Tag Archives: MEDIEVAL

A ROYAL VALET

Kings and noblemen always had their personal servants with them wherever they went. Easily one of the most famous royal servants would be Alexandre Bontemps, who was the personal valet of Louis XIV of France. Bontemps’s loyalty to his king was so absolute that he spent more time with the king than he did with his own family. As the king’s personal valet, Bontemps slept in the same room as the king, which was something even the queen consort was not allowed. Due to this, Bontemps was always available for the king’s needs at any time. Bontemps was not just Louis XIV’s personal valet, he was the king’s best friend and most trusted confidant. As the king’s personal valet, Bontemps’s duties involved overseeing all the day-to-day affairs of the royal household. I am planning on introducing a character who is the main protagonist’s personal valet and their relationship will mirror the relationship of Louis XIV and Bontemps.

A PIOUS REBEL

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Throughout medieval history, a considerable amount of the culture was influenced by religion. Some of the more extreme zealots wore hair shirts under their clothes as a form of penance. It scrapes their skin as a constant reminder to stay focused on God. Essentially, this is the tool of a fanatic. Simon de Montfort wore a hair shirt under his clothes and his zealotry was so extreme that when he made an oath before God, he was going to see it through no matter what. This was the case when he, Henry III, and the other English barons swore an oath before God in order to abide by a set of laws and if Henry III broke those laws the penalty would be civil war. Inevitably, Henry III broke the oath and Simon responded in kind. Simon may have had God on his side, but no matter how you dress it up he was still waging war against an anointed king, which made him a traitor to the crown. Eventually, Simon’s rebellion was quelled and Simon himself was chopped into pieces. I am thinking of having one of my future fantasy characters this piece of unusual clothing. I am thinking of making this character a pious zealot and an ambitious rebel at the same time like Simon de Montfort.

INSPIRATION: THE RENAISSANCE

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The Renaissance was a time when all of Europe underwent a series of cultural, artistic, and intellectual changes. It was when Europe transitioned from the Middle Ages to a more modern time. However, despite all of these changes, war was still a part of everyday life, especially the wars of religion between the Protestants and the Catholics. I am thinking of drawing inspiration from the Renaissance in my fantasy series. However, my world’s Renaissance will not be based on intellectual growth. Instead, it will revolve around magic coming back to the world after three hundred years. Some citizens of the Gradaian Empire will see this resurgence of magic to be a sign of the gods, others will see it as a bad omen, and the rest will be opposed to the return of magic altogether. The future conflicts will be between the last Druids and the anti-magic fanatics, which will mirror the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics.

UPCOMING FILM: THE KING

Next month, a new film will be released on Netflix called The King, which depicts the life and reign of King Henry V of England. Henry V is most famous for defeating the French in the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War despite being outnumbered five to one. It looks like we will see the Battle of Agincourt in all its epic glory. Also, we will get to see a new version of Sir John Falstaff, who was Henry V’s famous companion in Shakespeare plays. Overall, I look forward to seeing this interpretation of this famous warrior king and I hope they do a modern version of the Saint Crispin’s Day speech, the best battlefield speech ever.

BATTLE OF LOSECOAT FIELD

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In some of my earlier posts, I mentioned the story of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, the Kingmaker. He was initially King Edward IV’s strongest supporter until he betrayed his king THREE times. The first time, Warwick was forgiven and the third time led to his death. This post will talk about his second act of treason against Edward IV.

Even though Edward pardoned Warwick for betraying him the first time, Warwick was banned from court. As a result, Warwick had no power or influence over the crown, which was the one thing Warwick wanted more than anything else. Warwick betrayed Edward and he didn’t think Edward would take it personally? With his control over Edward long gone, Warwick sought to kill or replace him with his younger brother, George, Duke of Clarence.

To achieve their goal, Warwick and Clarence orchestrated a rebellion in Lincolnshire with Sir Robert Welles serving as their proxy. However, this rebellion was swiftly quelled by Edward’s army. After the battle, Edward’s troops removed all the clothing from the rebel corpses that could identify them, which resulted in the battlefield being named “Losecoat Field.” Welles confessed working with Warwick and Clarence and even provided letters that implicated them in the rebellion. Welles was executed for his own treason shortly afterwards.

Utterly disgraced, Warwick and Clarence knew Edward would not pardon them a second time. Therefore, they fled England to France, where they formed an alliance with Queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI. This became Warwick’s third act of treason against Edward IV.

I am thinking of portraying a similar chain of events in my third fantasy book where one of the main character’s former supporters staged a proxy rebellion against them.

HOUSE BEAUFORT

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Allow me to share a little story about a noble family known as House Beaufort. The Beauforts were descendants of John of Gaunt, one of the many sons of Edward III of England. In addition to his legitimate children, John of Gaunt had multiple bastards from his mistress. After his wife died, John of Gaunt wanted to marry his mistress. Doing so would legitimize his bastards, but John of Gaunt was forced to accept certain conditions before he could marry his mistress. John of Gaunt would marry his mistress and legitimize his bastards, but his newly legitimate children and their descendants would be banned from inheriting the throne of England. Thus House Beaufort was born. Even though they could not inherit the throne due to their previously illegitimate status, the Beauforts were still powerful and influential in their own right. They married into other monarchies across Europe and supported their Lancastrian relatives during the War of the Roses. The Tudor Dynasty were related to the Beauforts due to Henry VII’s mother being Lady Margaret Beaufort. Thus, they defied the law that banned them from the throne by establishing the Tudor Dynasty. I am thinking of introducing two families in my third fantasy book that are related to the Magnus Dynasty and they would be descended from bastards just like the Beauforts.

INSPIRATION: THE TUDOR CHILDREN

When Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, they had eight children, but only four reached adulthood and only three had children of their own. Henry and Elizabeth’s firstborn son and heir was Prince Arthur Tudor, who married Catherine of Aragon before dying of an unknown disease shortly afterwards. Despite being the heir apparent before his death, Arthur is largely forgotten. In another life, Arthur would have been king and the Tudor Dynasty would have lasted longer under his rule. Henry VIII, who needs no introduction, was never meant to be king because Arthur was the heir and Henry was the spare. The daughters of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York had a brighter future than their brothers. Mary Tudor was married to the King of France and her descendants ruled France until the French Revolution. Margaret Tudor had the brightest future and legacy of all the Tudor children because she married the King of Scotland and her descendants eventually ruled both Scotland and England right up to the present day.

Because the Magnus Dynasty is my own fantasy reimagining of the Tudor Dynasty, I am thinking of basing the children of my new main character on these Tudor children. I also think it is more balanced in terms of gender: two sons and two daughters. I already have the descendants of these sons and daughters of Magnus planned out in a genealogical chart. Their story will be told in full in my upcoming third fantasy book.