December 27, 2011

Rival Queens, Precious Books

I came across a fascinating post on the British Library site today which discussed two prayer books belonging to two very different Queens: The Lady Jane Grey and Mary I. What is special about these books, besides their owners, is that they have been added to the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts on the British Library website. You can now thumb through the pages once read by these fascinating women!

Read more detail here.

The Jane Grey Prayer Book was said to have been taken to the scaffold by the unfortunate Nine Days Queen, and written in by her the night before she died. Look at it here.

The Queen Mary Psalter was written nearly 200 years before the Queen was presented with it. Be sure to thumb through it here.

*Note: Scroll down to the bottom of each page for interior images of the books.

December 7, 2011

New "Tudors" Series

I know this is a bit late in coming, but I wanted to post about a new series in the works based on Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall." I'm very excited about this! I hope it will fill the void in my heart left by "The Tudors."

Here's the link to an article about it. There isn't much information out yet, but I will post as information becomes available!

I also read that there is not going to be another "The Tudors" Season. There had been a rumor that Michael Hirst was working on a new season/series about Mary, Edward and Elizabeth, but alas. It is not to be :(

However, he is working on a new film about Mary, Queen of Scots! Should be interesting....

December 5, 2011

Book of the Week: The Eton Choirbook

The Eton Choirbook is one of three large choirbooks, containing Latin liturgical music, to survive the Reformation. It contains richly illuminated scores by 24 different composers dating from 1490-1530. However, most of the scores are incomplete or damaged. Of the 224 scores, 98 are missing. According to Tudor England: An Encyclopedia, "Rich sonorities, lengthy melismatic melodic lines, unexpected melodic and harmonic twists, and extravagant rhythmic complexities characterize the distinctive musical style of Eton Choirbook Compositions...and is a unique monument to the genius of the early Tudor period" (243).

Tudor England: An Encyclopedia