How exciting! I wish I could get to London! So glad you enjoyed 'Uncertain proof', and it is incredibly moving, and yes, Genovel Andrei Alexa makes it even more enjoyable:>

Kathryn Warner said...

Most welcome, Esther - hope you enjoy it!

I wish we could go too, Anerje! :/ Glad you agree about Genovel, haha ;). BTW, I posted the DVD back to you yesterday, thank you!

Sami Parkkonen said...

Edwards death 1327 has been taken at face value for so long that it is almost weird. After all, there was a plot to relief him three years later by men who knew him and who must have had some sort of inside information. Naturally he could have died in 1327 and rescue plot was based on rumours etc. but it makes one wonder what was going on.

Kathryn Warner said...

Sami, I also think it's weird that this belief has become so entrenched, and that the reluctance to even consider the other option, that Edward survived, is so widespread. If Archbishop Melton was so sure in 1330 that Edward was still alive that he was willing to commit this news to a letter, there has to be some possibility that Edward was indeed still alive. Yet in Roy Martin Haines' note about the letter in the English Historical Review, he doesn't even consider that Melton's information was correct, and only assumes that he was 'deceived'.