Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Klimt’s Idyllic Landscapes


From ArtNet:

Gustav Klimt, a Viennese Symbolist painter and co-founder of the Viennese Secession movement, first came to prominence as a mural painter. Later, he became known for his paintings of women, including those prominent in Viennese society around 1901–09. This period in the artist’s career was dubbed the “Golden Phase,” and was characterized by striking portraits adorned with glistening gold leaf, which have captured the public’s imagination for decades. Now however, the Neue Galerie is focusing on a significant part of Klimt’s oeuvre that has been overshadowed by the artist’s famed late portraits, with the exhibition “Klimt Landscapes.”

In the winter of 1903, around 20 landscapes featured in the artist’s only substantial one-man show in Vienna before his death. Known for their innovative square format, which betrayed the artist’s interest in photography, and produced en plein-air (outside), an approach also favoured by the Impressionists, these bucolic works were praised by contemporary critics and were highly sought after by collectors. (Read more.)

A legal heir of a lost Klimt comes forward, HERE


Restorative Discipline: Crippling Children's Mental Maturity And Validating Violence

 From Jan Greenhawk at The Easton Gazette:

I remember the first time I heard about "restorative discipline." I was in one of my last years of teaching and we were being told that kids no longer needed consequences to correct their behavior but a strategy called restorative discipline. Having been a teacher for almost thirty years, I was suspect of the phrase. You see, education administrations have a way of naming new trends so that they sound really good even when they are really bad. Or worse, ineffective.

When I first heard the term I was mentoring some new teachers at the local high school. The school had just implemented a new strategy that included creating a "ninth grade academy" in our school, a wing dedicated just to 9th grade classes and students. The idea was that 9th graders would adjust better if they were kept out of the 10th, 11th and 12th grade populations and therefore cause fewer incidents and problems. Like most ideas, it didn't work out the way they thought it would. Discipline referrals went up so much that the administrator in charge of the 9th grade academy would hide them in his desk drawer and not log them into our local, state and federal discipline stats. By halfway through the year, his drawer was overflowing. That was a violation of COMAR (State policy).

It was then the onslaught of counselors, psychiatrists, and mental health personnel started showing up to take kids out of class. It was usually the students who were behavior problems. They were glad to leave class because they got free pizza. It didn't matter to administration if these students were missing class time or content because the most important thing was for them to discuss their lives with someone who would then help them learn how to control their emotions. They called it "restorative discipline." (Read more.)


Antisemitism is the Devil's Flagpole

 Here is a succinct history of antisemitism. I still do not understand Klavan's problem with the title of "Christ the King" since it is very Biblical and one of the most ancient titles of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus was hailed as a king at the Epiphany at the visit of the Magi when still an infant, especially with the mystic gift of gold which symbolized His royalty as a Son of God and Son of David. And on the Cross, Jesus was given the title of "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." From Andrew Klavan:

Antisemitism is the Devil’s Flagpole. It always marks the place where evil dwells. It adheres to no one political party, no particular race or nation. But wherever and whenever it appears, it is a signal that something is going very badly wrong in that place and time.

There’s a simple reason this is true. The antisemites think they hate the Jew in front of them, but it’s that other Jew they really hate.

Because the soul of the West was indelibly shaped by Christianity, the God of the West is the Jewish God, the God of Abraham made incarnate in Jesus Christ. Western ideas about God — that he made both men and women in his image, that he identifies with the least among us, that his personality is centered on forgiveness and love — these ideas were all gifts of I AM to his Chosen People. So too were the laws carved on the stones of Sinai and etched over slow centuries into the animate substance of the Jewish heart. Ultimately, the ideas underpinning these laws became the ideas of everyone who followed Jesus Christ. (Read more.)

