A trip down memory lane – Richard III’s Book of Hours and the Middleham Jewel

This morning, I remembered a wonderful day 10 years ago, when I had the opportunity to see Richard III’s Book of Hours and the Middleham Jewel, both in one day. I wrote afterwards about the visit on the blog of the NSW Branch of the Richard III Society, but it was such a memorable experience that it is also a suitable Dottie Tale.

Continue reading

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

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

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/

How to Bury a King

Book Review:  How to Bury a King:

The Reinterment of King Richard III

Pete Hobson, How to Bury a King: The Reinterment of King Richard III.  Zaccmedia, 2016

On 26 March 2016, the one year anniversary of Richard III’s reinterment in Leicester Cathedral, three books and a CD were launched in St Martin’s House adjacent to Leicester Cathedral.

The launch was held in the great hall of St Martin’s House, with the choir singing to publicise the release of the CD.  He lieth under this Stone features much of the choral music performed at Leicester Cathedral during the reinterment week in March 2015.  Of course, it also includes ‘Ghostly Grace’, composed especially for the occasion by Judith Bingham.

The three books were How to Bury a King by Rev Peter Hobson, acting canon missioner at Leicester Cathedral, Flowers for a King by Rosemary Hughes, who was responsible for the floral arrangements in the Cathedral, and Richard III – His Story, by Leicester artist Kirsteen Thomson. Continue reading

Musty smell of old books

Musty smell of old books can be avoided – a personal experience

My home is full of books.  Books of all kinds, fiction and non-fiction, new and not so new – and that’s where a musty smell can become an issue.

As I find history fascinating, it won’t come as a great surprise when I tell you that many of my non-fiction books deal with historical subjects.  Not all the books I would like to read are easily available, be it online, at a library near-by or for sale at a high street shop.  Sometimes the only way to get my fingers on the book I desperately need is to buy it second hand. Continue reading

Death of Elizabeth MacKintosh

Death of novelist and playwright Elizabeth MacKintosh

Many Ricardians and lovers of detective novels will remember today the death of Elizabeth MacKintosh on 13 February 1952 in London.

Elizabeth MacKintosh was born on 25 July 1896 in Inverness.  Her first detective novel, The Man in the Queue, was published in 1929 under the pen name Gordon Daviot. She would write seven more novels under another pen name, Josephine Tey. Her 1951 novel The Daughter of Time was probably for many the starting point of an interest in Richard III and his time. Continue reading

The Consequence of Coincidences

The Consequence of Coincidences –

A guest post by Julia Redlich

We welcome Julia Redlich to Dottie Tales, who tells us in today’s guest post about finding Richard III as a Consequence of Coincidences.

This is not just a coincidence, but having written a recent contribution to the Richard III NSW Branch website called Not Looking for Richard, this is just a natural consequence. The first feature dealt with finding mention of King Richard in unexpected novels and the pleasure derived from discovering authors who viewed him as a human being, not necessarily a villain. Continue reading

The Schoolmaster Printer

The Schoolmaster Printer –

the Medieval Printing Press in St Albans

Here endyth this present cronycle of Englonde wyth the frute of tymes, compiled in a booke and also empryted by one somtyme scole mayster of saynt Albons, on whoos soule God have mercy (Wynkin de Worde, 1497)

After the first book printed with movable type had had its debut at the Frankfurt Fair in 1454, Johannes Gutenberg’s invention quickly spread all over Europe.

William Caxton was the first to bring printing to England, when he set up his workshop in Westminster in the mid-1470s (either 1475 or – more probably – 1476).  Two years after Caxton opened his shop in Westminster, another printing press, in Oxford, published its first book (in 1478).  However, given my personal interest, I would like to find out more about the third English printing press – in St Albans. Continue reading