Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where Did You Get That Hat?

I mentioned in my Christmas post that I was going to put up a post during the holiday season about Roger Bigod's hats.
While writing The Time of Singing and conducting the Akashic Record research, http://www.elizabethchadwick.com/akashic_record.html
I came across the detail that Roger Bigod, my hero, was rather fond of his hats. I think they served several purposes for him. They were functional and kept his ears warm and the weather out in winter, and protected him from the sun in summer. They conveyed status and propriety. They were disguises to conceal expressions and to hide behind, they were confidence boosters, and sometimes they were fun, flamboyant objects that said 'Look at me. I'm really a unique fun guy under this quiet facade.'
I asked Alison if she would draw the hats that she had seen Roger wearing in the course of our session and she very kindly sketched and coloured a selection. When I first saw them, I was a bit surprised because some of them looked slightly later in period than what I had envisaged. I sent them to a medievalist friend for evaluation. She said that what we actually know about hats in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century is very little. There are a few examples around, but to put it in context, it's like looking around the streets of Nottingham - where I live - choosing someone at random who's wearing a particular style of hat and then saying that this hat is the only sort people wore in Europe in the 21st century. There just aren't enough existing examples. We don't know enough about the variety and styles, so Roger's hats are perfectly feasible. Certainly I have found examples of similar by trawling paintings from the next two centuries and the Maciejowski Bible, dating to the mid 13th has some close relatives.
Anyway, without further ado, here's a wander through Roger Bigod's hat gallery, complete with the Akashic session context of how and where the particular hat was mentioned: I've also added some pictures from my gallery of later, conventional illustrations. Not all the hats or the circumstances appear in the novel, but they inform the background. Enjoy!
With grateful thanks to Alison King for her artwork efforts! Click on the images to enlarge.


Carla said...

Love the hats with the feathers! Very jaunty.

Marg said...

Totally fun post EC! Thanks for posting it.

Passages to the Past said...

Such a treat to see the hats that I just was reading in your novel.

The Time of Singing was a WONDERFUL novel! I read it in 3 days and enjoyed every minute of it.

Anonymous said...

This was a fascinating post - it really shows Roger's personality, as it's easy to forget that historical figures really were just like us. I love hearing about the akashic record sessions too, they're very interesting!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting these. Makes things a lot clearer.

Unknown said...

Thanks for these wonderful views into the millinery of the 12th century.