28 April, 2006

Answer to 'Anonymous' art historian

This comment has been added to a previous post, and as the post is from several weeks ago and unlikely to be seen by most readers, I've decided to copy and paste it here. Hope this is acceptable to the comment-leaver, as there may be people reading this able to help him/her.

"Hello -- I'm very new to the blog world and ran across this blog while looking up some materials on the Jarman Edward II. I'm an art historian who works on illuminated manuscripts and other things that have been attributed to the ownership of Isabelle of France. And I'm really pleased to see the interest in this early corner of the 14th century, and the balance that's being brought to the study of the period (particularly Isabelle). But I'm a little disturbed to read the bashing of Alloco's thesis. Admittedly it has a lot of problems (and when she cites my work she overstates things dreadfully) but the tone of the discussion seems a little spiteful. As someone new to the blog world, may I ask if this is common?

On another note, I was interested to know if any of you have seen the French Les Rois maudits miniseries, and could point me to any shots of the Isabelle character? I'm giving a paper on the afterimage of Isabelle (everything from chronicles & Elizabethan materials to Braveheart, Doherty, etc.) and would love an image from the miniseries.

Hi Anonymous, glad you found my little blog! :) Always glad to 'meet' people interested in the early fourteenth century. To answer your point about Allocco's PhD thesis first: yes, I've been a little more spiteful than perhaps I should have been, but to perfectly honest I think it's the shoddiest and most error-strewn piece of work I've ever seen. Frankly, I consider the fact that it was awarded a PhD an insult to all the people who work hard on their own theses and, you know, actually check incredibly basic facts about the people/events they're writing about: such as when they were born and died, the correct names and titles of their children, correct dates for events they were heavily involved in. I think that a 'PhD' thesis that can state on one page that the Earl of Gloucester was killed in battle and on another page have him 'keeping a low profile' after the battle is not worthy of the name.

But anyway! About your other queries. Yes, I have seen Les Rois Maudits - it's not as good as the original series from about 1972, but well worth watching. Have you seen the official website? Click here. At the top of the screen, click on 'Les episodes': the woman you see on Episode 4, wearing mail, is Isabella. There's another photo of her here. I have the DVDs of both the 1972 and 2005 series, and could probably send you some screencaps of Isabella if you like. Your paper sounds fascinating - I'd love to hear more about it!


Gabriele Campbell said...

Maurice Druon - that was I the name I was looking for, where I first read about Isabella. Our town library had the German translations ages ago but they obviously took the books off because they were falling apart. And they're out of print, too.

But our University library has the French originals, and by now I can read French well enough. So I can finally reread the books.

I had no idea they were turned into a TV series. Why does German TV always buy the muck from the US (all those sitcoms, Supernanny, Wife Swapping and whatever) instead some nice series from our neighbours which at least has cool costumes. ;-)

Susan Higginbotham said...

And the really irritating thing is that we in the US can buy the older version of Druon on DVD, but it doesn't have English subtitles!

Kathryn Warner said...

The English translations of the Druon novels are pretty expensive - between about 25 and 40 pounds on Amazon. The French originals cost about 1 euro, or less! Fortunately, I have a few of them that my parents bought decades ago.

Gabriele, I agree about German TV - it seems like the TV companies copy absolutely every terrible reality show from the UK and US! Maybe Arte will show 'Les Rois Maudits'.

Kathryn Warner said...

Hi Amiguru, hope you enjoy it! The acting is really great, well worth another watch.