Thursday, January 07, 2010

Recent books added to the research shelves.

I thought it was time to post about what I've recently been buying for my research shelves.
As usual, it's an eclectic mix of what has taken my fancy and what I need for my current novel where the credits are jointly shared by the Empress Matilda and Queen Adeliza of Louvain. Sorry about the space formatting as usual!

First up is Lisa Hilton's Queen's Consort: England's Medieval Queens. This is a useful book giving concise overviews starting with Matilda of Flanders and ending at Elizabeth of York. I bought it mainly for Adeliza and with the awareness that other sections will always come in useful as an off the shelf reference for work and leisure.

Next, an excellent biography of Henry I by Judith A. Green. I also have Hollister's huge work on my shelf, but if anything, the Green feels better in assessment to me. However, the more viewpoints the merrier and this one's a goodie.

Queen Adeliza and her predecessor were great
patrons of Medieval leper houses and hospitals.
Adeliza retired to the nunnery of Wilton after the
death of Henry I for a while at least, where she sponsored a leper hospital. I wanted
to know more about this disease and medieval
attitudes to the same. Carol Rawcliffe's book Leprosy
in Medieval England is an excellent addition to
my bookshelves.

Now for another Judith A. Green:
The Aristocracy of Norman England which does
more or less as it says on the tin. Takes you through
this troublesome ruling class and attempts to look at
what makes them tick. I haven't read it yet, but it's
waiting its moment

I picked up Medieval Dress & Fashion by
Margaret Scott from the British Library.
It's one of those sumptious coffee table
books that's good for bedtime browsing when
you've run out of an intellectual capacity for
words but still want to be educated.

The surprise find of late last year. A fine, fine biography
of King Stephen's brother, Henry of Blois, Bishop of
Winchester, wannabee but never was Archbishop of Canterbury, Papal Legate and collector of pagan Roman
statues. This is published by Publish America, not an
Academic Press. To be brutally honest, it could benefit
from an editor too - but only with a light touch. It's not
horrendous by any manner of means. As well as an
erudite assessment of the bishop, the author has provided
masses of chronicle and charter material, all translated
into English, and an extensive bibliography. From my
admittedly not academic viewpoint, this holds its own with any popular academic work and is a darned sight better than certain ones I'm not going to mention!

Then comes Kate Norgate's England Under the Angevin
Kings. Some of the research is a bit dated in this one now, but since it was published in 1887 that's not to be wondered at. However, it reads well and it's still a solid piece of study and a useful work to have on the shelf.

Lastly, but not leastly, and as a grand finale, I am the proud owner of this one because it's
a present from my lovely, generous author friend Sharon
Kay Penman. She's beein delving into this one while
researching her novel on Richard the Lionheart, and thought
I would like a copy too. She was certainly right - Thank you
Sharon! This one is next up on my reading pile once I'm
done with leprosy!


Katherine said...

They all look like wonderful books! It's amazing where one's research takes us. Happy reading and writing!

Christy K Robinson said...

Thanks for showing your research material and making comments on them. That's a great idea that I must borrow for my own blog. But since 98% of my books are packed in the garage awaiting a move, and my scanner is also buried in the pile, that won't happen for months! I own some cool books about royal falconry, medieval women's roles, the crown jewels robbery of 1303, a portable "daily reader" of medieval literature, and many more--most in the TBR category.
Just a note on the oddity of "capture" words. The word I'm to type in the verification box below is "turdlit." Ewww.

4everQueen said...

Elizabeth, these all look to be amazing reads and 'must have' books as well! Will have to check my local library for any of them. Happy readings!

Anne Gilbert said...

I really want to get my hands on Judith Green's "Aristocracy of Norman England". But every time I think I can get the book, something happens, and I have to put my Starving Writer money somewhere else. And then the price goes up! Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!

I wouldn't mind reading the Henry I book, either. I like what I've seen of Judith Green, mainly in those Anglo-Norman Studies volumes

Unknown said...

The book about the lepers sounds so intersting. Thanks for taking the time to share your treasures with us.

Jules Frusher said...

Ooooh, there are some in that list I wouldn't mind having a delve of - especially the leprosy one! And, coincidentally, I have also just bought a book on Medieval costume as I get confused with all those chausses and chemises! Do you ever find that you have books that you desperately want and are either totally unavailable or else monstrously expensive? Because that seems the bane of my reseach at the moment.

By the way - had to share the word verification for this because, for some reason, it amused me: arshiver!

Elysium said...

I'd love to read Henry I book and England Under the Angevin Kings!
I have Queens Consort. There's kinda basic things about each queens but I liked it.

Joansz said...

I just scanned the table of contents on Amazon for Queens Consort and I see there's a chapter devoted to Anne Neville. Since I'm a Ricardian, I'm very interested in learning as much as I can about Richard III and the people associated with him. I have been particularly frustrated with the paucity of information about his queen. Is there any new information about her? I hope that Hicks isn't the primary reference since he's a known anti-Ricardian.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Joan, Hicks isn't quoted in the reference notes at the back of the book. Citations include Gillingham, Weir (!) Laynesmith, Jones & Underwood, Idley, Horrox, The Croyland Chronicle, Calendar of State Papers,etc, but no Hicks!

Jules, I seem to have reached the stage where nearly all the books I really want cost about a hundred quid each! :-( So they remain most wanted, rather than owned!

Joansz said...

Blech--Weir! Still, I'll see if I can get that book through ILL and then make a decision. Thanks for letting me know.

Anne Gilbert said...

Jules and EC:

I'm really, really glad to see I'm not alone in my frustration of wanting more books than my Starving Writer budget will allow me to have!

Anne Gilbert said...

I wonder why anybody would include Weir in a citation of much of anything. She seems to do quite shoddy research.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Weir seems to get mentioned a lot across the board. I've only half read her work on Eleanor of Aquitaine so can't comment on the others, but it's what I would call popular, pinch of salt history. The piece in the Consorts book does accord well with a Haskins Society article I have on Adeliza of Louvain, so I would think as an overview book it should be okay.

Unknown said...

A favourite of mine is "The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England" by Ian Mortimer .
I have this one always near at hand .

Miss Moppet said...

I'm glad you like Queens Consort as I had looked at that but was a bit dubious as I wasn't crazy about Lisa Hilton's book on Madame de Montespan. I will take it a bit more seriously now!

librarypat said...

What an interesting assortment of books. Wish I had time to do nothing but sit around and read.

Passages to the Past said...

This was a great post - research has always intrigued me and you've got some humdingers there!

I'm off to add some to my wishlist, which is about to topple over ;-)