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Mary posts on 3/10/2009 10:44:58 PM Karen, I don't remember any other house in NL's writings that sounds like her description Minsham Old Hall. I just found the description intriguing because it and the Old Vine were probably the oldest houses she described other than the original Wayside Tavern and buildings in her novels dealing with historical or Biblical characters. The railless stone stairs in Minsham do remind me, however, of the stair landing in Dunsinane Castle in the Roman Polanski film of Macbeth, where Macduff backs Macbeth up the stairs and cuts off his head, which falls to the pavement below with a resounding clang. [New paragraph] Meanwhile, here's the next segment of the message I originally tried to post a little over a week ago: Barbara and Rita, it's true that the Iceni, Queen Boudicca's tribe, were in what's now East Anglia, but, like all the Britons of Roman time, they were Celts; and when the Anglo-Saxons invaded after the Roman withdrawal, most of the native Britons either were pushed west into what are now Wales and Cornwall or fled across the Channel to Armorica, which became Britanny. In A Wayside Tavern, Paulus' encounter with some Iceni reminded me of an encounter with American Indians in a western!
Karen posts on 3/8/2009 12:14:56 AM Oh, it is Lord Gorleston! Thank you for the correction. My memory was faulty. (New paragraph) Mary, do you know of a house that you think might correspond to Minsham Old Hall? NL writes that it was 'built for defence, not for living in, and the only windows were set high in the walls and narrow.' And it is because the stairs winding up were built for defence, not living, and without a stair rail, that Anne's mother falls and dies. Anne describes it (maybe about 1425?) as being 'so old-fashioned and comfortless that nobody wanted it,' so that it had stood empty for some time before one of her mother's Bowdegrave cousins gave it to them.
Barbara posts on 3/7/2009 10:31:55 PM Was it Norfolk in Old Priory? When we get to the Arabella Shawross generation it is Lord Gorleston of the Dunwich family who she kisses and who does NOT marry her. When she meets Alan Tresize and falls in love with him, she sees that he is exactly like Gorleston to look at , which is not surprising to us as we know that they both descend directly from the original chestut haired sailor. Is Gorleston of the Norfolk dynasty do you think?



Mary posts on 3/7/2009 7:58:34 PM Here's part 2 of the message I tried to post last Sunday. If it goes through, I'll try the next part once someone else has had a chance to post. ***Where is Minsham in relation to Slipwell and Nettleton? In 'Anne Blanchefleur's Tale' in The Town House, Minsham Old Hall is described as having been built more for defense than for comfort, with high, narrow windows--so more of a castle than a manor house. Is it in the right place?
Karen posts on 3/2/2009 11:51:40 PM Hmmm...About Norfolk... wasn't it also Norfolk whose widow appeared at the beginning of 'The Old Priory', hoping for a man with chestnut colored hair who could give her a son? I don't have my copy of 'The Old Priory' anymore - how did her husband die? I remember it was sudden. Could he have been the one referred to in 'Bless This House'? (New paragraph) I do remember Minsham Old Hall described as having belonged to the Blanchfleurs forever, too, which I guess means since the Conquest. It does sound like a Norman castle. (New paragraph) I'd forgotten about Hester Roon meeting the old philosopher who told that story. Thank you for reminding me, Barbara! By the way, I am 52 and only discovered NL a few years ago. My first NL novel was 'The Old Priory,' followed by 'Bless This House.'
kath moriarty posts on 3/2/2009 10:01:58 PM Just a quick note from someone who just found this site. I am a 59 year old American who has been collecting hb NL books for decades! I "got hooked" from an English assignment when I was 15--NL's books were on the list of approved historical novels which we could read to "flesh out" our understanding of the period. My first NL book was The Concubine, which sparked a lifelong interest in the Tudor period!
Mary posts on 3/2/2009 9:04:25 PM Thanks for the idea, Karen! Here's part 1: Barbara, I wonder which Duke of Norfolk Queen Elizabeth was referring to. Her great-uncle, the one who played a role in her mother's downfall and death, was in the Tower when Henry VIII died but may have been released afterward; then his grandson, the next Duke, was executed in Elizabeth's reign. According to Elizabeth Jenkins' Elizabeth the Great, it had been so long since there had been a state execution that the scaffold had rotted and had to be rebuilt. [New paragraph] Where is Minsham in relation to Slipwell and Nettleton? In 'Anne Blanchefleur's Tale' in The Town House, Minsham Old Hall is described as having been built more for defense than for comfort, with high, narrow windows--so more of a castle than a manor house. Is it in the right place?
Barbara posts on 3/2/2009 8:54:50 PM Hi Mary. I was assuming the Norfolk grandson, since in Bless this House Tom quickly gets off the topic of "my lord of Norfolk" being executed - a fact which Elizabeth wryly notes as Tom's having kept his weather eye with him on land! I'm a bit 'spatially challenged' , so I never did really work out what estate is next to what village, unless I'm specifically told, so Minsham Old Hall could be in the right place . However I thought it had belonged to Blanchfleurs forever.. is that right? Yes, the Roman road does recur doesn't' it. I seem to remember Hester Roon falling in with an elderly travelling philosopher who also saw ( or heard of) wraiths of Roman soldiers on that road. How utterly infuriating to have lost your long post and for such stupid non-reasons. I always do a highlight-and-save on mine, for precisely that reason!
Mary posts on 3/2/2009 8:15:42 PM Thanks for the idea, Karen! Here's part 1: Barbara, I wonder which Duke of Norfolk Queen Elizabeth was referring to. Her great-uncle, the one who played a role in her mother's downfall and death, was in the Tower when Henry VIII died but may have been released afterward; then his grandson, the next Duke, was executed in Elizabeth's reign. According to Elizabeth Jenkins' Elizabeth the Great, it had been so long since there had been a state execution that the scaffold had rotted and had to be rebuilt. [New paragraph] Where is Minsham in relation to Slipwell and Nettleton? In 'Anne Blanchefleur's Tale' in The Town House, Minsham Old Hall is described as having been built more for defense than for comfort, with high, narrow windows--so more of a castle than a manor house. Is it in the right place?
Karen posts on 3/2/2009 4:16:13 AM Darn! Can you possibly post them separately (one or two each day, I guess)? A house belonging to Ockley Manor, which Sir Stephen Fennel in 'Nethergate' refers to as The House In The Woods, is described in a way that sounds very haunted. It seemed to me that NL must have been setting it up to use in a future novel, but just never got around to it. Darn again! Or am I wrong, and I just haven't read that book yet? (New paragraph) Do you notice how that Roman road through Layer Wood pops up, too? In 'A Wayside Tavern,' we see the Roman soldiers marching in formation along it to the see. The now well-hidden road is found in 'Madselin,' and Martin Reed sees the ghosts of the Romans marching along it, still well hidden by the woods, in 'The Town House.'
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