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Those Terrible Middle Ages by Regine Pernoud

As she examines the many misconceptions about the "Middle Ages", the renown French historian, Regine Pernoud, gives the reader a refreshingly original perspective on many subjects, both historical (from the Inquisition and witchcraft trials to a comparison of Gothic and Renaissance creative inspiration) as well as eminently modern (from law and the place of women … Continue reading Those Terrible Middle Ages by Regine Pernoud

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Reviewed: What Regency Women Did For Us by Rachel Knowles

Regency women inhabited a very different world from the one in which we live today. Considered intellectually inferior to men, they received little education and had very few rights. This book tells the inspirational stories of twelve women, from very different backgrounds, who overcame often huge obstacles to achieve success. These women were pioneers, philanthropists … Continue reading Reviewed: What Regency Women Did For Us by Rachel Knowles

Reviewed: The Sister Queens, Isabel and Katherine de Valois by Mary McGrigor

Hardcover Edition Published May 1st, 2016, The History Press, 288 Pages Two sisters: born nine years apart to a mad French king during the turbulent years of the Hundred Years War, the bitter series of conflicts that set the House of Plantagenet against the House of Valois. Catherine de Valois, the beautiful young bride of … Continue reading Reviewed: The Sister Queens, Isabel and Katherine de Valois by Mary McGrigor

Reviewed: Blood and Blade by Matthew Harffy

Kindle Edition, Published December 1st 2016 by Aria. 318 Pages 635AD. Anglo-Saxon Britain. A gripping, action-packed historical thriller and third instalment in The Bernicia Chronicles. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell. Oswald is now King of Northumbria. However, his plans for further alliances and conquests are quickly thrown into disarray when his wedding to a … Continue reading Reviewed: Blood and Blade by Matthew Harffy

The Last Kingdom Annotated: Episode 4-6

I'm continuing my commentary on the second series of The Last Kingdom here. Episode 4: Uhtred gets revenge on his old enemy Kjartjan, who killed his adoptive Viking father and kidnapped his adoptive sister. Lots of fight scenes. Father Beocca, the former childhood Tutor to Uhtred, takes a liking to his long-lost sister. Not much … Continue reading The Last Kingdom Annotated: Episode 4-6

How to Pronounce Æðelflǽd

Aethelflead- the heroine who’s name few can even pronounce.

Aethelflaed Rises

Opinions, or more often the practice of the pronunciation of the Anglo Saxon name Aethelflaed varies greatly, even amongst Historians. Note the difference of pronunciation between Martin Carver’s consistent /æðʊlflæd/ in his BBC Radio lecture and the pronunciations of Michael Wood in the video clip linked to on this blog. Prof. Wood varies between /æðʊlfled/ (once) and /eðʊlflɪ̈d/ (twice). I do not presume to be able to judge which is correct, however I have found the following to be quite useful in drawing my own conclusions and until corrected will be pronouncing her name /eiðʊlflɪ̈d/  ay thul fleed

The main cause of difference seems to be the correct pronunciation of the letter ash (æ) in accented and unaccented forms. Note these in the quote below:

Chr. Erl. 100, 30, states “Hér com Æðelflǽd, Myrcna hlǽfdige, on ðone hálgan ǽfen Inuentione Sanctæ Crucis, to Scergeate, and ðǽr ðá burh getimbrede; and, ðæs ilcan…

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Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History by Janina Ramirez

Kindle Edition Published 1st October 2016 by SPCK, 128 Pages. Over six hundred years ago a woman known as Julian of Norwich wrote what is now regarded as one of the greatest works of literature in English. Based on a sequence of mystical revelations she received in 1373, her book is called Revelations of Divine … Continue reading Julian of Norwich: A Very Brief History by Janina Ramirez