The Sewing Machine

Book Review:  The Sewing Machine

Valerie Fergie, The Sewing Machine.  Unbound Digital, London, 2017, ISBN13 9781911586043 (I read the Kindle version)

The Sewing Machine

Singer sewing machine

I just finished reading The Sewing Machine, a delightful debut by Valerie Fergie.  The central “character” is a Singer sewing machine which connects four generations of two families over a period of more than 100 years.  The earliest is Jean, who works at the Singer factory in Clydebank in 1911.  The last is Fred, who inherits the machine in 2016.  Initially, he wants to get rid of it, but then starts growing attached to it. Continue reading

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The Blue Boar Inn in Leicester

The Blue Boar Inn in Leicester – 

A ‘Grand Hotel’ of Richard III’s time

On his way to the battle of Bosworth, Richard III stayed in Leicester, leaving on 21 August.    According to tradition, he spent the night at the Blue Boar Inn[i], though Peter Hammond thinks it more likely that he stayed at the castle.[ii]  However, as this post is about the inn, it doesn’t really matter where Richard actually resided.

Blue Boar Inn, in: C.J. Billson, Mediaeval Leicester, 1920 (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

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The Drachenfels in Königswinter

The Drachenfels in Königswinter – 

more than just tourist kitsch

I grew up in Königswinter, a town of approx. 40,000 inhabitants next to Bonn.  It stretches from the Rhine in the west across the Siebengebirge to the east. The Siebengebirge (“Seven Mountains”) consists of more than 40 hills of volcanic origin.  Of the seven hills, which gave the region its name, the highest is the Ölberg with 460m, the smallest is the Drachenfels with 321m.  How it got its name is disputed with various suggestions floating around.

The Drachenfels seen from the Rhine

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Troubadour

Book Review:  Troubadour

A guest post by Julia Redlich

Isolde Martyn, Troubadour. Harlequin Mira, 2017, rrp $24.95. ISBN 9781489220370

We thank Julia Redlich for reviewing Isolde Martyn’s latest novel for us here on Dottie Tales.

Members of the New South Wales branch of the Richard III Society will have read and enjoyed our fellow member Isolde Martyn’s historical novels. Most of them have concerned real people from the period that interests us most: from Katherine Bonville to the Duke of Buckingham, and women who play a role in Edward IV’s life – Elysabeth Woodville and Elizabeth “Jane Shore” Lambard. Her presentation of real characters and the events of their time in English history is always combines romance with impeccable research. Continue reading

Forgotten archbishops everywhere

Forgotten archbishops everywhere –

Five archbishops found at St Mary-at-Lambeth

In my last post, I looked at the fate of an archbishop of Cologne, whose forgotten remains had recently been re-found in Bonn Minster.  I thought that losing one archbishop was maybe a tad careless.  However, one archbishop seems irrelevant compared to five.  It was recently revealed that the authorities at Lambeth Palace had managed to do the same with five archbishops. Continue reading

Hunsdon House

Hunsdon House – 

One of the most important medieval houses in Hertfordshire

A few years ago, an attempt to find traces of Richard III’s family in Hertfordshire led me to Hunsdon.  This is a small village in the south-east of Hertfordshire, near the border to Essex.  The former manor house, Hunsdon House, is situated to the south of the actual village, next to the church of St Dunstan (find it on a map here).

Hunsdon House

A glimpse of the present-day Hunsdon House

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The Book of Hours of Richard III on-line

I just heard the fantastic news that the Book of Hours, which had belonged to Richard III, has been digitised and is now available in pdf format on-line.  This was Richard’s personal prayer book, which was found in his tent after the battle of Bosworth.

So far, we could only see one page at a time, when the book was exhibited, for instance at its present home of Lambeth Palace Library, or when it played a part in the Reinterment events of Richard III at Leicester in 2015.  Now we are able to see the entire book.

The Book of Hours of Richard III on-line

Anne F Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs wrote a book about Richard’s Book of Hours, The Hours of Richard III, which was originally published in 1990.  This has been out-of-print for years and finding an affordable second-hand copy is virtually impossible.  This book is also part of the digitisation and is now freely available.

The process was carried out by Leicester Cathedral, after Lambeth Palace Library gave its permission to this project.  The digitisation of this manuscript was made possible with the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Richard III Society and the University of Leicester.  Thank you to all involved!  This is fantastic news indeed.

You can find the digital version here:  http://leicestercathedral.org/about-us/richard-iii/book-hours/

The ‘Brückenmännchen’ in Bonn

The Brückenmännchen in Bonn –

a cheeky little sculpture on a bridge

When we visited Bonn earlier this year, we went for a walk along the Rhine, as you do.  To our surprise, we spotted on the Kennedy Bridge the sculpture of a man rather cheekily sticking his bum out at us, the Brückenmännchen, which translates as “little bridge man”. It turns out that this little sculpture plays an important part of the history of the bridge.

The Brückenmännchen in Bonn

The Brückemnmännchen in Bonn – also a welcome resting place for pigeons

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