No disrespect meant, but this seems terribly appropriate today!
You can be one of 5 people to receive a free copy of Susan Bordo’s new book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen — Enter here! It will be published on Tuesday, 9 April, and is described in this way:
“Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life. How could Henry order the execution of a once beloved wife? Drawing on scholarship and critical analysis, Bordo probes the complexities of one of history’s most infamous relationships.
“Bordo also shows how generations of polemicists, biographers, novelists, and filmmakers imagined and re-imagined Anne: whore, martyr, cautionary tale, proto “mean girl,” feminist icon, and everything in between. In this lively book, Bordo steps off the well-trodden paths of Tudoriana to expertly tease out the human being behind the competing mythologies.”
BBC History Magazine’s April issue goes on sale in the UK on 28 March, and it’s a Tudor special! It includes three features on the Tudor family and their era:
- The trial of Anne Boleyn –Guilty as charged, or an innocent woman? Suzannah Lipscomb examines theories as to why Henry VIII sent Anne Boleyn to the scaffold in 1536.
- The Spanish Armada –Elizabeth I’s England was ill-prepared for the attempted Spanish invasion of 1588, says Robert Hutchinson.
- The Tudor breakfast revolution –Ian Mortimer discovers that breakfast hasn’t always been regarded as the most important meal of the day
Fantastic — Can’t wait to get this one!
*Thanks to Carolyn Wray at BBC History Magazine for sending me the image and the heads-up (no pun intended!) on this
Ever read one of Alison Weir’s nonfiction books on Tudor history and, though you enjoy the information, you simply cannot track where it comes from? Many of Weir’s popular works do not include the footnotes and other citations that most nonfiction books do and this has been a source of contention for me as well as others.
On a recent related Facebook page thread, Weir kindly took some time out to explain the deal to me and my followers, and gave me permission to repost the info, as it is a common concern for history fans. Take it away, Alison! …
“Regarding source notes, I must say that my publishers would not allow me to include source notes in my early books – they were then regarded as inappropriate in so-called popular history books. When that editor retired, I insisted that they should be included. Would you believe I then had people complaining that they were a distraction?
“I was told to indicate in the text where the sources came from, but that takes up a lot of text, and you cannot do it in every case. It was not a good decision, and I was unhappy about it, but the world of publishing was very different then, and a new author doesn’t have much clout.
“Since 1998 I have included notes and references in all my books, and I am now rewriting The Six Wives of Henry VIII and restoring all the notes and references, which I still have. But because of my editor’s rule, I did not compile lists of references for the other early books, and my huge files of research notes were discarded in the course of several house moves, which is something I have had cause to regret. I owe a lot to my first editor, but I have been blamed personally for the lack of references when in fact it was something beyond my control. After she retired, I insisted that they be included in the future, and my present editor supported me.”
I thought it would be a good idea to present this, for the record, and I thank Alison again for her participation and time!
Today is Red Nose Day! It’s the 25th anniversary of this telethon and is put together by the people at Comic Relief, which looks to “”bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which we believe requires investing in work that addresses people’s immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.”
You can upload a pic of yourself and add a red nose to it right here. Even Henry has his red nose on today!
By now you’ve probably heard of this speech Hilary Mantel (author of the fantastic Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies) made at the British Museum for the London Review of Books. That was two weeks ago, but I guess today’s a slow news day. Anyway, it’s a brilliant and insightful piece regarding how royal women are viewed by the media and by the public in general — for example, Kate Middleton, and in the past, Marie Antoinette and the wives of Henry VIII.
Yet it is somehow being taken as Mantel’s personal opinions and attacks on said women. Oh my goodness. She was speaking metaphorically, y’all.
Here’s what the Daily
Fail Mail got out of it.
Here’s what David Cameron got out of it.