Monday, April 29, 2024

The Case for the All-Red Room

 From Architectural Digest:

In the mid 1930s, legendary Vogue editor in chief Diana Vreeland began writing a column for Harper’s Bazaar called Why Don’t You? in which she would encourage readers to try something new, almost as an absurdly glamorous dare. Among her suggestions was the idea that readers might decorate their homes entirely in green, with a verdant mix of houseplants and glazed porcelain. But Vreeland’s personal favorite color was red, specifically “the color of a child’s cap in any Renaissance portrait.”In 1955, she asked interior designer Billy Baldwin to create her famed New York apartment, which was completed in 1957 and later featured in the September/October 1975 issue of Architectural Digest. The living room, which Vreeland enthusiastically described as “a garden in hell,” is a master class in the art of monochromatic design. It’s not just that the room is all red: It’s that Baldwin and Vreeland combined red carpet, red upholstery, and red paint with objects that are culturally red, like playing cards and plaid throws. (Vreeland herself made the needlework pillows on the sofa.) (Read more.)


The New Era Of Race Hoaxes

Matt Walsh reports on how a school principal from Baltimore was almost destroyed by a hoax.


How Parents Are Slowly Ceding Authority to Children

 From Intellectual Takeout:

I was reminded of both of these episodes when I read Leonard Sax’s recent book, The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-UpsSax is a family therapist who has spent a lot of time over the past few years talking to students and parents both in the United States and abroad, trying to find out what is going on with our kids. Sax uncovered some parenting behaviors that are leading to the creation of a generation of fat, entitled, fragile, and unhappy children. “We parents are spending more and more time and money on parenting,” Sax explains, “but when you look at the results, things are getting worse, not better.” Sax lists increased diagnoses of ADHD and bipolar disorder, increased obesity, and lower resilience as evidence of worse outcomes for children.

“Here’s my diagnosis,” Sax writes:

Over the past three decades, there has been a massive transfer of authority from parents to kids. Along with that transfer of authority has come a change in the valuation of kids’ opinions and preferences. . . . what kids think and what kids like and what kids want now matters as much, or more, than what their parents think and like and want. . . . These well-intentioned changes have been profoundly harmful to kids.

The first negative result of this transfer of authority is the “culture of disrespect” that Sax argues has blossomed as a result. He chronicles how and why some basic rules of behavior, such as apologizing for hurting someone else, are no longer taught to kids. Sax says kindergarten and first grade educators used to teach these basic rules—clean up your own mess, don’t take things that aren’t yours, say sorry when you hurt somebody, play fair, don’t hit—but that such behavioral instruction has been supplanted by phonics and other academic lessons. With schools no longer inculcating these important and basic rules of behavior, parents are really on the hook. Instead, he argues, parents have abdicated their authority.

Sax isn’t the only fan of parental authority. Writing in the New York Times, psychologist  Lisa Damour extols the virtues of enforcing family dining, especially for teenagers. She says that demanding that children sit and eat together with their parents is not only better for the family unit as a whole, but also proves beneficial to teenagers later in life. Family mealtime ritualizes the two main components of successful authoritative parenting—structure and warmth. “Decades of research have documented that teenagers raised by authoritative parents are the ones most likely to do well at school, enjoy abundant psychological health and stay out of trouble,” writes Damour. (Read more.)


Sunday, April 28, 2024

Barnwell Manor

 From House and Garden:

The property went on the market in the latter stages of 2022 and has taken some time to sell, but the Duke himself has not lived there since 1995, due to the cost of maintaining the estate. Instead, he gave it over to Windsor antiques for tenancy and moved back to Kensington Palace, which has been the Gloucester's primary residence ever since. Barnwell Manor itself has 40 rooms, including a wood-panelled study, jolly green reception room, complete with ornate cornicing and intricately pelmeted curtains, and a glorious library with chintz curtains that suit the mood of the house. The decorative plasterwork throughout is a marvel, as are the beautifully mullioned windows and perfect country house interiors that are in excellent condition. While nothing is currently known about the new owners, they join a long line of illustrious names, from Prince Philip's private secretary Sir Brian McGrath to Prince Henry, the custodian who brought it into the royal family's tenure. It is a considerable property with a long line of history and immaculately restored interiors, so the hope is that whoever is next to take it on retains that same charm and period character. (Read more.)



