Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Salic Law

From Susan Abernethy:
The Salic Law (Lex Salica) was written in a mixture of Latin and Germanic text and for the most part clarified points of law in relation to monetary compensations (wehrgeld) and civil law regarding men and land. Clause Six in Title 59 deals with inheritance rules for family lands not held in benefice and states “concerning Salic lands (terra Salica) no portion or inheritance is for a woman but all the land belongs to members of the male sex who are brothers”.

An ordinance added by the Merovingian King Chilperic c. 575 expanded on this allowing daughters to inherit in the absence of sons: “if a man had neighbors but after his death sons and daughters remained, as long as there were sons they should have the land just as the Salic Law provides. And if the sons are already dead then a daughter may receive the land just as the sons would have done had they lived”. The monarch is never mentioned in these passages. Salic Law was modified under Charlemagne and was in evidence until the ninth century. It then slowly disappeared and became incorporated into common laws on a local level. By the fourteenth century, Salic law was forgotten and not in effect.

During the succession crisis of 1328, the jurists relied on this concept that women could only inherit personal property to keep the crown from passing to a woman or through her to her children. It was unthinkable to nominate any of the daughters of the previous kings. By doing so, there would be a recognition of the right of women to the throne in addition to the possibility of endless squabbles regarding the law. It was used as propaganda to defend the rights of the Valois against the claims of Edward III of England.

Wellman mentions the French humanist Jean de Montreuil. In 1413, he wrote a dissertation entitled “Treaty Against the English”. This clause clarified that men inherited land and women could only inherit personal property and thus couldn’t inherit the crown. After this, it became a fundamental principle of French law.

Just to be clear, this didn’t apply to all areas of France. Excellent examples are the duchy of Brittany and the kingdom of Navarre. Salic Law did not pertain to Brittany’s succession and when Francis II of Brittany died in 1488, his daughter Anne inherited the land and the title. The laws of Navarre did not prohibit a woman from inheriting the crown and on a number of occasions the kingdom was directly inherited or transmitted by heiresses. (Read more.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Now Available in Paperback and on Kindle!

With great joy I announce the publication of Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy. It is available internationally on Amazon.
Daughter of the Caesars succeeds in dispelling many of the most persistent myths and misconceptions about Marie Antoinette. It is an engaging, conversational read that clears away the pervasive pop culture image of Marie Antoinette and instead places the maligned queen back into the context of her life as an 18th century consort. A must-read for anyone with an interest in Marie Antoinette or her times. —Anna Gibson of Vive la Reine

Detailed Craftsmanship

From The Cottage Journal:
In their Maine cottage, Miguel and his wife, Fay Larkin, made the decision to only use items crafted by someone the couple knew. He jokes, “I don’t know who made my refrigerator, but I know who made my kitchen cabinets, furniture, the dining room table.” When asked his reasoning behind it, Miguel says it’s a lifestyle choice: “It’s supporting people and what they’re passionate about,” stressing the need for self-expression.(Read more.)


The Conscience of America

From Seton Magazine:
Some have attempted to make this look like a very convoluted case; however, from a legal perspective, the case is actually very simple. As one of the amicus briefs puts it:
“The answer to this question is less complex than it initially appears. The Little Sisters of the Poor have created a health care plan for their employees. It is their creation and their creature. It exists only because they created it. It is a creature of contract, a contract that they authored. It is ultimately their property. The government wants to use it because it finds it administratively convenient to do so. The Little Sisters object to having their property dragooned into these efforts.” (
Not only is the legal principle less than complex, so is the ethical principle. Intentional abortion and the use of abortifacients are direct violations of the fifth commandment; therefore, it naturally follows that cooperation with these evils cannot be justified.

Though this ethical stance of the Sisters is often presented as wacko, this is a basic concept—a foundational precept—of morality. With their ethical stance, the Sisters haven’t gone rogue. In fact, the stance of the Little Sisters in this case is supported by the corpus of Catholic moral theology which is essentially two thousand years in the making. (Read more.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Time for Outdoor Living

It's time for living on the porch and in the garden. From Southern Lady:
Instant photos are a wonderful thing, but capturing the view with a canvas and brush is much more relaxing. Try your hand at plein air painting by setting up an easel and supply table—Southern Lady–style, of course—in a nearby field or even in your own backyard. While away the afternoon from your front-porch perch. Though solo rocking has its merits, a second chair invites a passing neighbor or your favorite 4-year-old to join the party. A bowl of peas to shell is optional but offers the irresistible combination of productivity and pure pleasure.(Read more.)

New High School History Textbook

From Yahoo Finance:
Lands of Hope and Promise, the newest high school history textbook in a series of highly praised, beautiful history textbooks published by Catholic Textbook Project, earns the highest praise from Monsignor Sal Pilato, superintendent of high schools, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and others.

“As a former secondary history teacher and principal,” says Monsignor Sal Pilato in recommending Lands of Hope and Promise to high school educators in the archdiocese, “I can say that these are excellent textbooks that really fill an important gap in our efforts to teach the full story of history, the honest story which includes the Church's role in the formation and growth of our country and civilization. I encourage you to look at them carefully and consider them for your American history courses.”

Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., school headmaster, founder and president of the Catholic Textbook Project, is grateful but not surprised by the praise.

“We are very attentive to producing well-researched, accurate history textbooks that present history as a real-life human story,” says Van Hecke, “because ultimately that’s what history is; the story of significantly impactful human achievements and decisions, good and bad, over the centuries.”

“The journalistic, story-like narrative writing style of these history textbooks,” Van Hecke explains, “quickly engages students in a way that makes them want to keep learning and to keep reading.” (Read more.)

A Bright Flash of Light

From The Telegraph:
An explosion of tiny sparks erupts from the egg at the exact moment of conception. Scientists had seen the phenomenon occur in other animals but it is the first time is has been also shown to happen in humans. Not only is it an incredible spectacle, highlighting the very moment that a new life begins, the size of the flash can be used to determine the quality of the fertilised egg. Researchers from Northwestern University, in Chicago, noticed that some of the eggs burn brighter than others, showing that they are more likely to produce a healthy baby. (Read more.)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ideas for Mother's Day

From Tea Time:
Shower your mother with love and affection by hosting a tea in her honor for Mother’s Day. A beautiful centerpiece of pink and lavender blooms complements colorful linens and delicate china, making this tea enchanting and gracious just like Mom. A beautiful Mother’s Day table begins with elegant china—either a vintage pattern that you cherish, such as Castleton Sunnyvale, pictured above left, or a new pattern that you’ve fallen in love with, such as Herend Royal Garden, above right. Let the china you choose set the color palette for the flowers, table linens, and other accessories. (Read more.)