Here’s* how Mantel is being attacked on Facebook, Twitter, etc:
- “I’m possibly thinking you’re jealous of Kate as you seem to be the love child of Yoda and Gollum #jealousuglybird” (@RollsyMTB)
- “comes across as a simpleton with some ignorant views she should keep to herself.” (@LaurenceSparks1)
- “the women [sic] looks like an ugly Gail Platt” (@HollywoodHux)
- “maybe the hag needs to look at her owlish self” (FB)
- “you hate munger [sic] you after cheap publicity you silver spoon b*tch” (FB, from Mantel’s official FB page)
- “don’t think Hilary is in a position to speak on bodyweight issues. #glasshouses” (@awongsuwarn)
- “what a stupid woman – it sounds like envy to me” (@acimmortal)
- “needs a saucer of milk” (FB)
- “possibly most repulsive looking woman in history. lay off kate, look in the mirror.” (@samdeville)
- “needs to go and see a dentist before making any further comments on the Duchess of Cambridge”" (@NathanJohn96)
- “what a joke! Too many donuts, love.” (@ldyroza)
- “such a dog hahahaha jealousy really is a green/(blue) eyed monster .. Kate’s perfect, she’s nobody to talk.. silly b*tch, she’s such an ugly, thick, jealous mug.” (@Emilyjems)
- “should really look in a mirror before criticising kate middleton’s look. Hilary looks like a mad parrot at the best of times” (@EaglesField63)
- “tidal wave over London oops sorry hilary mantel has to get help out of bath !!!” (@sues1961)
- “Hilary mantel!! Gets jaws wired after being too fat also has to buy three airplane seats hilary mantel big heffer !!!” (@sues1961 again, who is quite fond of exclamation points)
- “Calling Kate Middleton plastic.. You having a giraffe… get to weight watchers” (@Sarasaralindsay)
- “Wonder if Mantel realises how those reported comments make her look- miserable, jealous old cow about covers it” (@kirsteenpeel)
- “you look like BLOB city, what right do you have to criticize anyone” (FB, from Mantel’s official FB page)
- “Self indulgent & turgid. People in fat houses shouldn’t throw stones.” (@Globalpolitic)
- “looks like a demented puppet who has had her make up applied by someone with Parkinson’s disease.” (@KB1rangutten)
- “too bad we don’t behead her sort anymore” (FB)
- “If I had a face like Hilary Mantel I’d be slagging off everyone let alone Kate Middleton to divert attention!” (@laugh_yenot)
- “Hilary Mantel’s arrogance is only matched by the size of her arse” (@stuiewood)
- “how dare you, the duchess of Cambridge is ten times then woman you are. You look like you belong in a shop window.” (@womanizer_96)
- “has a face like a stuntmans’s [sic] knee” (@realshanerichie, who seems to be a celebrity of sorts but I’ve never heard of him)
“the woman who made not nice comments about the Duchess of Cambridge, is just a jealous fat ginger nobody.” (@Foxesbird80)
- “writes literary books that many say they’ve read but few have. Nasty, silly woman who attacks those who can’t reply.” (FB)
- “you bitter old b*tch” (@GregBickerdike)
- “she should be thankful to live in a country and a time where she will not be hauled off to prison or worse for what she has said” (FB)
- “as ugly on the outside as she is on the inside?” (@GiveaDougaBone)
- “How dare you attack our Kate – One aught to take a look in the mirror dear.” (@ManUtdSince1965)
- “looks like a reject extra from The Witches” (@sheparoo)
- “probably the most ugly human in the country so how can she judge kate who is the definition of perfect” (@mcbainsandy)
- “Why can someone so intelligent come across so vindictive and stupid? (@Sidane1966)
- “Come on, let’s all be nasty about Hillary Mantel. I’ll go first: she’s got a big, round head and rather waspy teeth. There! Now your turn.” (@angus_donald, a historical fiction novelist, no less.)
- “Maybe this picture of Hilary Mantel explains why she’s ragging on Kate for being a mannequin for clothes … http://twitpic.com/c57brb” (@Margoandhow, advice columnist Margo Howard “Dear Margo,” daughter of Ann Landers. I have some advice for Margo…)
This Two-Minutes Hate has been whirling across cyberspace all morning. Do you see yourself in any of these? Or have your comments been intelligently crafted, whether or not you agree?
And further, have you read her entire speech — again, a comment on how Kate and the other women are viewed especially by the press, not how Mantel views them — first?
We must remember that she was speaking at the London Review of Books, not in a general press conference or to OK Magazine or the like. On their site, they state that “The special appeal of the LRB lies in the way it combines topicality with depth and scholarship with good writing, and isn’t afraid to challenge received ideas.” Mantel was, at the very least, speaking with her audience in mind. Her words were quite nuanced, hence the debate in some cases.
This quote from Matthew Norman in this Independent article sums it up well: “Given the sublime precision with which she chooses her words in print, you might argue that Mantel should have spelt her meaning out in metaphorical block capitals for the hard of comprehending. But why the hell should such a clever woman dumb herself down on the off chance that an obscure speech sponsored by the London Review of Books might meander its way a fortnight later into the block capitals of a Daily Mail headline (A Plastic Princess Designed To Breed)?”
The abusive language, profanity, physical digs, etc that are circulating are infuriating and sad. My first inclination is to say this is the most passion that history may have ignited since the uncut episodes of “The Tudors” — except that this has turned into something quite horrible.
* Am I bullying by posting Twitter handles/names? No, I’m citing my sources.
No doubt you’ve already heard the news about the Richard III identification, so I put together a linky little post for you, to get lots of Rich-III-dig info in one spot. Is some of that info comedy? Of course it is, because you know what you’re dealing with on my blog, don’t you!
To start, we have a video from University of Leicester on the reveal of the results, as well as a slideshow of the bones and facial reconstruction efforts. These videos show the discussion of “the Greyfriars Project” to begin with last August, the process of the geneological research, the removal of a tooth for DNA analysis, and the “humiliation injuries” his corpse suffered.
For a chuckle amongst the exciting news, have a look at:
- New car park regulations
- Weekend at Richard III’s
- Separated at birth: Richard III and Quentin Tarantino
- ALL THE KINGS
- Grumpy Cat is not impressed
- Richard III: Hide-and-Seek World Record Holder!
- SNL Weekend Update interviews Richard III’s childhood friends
- “Really, Baldrick? Under a car park?”
- Chaucer figures the king was “probablye a compacte spotte”
- …but he owes the city council big-time for all that parking time
Whether you’re a Tudorphile, a Ricardian, a fan of other dynasties/families…We’re all together during this incredible time in history. I love that! I hope you all enjoyed the information unfolding — a rare thing and yet here we are!