We’re in a Violent Crime Spike

 Glenn Loury & Charles Fain Lehman on The Glenn Show



Meanwhile, In Talbot County...(Part2)

 From The Easton Gazette:

People send me text messages and emails throughout the week about matters of note, and this week I was perturbed to receive notice of "Big A*s Drag Bunch" at the Talbot County Community Center on May 12, 2024 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. Now if such an event were occurring from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am at an adult venue in downtown Easton, I would not care. But why is a Drag Queen show occurring in the afternoon at a building surrounded by corn fields that belongs to Talbot Parks and Recreation and therefore is a place for the benefit of families? According to the EventBrite page:

Get ready for a fabulous time at the Big A*s Drag Brunch! Join us at Talbot County Parks & Recreation for a morning [?] filled with entertainment, delicious food, and unforgettable performances. Our talented drag queens will dazzle you with their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. Bring your friends and family for a fun-filled event that you won't want to miss!

Bottomless mimosas are also being offered as well. (Read more.)


Saturday, April 27, 2024

15th-century Heart-shaped Brooch


From the Victoria and Albert Museum:

This heart-shaped brooch with its romantic inscription was given as a token of love. It would have been used to fasten a tunic, gown or cloak. Gold was the most costly of metals, generally used only by royalty and the nobility. It is inscribed and would have formerly been enamelled on the reverse in French, in black letter script, ‘Ourselves and all things at your whim’ ('Nostre et tout ditz a vostre desier'). The design on the front of the brooch, possibly stylised leaves and flowers or feathers, would also have been colourfully enamelled.

Ring brooches often fastened garments with a slit at the neck. Both men and women used them. They first pulled the fabric through the ring. They then pushed the pin horizontally through the fabric. When they pulled the fabric back through the ring, it held the pin in place. (Read more.)

Can Ignorant, Anti-Israel College Students Even Find Gaza on a Map?

Megyn Kelly is joined by Heather Mac Donald, author of "When Race Trumps Merit,” to discuss uneducated students unsure of what they’re even protesting, the ignorance of our next generation, and more.


The 49th Parallel (1941)

 From Word and Song by Anthony Esolen:

Our Film of the Week, The 49th Parallel, was intended as a plea for help, from one friend to another. That is, the English, who of course had all the nations of the Commonwealth on their side, including that grand and unique nation of Canada, wanted the Americans to enter the war against the Nazi regime. Goebbels, misunderstanding quite badly both American feelings and American affection for our cousins across the ocean, thought that he could win the United States over to the German side.

By the time The 49th Parallel had made its way to the screen, however, the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, and the United States was in the war on both fronts. So the immediate political use to which the director, Michael Powell, and the screenplay writer Emeric Pressburger wished to put the film had already been accomplished. And yet the film is quite moving and powerful as a tribute to the kind of nation that the Canadians wanted to be, at their best, and also as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation for their southern neighbor. For, as the voice-over says at the beginning of the film, the forty-ninth parallel is unique in the world. It is merely a line on the map, well over a thousand miles long. It marks no river or mountain range. It is undefended. It requires no defense. And my family and I speak now from over twenty years of experience: we love Canada, and though we see that the people of each nation think they know more about their neighbors than they really do, we are always struck by the welcome we receive there, and the good cheer of the people, especially of the common folk who live far from the cosmopolitan cities. (Read more.)

Friday, April 26, 2024

Debauve & Gallais

 A  200-year-old French chocolatier. Chocolate was once seen as medicinal. From Atlas Obscura:

WHEN SULPICE DEBAUVE STARTED SELLING chocolate in 18th century Paris, he touted the exotic import as medicinal. Debauve was a trained pharmacist, and, not incidentally, a “lumière,” one of Voltaire’s enlightened who saw science as the future. He used the utile dulci (useful sweet) to help the French Queen, Marie-Antoinette, cure her headaches.

In the process he revolutionized French chocolate. At the time, cacao was largely consumed as a beverage, one which Marie Antoinette had been drinking since her childhood in Vienna. Debauve mixed drinking chocolate with sweet almond milk and the bitter headache powder he concocted for her, then molded the mixture into disks and allowed it to solidify. The queen named these chocolates Pistoles after their resemblance to gold coins. (Read more.)

