the book of flanders

anonymous asked:

I'm constantly impressed by your knowledge of the Jane Austen era as well as the thorough understanding you have of her writing. Just wondering (because I can't seem to find an about page on your tumblr) did you study it in uni? And do you have any book recommendations for understanding the Georgian/Regency era?

Well thank you! I studied a bit of history in some of my university classes, but those were electives and not at all related to Britain or Jane Austen, or my overall degree, which was in fine arts. When it comes to the Georgian and Regency periods, I’ve just read my face off in my spare time. My favourite historians include Amanda Vickery, Judith Flanders, Ruth Goodman, and Hallie Rubenhold.

As to books, some that I own and refer to for Austen-y/British history purposes are: Women in England: A Social History (1760-1914) by Susie Steinbach; Necropolis: London and Its Dead by Catharine Arnold; London The Wicked City: A Thousand Years of Vice in the Capital by Fergus Linnane; The Victorians by A.N. Wilson, Jerry White’s London in the 18th Century and London in the 19th Century; High Society in the Regency Period: 1788 - 1830 by Venetia Murray; The English Marriage by Maureen Waller; The Gentleman’s Daughter by Amanda Vickery; Black England: Life Before Emancipation by Gretchen Gerzina; Jane Austen’s World by Maggie Lane; The Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold; The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne; The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Jane Austen by Adams, Buchanan, and Gesch; Jane Austen’s England by Roy & Lesley Adkins; What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool; and Claire Tomalin’s excellent Jane Austen: A Life.

I have a few slimmer volumes that include essays and critical works on Austen, but refer to them less often when doing my own critiques and sweary hot takes.

There’s also some great historical bloggers out there doing solid articles on the period!

Hey all! I know this week has been quiet for reading posts. I’ve been having some deadly good fun with Flanders’ book.

Originally posted by ixilecter

(There’s a Hannibal gif for everything. It’s almost as good as Supernatural)

I’ll be going back to fiction after this, but not romance right away. It’s time for a little break. But both the next books have romance elements so you’ll probably hear from me!

Barthélemy d'Eyck - King’s René Tournament Book

circa 1460

ink and ink wash on paper

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

Matilda of Flanders was wife of William the Conqueror and, as such, Queen consort of the Kingdom of England.William had fallen in love with Matilda when he saw her for the first time at the French court. He was said to be so passionately enamored of her that he would do anything to obtain her, whether it means by using force.  The legend says that when William made a proposal Matilda thought it far beneath her to marry him he dragged her off her horse by her long braids, and threw her down in the mud-covered street in front of her flabbergasted attendants and he rode away. Rather surprisingly Matilda agreed to proposal after that supposed incident and the couple married in 1051-52, despite being related in prohibited by the church degrees of consanguinity.  The papal dispensation upholding the legality of this marriage was received only in 1059.

Despite its often turbulent nature, William and Matilda’s marriage had been one of the most successful partnerships in medieval Europe. Matilda had been instrumental to her husband’s success. His mainstay for more than thirty years, she had been one of his most valued advisers, had proved a wise and capable ruler during his long absences in England, and had borne him many children to secure his dynasty. It was her bloodline that had enabled him to pursue so vigorous a claim to the English throne in the first place, and her family connections had helped him to retain both this kingdom and the duchy of Normandy for himself and his heirs. William was absolutely faithful to Matilda and put a great trust in her. Matilda often signed important documents together with her husband. She was well educated, competent ruler with formidable character well beloved both in Normandy and England.

In the early hours of November 2 1083, “growing apprehensive because her illness persisted, she confessed her sins with bitter tears and, after fully accomplishing all that Christian custom requires and being fortified by the saving sacrament, she died.” William stayed with her throughout. He was consumed with grief at the death of the woman whom he confessed to love “as my own soul,” and was said to have wept profusely for many days afterward. According to Malmesbury, William eschewed all other women for the remainder of his days. “For when she died, four years before him, he … showed by many days of the deepest mourning how much he missed the love of her whom he had lost. Indeed from that time forward, if we believe what we are told, he abandoned pleasure of every kind.” The duke subsequently fell into a profound depression, from which he never truly recovered, and was, according to one historian, “a mourner till the day of his death.” The various bequests that he made for the soul of his dead wife reveal the sincerity of his grief.

Pictured: William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, illustration to the book “Rite to Conquest” by Judith Tarr