“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” – C.S. Lewis
On this day, 50 years ago, C.S. Lewis passed into the land of Narnia. He will be honoured with a plaque at Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner this year, a well-deserved tribute. I don’t know many people who grew up without having read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The C. S. Lewis: 50 Fans, 50 Years Later Pinterest board has a collection of quotes from authors and other celebrities on what C.S. Lewis has meant to them. The Chronicles of Narnia have been a huge part of my life. I have lost count of how many times I have read them and they are, without a doubt, one of the most beloved children’s book series of all time.
Note: Will contain spoilers for The Boleyn King.
The regency period is over and William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne. But England must still contend with those who doubt his legitimacy, both in faraway lands and within his own family. To diffuse tensions and appease the Catholics, William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still he has eyes for only his childhood friend Minuette, and court tongues are wagging.
The first in a series of digital ‘Flick Books’, Something Blue by C S Hughes, a Flick The Pages Quick! Book, is now available in the iBooks Store.
Something Blue, features a squishy blue monster that gets bigger and bigger, as you flick rapidly through the iPad pages. The images are accompanied by a rhyme, which, according to the author, is what might have happened if Edgar Allan Poe and Doctor Seuss got together and wrote a rhyme about a horrible blue monster. The book also takes advantage of the iBook’s media rich platform, and features animation, as well as various hidden ‘Easter Egg’ sounds, if pages are pressed in the right place. Although meant for 4 to 8 year olds, several parents have also been observed giggling at Blue’s antics.
…the victors, or so they say. I think we can argue that a lot of medieval history was written by the men. With the absence of women in government, or as ambassadors, or indeed anything other than the women’s career of being a mother and running a household, the history we can glean from contemporary documents written by women is limited to letters. This week I’ve been spending some time with Richard III and his wife, Anne Neville. There are only two full biographies on Anne Neville that I know of, and I have both. One is written by Amy Licence, the other by Michael Hicks. Each affords us a very different view of Anne Neville, with each using the same source material. I don’t need to stray into the “male historians are sexist” territory here, because it’s a blanket statement, and untrue in most cases. I have seen female historians waxing just as sexist as many of the male ones. But I think we can attribute many sexist stereotypes to the contemporary chroniclers. Anne Neville fits into a neat stereotype of a helpless and frail woman. The absence of any real documents pertaining to her is not only quite surprising, but it allows contemporary rumour and gossip to shape much of her later life.
This week my friend Jamie Adair discussed How Much Violence is Too Much on Game of Thrones. I was amused to hear that Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, was covered with so much fake gore after shooting one scene that, during a break, she got stuck to the toilet seat. But I really don’t find Game of Thrones that violent. Too much sex, yes. But the level of violence in Game of Thrones is not enough to make me cover my eyes, I might have cringed once or twice, but it’s not like watching a Tarantino film. I lost count of how many times I covered my eyes when I was watching Inglorious Basterds in the cinema. Django Unchained wasn’t actually quite as bad (although I might have covered my eyes once or twice). It was the scalping in Inglorious Basterds that got me. That is what I consider really violent. In fact, looking at the inspiration behind A Song of Ice and Fire, which is largely French and English medieval history, the show is quite tame. It could, in fact, be far more violent. And it seems fans expect violence.