Monday, September 24, 2018

Of Antelopes & Kings

From Lauren Johnson:
Henry VI inherited the thrones of England and of France before his first birthday and he never met his famed father. The antelope heraldry they shared recurs throughout Henry’s reign. In 1432, when the ten-year-old king returned to England after 2 years in his French realm, he was greeted on his arrival in London by a series of pageants. The poet John Lydgate wrote an account of Henry’s entry into the city, recording how at London Bridge, a giant greeted the king, promising to serve as his champion. Flanking the giant were:
“Two antelopes standing on either side
With the arms of England and of France,
In token that God shall for him provide,
As he hath title by just inheritance
To reign in peace, plenty and pleasance.”

The antelope on the cover of SHADOW KING is based on an illuminated manuscript produced around the time of Henry’s marriage in 1444. In a genealogical roll celebrating Henry VI’s descent from both English and French royalty, an antelope appears upholding the arms of Henry impaled with those of his new wife Margaret of Anjou. The book was presented to Queen Margaret by one of Henry’s noblemen, Lord John Talbot. (Read more.)

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