April 23 is not only St.George's Day (complete with themed websites and merchandising), but also the date that Shakespeare's birthday in 1564 is celebrated.
We don't actually know his exact birth date, but he did expire on 23rd April 1616, so there is a neat symmetry.
Listen to two excellent new poems commissioned for St.George's Day on BBC Radio 4 site.
Finally, the Daily Telegraph tries to stir up patriotic feeling with a cheeky map showing an alleged EU plot to merge the south coast of England with northern France into a new "Manche" region. About time Calais was back in English hands if you ask me.
23 April, 2008
21 April, 2008
Carnivalesque XXXVIII is up at Walking the Berkshires. Lots of interesting Early-Modern posts from last 2 months or so.
Oh yes, and today is the day that Henry VIII became King of England in 1509, aged 17. The painting by an unknown artist shows Henry in his coronation year (courtesy Wikipedia Commons/Denver Art Museum).
Do not be fooled by his pale and sensitive countenance. Two days after his coronation in June 1509, Henry had Empson and Dudley arrested. These two former ministers under his father Henry VII were tried for treason and executed in 1510. A sign of things to come...
15 April, 2008
09 April, 2008
Although some felt that Season 1 of "The Tudors" was one long out-take, see Cardinal Wolsey's Vodpod for a selection of sometimes hilarious forgotten lines, corpsing and general banter by the cast, courtesy of the great historical research tool "YeTube".
08 April, 2008
For another 5 days, a 60-minute BBC4 program on Tallis, Byrd and the Tudors is available to everyone (in the UK at least) via the BBC iPlayer streamer.
To quote the blurb: "Simon Russell Beale explores Western sacred music. He looks at the works of Thomas Tallis (pictured) and William Byrd, part of the Renaissance in Tudor England."
The program includes some stunning shots of London.
(Available for 5 more days - 30 days if you download the 600mb file)
07 April, 2008
Cardinal Wolsey was on holiday in France last week, and was pleased to pass a sign on the autoroute pointing out the Champ du Drap d'Or (Field of the Cloth of Gold), near to Calais.
This was the extravagant meeting in 1520 between Henry VIII and Francis I, suggested by myself. Each monarch tried to outdo the other in pomp and display of riches.
It was rather expensive for taxpayers on both sides, and failed to result in an Anglo-French alliance, which was the original idea.
In the relevant episode in TV's The Tudors, Henry wrestles Francis in a manly way, loses, and throws some chairs around. Grr!