28 September 2011

Courtly Love and Anne Boleyn

The Art of Courtly Love: 
Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII
By Sandra Byrd

The art of courtly love and chivalric romance so popular during the early medieval period saw a revival during the Tudor era. Because the majority of noble marriages were arranged, with the focus being on financial or political gain, courtly love was a gentle, parrying game of flirtation wherein people might express true, heart-felt affections. According to historian Eric Ives, “The courtier, the ‘perfect knight’, was supposed to sublimate his relations with the ladies of the court by choosing a ‘mistress’ and serving her faithfully and exclusively. He formed part of her circle, wooed her with poems, songs and gifts, and he might wear her favor and joust in her honor … in return, the suitor must look for one thing only, ‘kindness’ – understanding and platonic friendship.” Many of the plays and entertainments in Henry the Eighth’s court reflected these values and Henry himself, early in his reign, was very chivalrous and courtly indeed. 
Andreas Capellanus, in his definitive twelfth century book, The Art of Courtly Love, set out to inform “lovers” which gifts could be offered, (among them a girdle, a purse, a ring, or gloves) and to clarify the signs and signals that indicated such a love game was underway – or on the wane. This way the participants, and those around them at court, would know that the game was afoot. Physical attraction was one of many factors in courtly love, but sexual expression was not necessarily an element of the relationship. Cappellanus further posits that a beautiful figure, excellence of character, and extreme readiness of speech are required for a man or woman to fall in love, with character being the most noble element of all.

15 September 2011

My guest is Michele - known to her readers as 
'Banana the Poet'

Hello Michele - 
tell me about yourself, not just about your book.... who you are, what you do…
Who I am is rather confused. Part of what I do, is try to make sense of things using poetry. Often if I've been pondering on a particularly confusing part of life I will let my mind empty, sit at the keyboard and wait and see what emerges. Then I read the resultant poem and it clarifies matters. I am also a commissioning editor for a tiny independent press, a blogger, social media addict and a thwarted snorkeller.

2 September 2011

2nd sept - My Guest - The Great Fire of London

How I used one fire to make a game and two books
by Richard Denning

Thank you, Helen, for allowing me to visit your Guest Blog as a port of call during my blog tour. 
This guest post is one of a series celebrating the release of my historical fantasy novel, The Last Seal. which is set during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and concerns the battle between secret societies over a demon imprisoned beneath London.
In 2010 I published another novel, Tomorrow's Guardian which is a time travel adventure in which as well as going to other time periods, the heroes visit the Great Fire. October 2010 also saw me bringing out a board game - The Great Fire of London 1666. So, as it transpires, this one event has had a rather dramatic influence upon me. This article is going to look a little at that influence and how it led to two books and one game.