Wednesday, May 10, 2006

William Marshal - the 'meme'

Gabriele tagged me to complete some statements on behalf of William Marshal. I'm a complete novice to this tagging business, but I've done my best to answer, and I hope as the great man would have wished. My apologies to his spirit for errors borne out of a gulf of 800 years and my own lack thereof. Without further ado:

I am: William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke
I want: King John to get off my back and leave me and my family alone. Just for a few days would be nice. We're off to Ireland to avoid him, but it always rains there.
I wish: Richard hadn't died. Everything's gone to hell in a hand cart since then.
I hate: getting my head stuck inside jousting helms
I miss: The glory days, my first destrier, the Southern sun warming my spine as I ride, Queen Eleanor to whom I owe my career. And there is a cold space at my side that was once occupied by my great bon ami, Baldwin de Bethune, God rest his soul. Hale and farewell.
I fear that William de Braose was not a good choice of husband for my daughter Eve. There are going to be tears before and after bed-time.
I hear: Disquieting rumours about Prince Arthur, the Tower of Rouen and a certain midnight visit by his uncle John. I will be as blind as the darkness of the dungeons in that place. I will not see. It is the only way to stay safe.
I wonder: how long dinner's going to be and if stuffed mushrooms will be on the menu.
I regret: not having lived long enough to teach Henry III more about the responsibilities of kingship.
I am not: small-minded, spiteful or petty
I dance: at tournaments and at court. I would say I am good at it, but the modesty of a prudhomme prevents me from doing so.
I sing: All of the time. It is one of my favourite occupations in my my leisure time. I am particularly fond of the rotrouenge and I enjoy teaching songs to my children, especially my eldest daughter, Mahelt who has a voice like a nightingale.
I cry: when I see the enormity of the task set before me and know that my time is running out.
I am not always: as pure as the driven snow. One has to be honourable when one is able, but temper one's chivalry with pragmatism.
I made: my wife agree not to hew Meilyr FitzHenry into little pieces (difficult as she was in a thorough temper and when you mix wild Irish with de Clare and light the torch, conflagration does not begin to describe the result) There are more subtle ways of controlling uppity vassals.
I write: Actually I don't. These days I'd be known as dyslexic. I was beaten for not being able to master words when I was little.
I confuse: my detractors by refusing to rise to their bait. They don't know what to do and I keep the upper hand.
I need: My wife Isabelle. She is my safe harbour
I should: be eternally grateful to John D'Earley for his lifelong loyalty and friendship.
I start: With the determination and courage to see things through no matter how bad things get.
I finish: What I've started.
I tag: My scribe being woefully new to blogland, I am afraid I will have to pass on that one at this point until she gets the hang of such things and understands them better! The learning curve continues. One day she'll find out how to do links too!


Jane Henry said...

Brilliant! I love it. I will look upon WM in quite a different light next time I'm in the Temple Church!

PS I don't know what tags are either. Or memes... And I haven't got my links to work!

Gabriele Campbell said...

Thank you for playing along. I had no idea William likes stuffed mushrooms, and I'm so with him about the helmets. :)

Jane, memes are lists like 'Ten things I want to do before I die' or 'My 3 favourite songs, my 3 favourite movies ....' which make the rounds on blogs now and then. Those who do a meme tag some other people to do it as well.

Many memes are pretty silly and if politeness obliges me to accept a tag, I won't tag others, but a few memes I find fun or interesting (like this one, or one I did a few months ago about '10 Favourite Books and Why') and spread them by tagging people on my blogroll whom I think will have interesting replies.

That's how it works. :)

To post a link you use the html code for hyperlinks [a href="http://xxx"]text[/a]. Replace [ ] with < >.

KC said...

What a great idea! I've never read any other memes for historical personages. I'll have to search around for some more. Very interesting!

Gabriele Campbell said...

KC, I collected some links to other participants in the meme.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Thanks Gabriele for putting in the link. I'm hoping to get around to learning more of the 'how to do it' stuff on blogging once the workload eases off. I have managed to link to your blog on my sidebar, so at least that's now in place!

Anonymous said...

Susan: Brilliant idea of mine not waiting for an American publisher to publish The Greatest Knight...bought it straight from and am in the middle of it now. Loved WM before this -- simply adore him now. He's a real live person, with deep feelings and a healthy appetite!!!! Can't wait for the next one. You're not getting older -- you're just getting better!

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Thanks Ilysa!
I have to say that William has become very much a labour of love for me. I really do feel connected to him - more so than with any character I have ever written about.
And yes, you are right about his appetite. There are quite a few foody references throughout the Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal that suggest he appreciated food! I was very interested in a reference to sparkling wine. I wouldn't have imagined them having 'champagne' in the 13thC but apparently they did, and he liked it!