I’m having some health difficulties, which is nothing new. So I’m not going to the SCA event tomorrow, Winter War Maneuvers V, where I was supposed to teach a class and retain for Royalty and Peers. I’ve also had to give up my aspiration to become a rapier fighter in the SCA due to my physical problems (see Azriel le Fey: an inspiration to try something new!)

But I can still read, so it’s all good. ❤

I’ve been ordering books! 🙂 More books on Eleanor of Aquitaine, the 12th century Duchess of Aquitaine, which was the largest duchy or province in what is now France. Almost as soon as she inherited the duchy at age fifteen, she became Queen of France when she married King Louis VII of France.

They divorced after going on the Second Crusade together, and she very shortly afterwards became Queen of England by marrying Henry II of England, Duke of Anjou and Normandy, among other possessions. Eleanor was a very powerful, well-educated, and cultured lady!

I also ordered more books on William Marshal of England, the younger son of a minor Anglo-Norman noble who rose to great prominence as a knight, Marshal of England, a landed noble in his own right, and even Regent of England. He was initially made a member of Eleanor’s entourage after his daring defense of her when her royal cortege was ambushed in the Poitevin forests. At that point William was a relatively unknown and impoverished young knight.

He was sorely wounded in the incident and taken prisoner by the attackers, where he languished for months in poor conditions. Eleanor finally ransomed him, and from then on his fortunes were attached to a rising star. He trained the sons of Eleanor and Henry in the martial arts and chivalry, among other things. He was such a great knight that his sobriquets are “The Greatest Knight” and “The Flower of Chivalry.”

I was going to teach a class at the Pennsic War this August about Eleanor of Aquitaine and William Marshal, but I’ve decided this year to stick with teaching about characters in the Icelandic family sagas instead. I want to do much more reading about Eleanor and William before I teach a class about them!

The books that I already have on each them include:

Here are the books I’ve ordered on them, some of which I’ve already read from the public library. It may seem like I’ve gone overboard, but they are all used books and mostly have free shipping as well, so I haven’t spent much money at all! 🙂

Although Chadwick’s book about William Marshal is a novel, it is thoroughly researched and well-written. She has other titles about William as well.

Below is one of my favorite books about women in the Middle Ages. It has a section on Eleanor of Aquitaine, but my favorite woman in the book is the writer Christine de Pisan:

Since I liked Andrea Hopkins’ writing and research in the above book so much, I looked up her other writings available on Amazon and ordered these:

I love the ironic title of this one–damsels NOT in distress–LOL! 🙂

I’m not sure if the last two will be duplicates or not, but they had different subtitles in the Amazon listings, so I ordered both, since they were each about $2.00 USD. 😛 They include poetry, ballads, and tales of famous Medieval lovers, including Guinevere and Lancelot, and Tristan and Iseult (see my harp song about the latter tale at Harp song: Lament of Tristan. Also see Playing a “Trouvere Chanson”, which is the kind of music played during Eleanor’s era).

Then it turns out that Hopkins has also written a number of books about Vikings, so of course I had to order most of those (I skipped the one on shipbuilding):

I’ll have many books to read soon! Actually I already have several stacks waiting to be read, but it’s always nice to have more. 🙂

Today’s obligatory cat picture is of Sissy, who doesn’t get nearly as many photos taken of her as Ophelia does!

Sissy, March 2nd, 2018

I’ve been making progress on my first embroidery project. I decided to double the Herringbone Stitch that I had previously completed, see My first embroidery project started…

Here’s what it looked like as a single stitch:



Then I started doubling the stitch with metallic gold thread, which is shinier in real life than I could capture with my smartphone. See Embroidery revisited:

Double Herringbone Stitch started….

Now I’ve gotten two of the three rows doubled:

Continuing to double the Herringbone Stitch…



I’m not sure that I like the doubled stitch as much as I did the single one, but as I said before, I’ve got plenty of time, silk, and floss to do another panel for my Coronation smokkr. 🙂