The Marxist Roots of DEI

 Session 1: Equity | James Lindsay


A Room of Her Own

 The Tuileries, which was the part of the Louvre where Marie-Antoinette lived, was destroyed in the 1870's. From Euronews:

France’s Louvre could move the Mona Lisa to her own basement room. Here’s why. She’s the world’s most famous and most visited work of art, with up to ten million admirers per year. Her enigmatic smile has been idolised by art lovers, and even targeted by thieves, soup-loving protesters, and even a man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair who threw cake in her face. But now, a new project may prove the last queen of France Marie Antoinette right, as she found her “too small, too dark.”

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting "Mona Lisa" is about to be moved, in order to give La Gioconda more space. And appease visitors. Indeed, with Louvre visitors getting an average of 50 seconds to admire the "Mona Lisa", which is displayed behind a barrier and bullet-proof glass in the centre of the Salle des Etats (glass installed in the 1950s to protect it after an acid attack), many have dubbed it the world's most disappointing masterpiece. Understandable really, as the huge crowds and limited space in the gallery means it’s difficult to see Mona Lisa. (Read more.)

Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Real Jeanne du Barry

 From Tatler:

Born Jeanne Becú in 1743, the identity of du Barry’s father is lost to history. There are rumours that he was a monk, rather ironically known as Frére Ange – Brother Angel. Her mother Anne was a seamstress, who raised her daughter in the home of her own aristocratic lover, Monsieur Billiard-Dumonceaux. After the family was ousted from the Dumonceaux household, Jeanne worked on the streets of Paris, selling trinkets to passers-by to raise money for her family.

And so she would have remained, were it not for her unparalleled beauty. Known for her blonde ringlets and almond-shaped eyes, Jeanne’s face launched her into the courtesan intrigues of the French aristocracy. ‘Madame du Barry was the incarnation of beauty,’ historian Evelyne Lever told the documentary Secretes d’Histoire three years ago, ‘she was a veritable goddess.’ After being fired from her role caring for an elderly widow – whose two sons reportedly fell in love with the young Jeanne – she found herself preforming sex work in the gambling dens of Paris. It was here that she met Jean-Baptiste du Barry, a nobleman whose character is probably best summarised by his unfortunate nickname: Le Roué, or ‘The Old Lech’. (Read more.)


Why the Centrists Changed Their Trans Tune

 From Mary Harrington at UnHerd:

So, now the winds have changed, we find Allsopp also back-pedalling. It was never true, she asserts, that there was “no debate” on the issue of medical experiments on gender-confused children. Puberty blockers, Kirstie informs us, were bad all along. But we could always talk about it: “it is, and always has been possible to debate these things and those saying there was no debate are wrong”. All the people (mostly women) unfairly fired or bullied out of jobs, all the grannies punched in Hyde Park by men with special identities, the no-platforming, the intimidation, the threats, and the censorship — that wasn’t actually a thing.

Allsopp is the clearest indicator yet that at least where child gender vivisection is concerned, at least some of the grandes dames of Truth Universally Acknowledged may have paused broadcasting a TUA in order to convince themselves, in the light of a new emerging groupthink, that the new consensus is what they believed all along. And because moral consensus precedes its “expert” rationalisation, so we also find that those who purport to stand for science and reason are also curiously quiet.

On Sunday, for example, Sex Matters founder Maya Forstater (herself notoriously a victim of the “No Debate” consensus Kirstie Allsopp says never existed) called on science communicator and Humanists UK president Adam Rutherford to defend systematic scientific reviews, against the trans activists spreading misinformation about the Cass Review. Did he come out swinging for science and reason over gender ideology? Reader, he flunked it: “It’s not something I know much about.” (Read more.)

The Despair of the Philosophes

 From Catholic Exchange:

The period known as the Enlightenment (c. 1685-1815) was a critical moment in the history of Christendom, as it saw the emergence of a system of thought hostile to Christianity and the rise of systematic atheism. Many thinkers of the Enlightenment considered revealed religion offensive to reason, for revealed religion insisted that we give our assent on faith, which was considered antithetical to human reason. Consider the thought of Denis Diderot: Diderot (1713-1784) was a French writer and philosopher, best known as the editor of the monumental Encyclopédie, the world’s first general encyclopedia. Diderot began his life as a Roman Catholic, embraced Deism, and later devolved to full-blown atheism. In Diderot’s 1770 tract Thoughts on Religion, we see faith and reason posited as irreconcilable antagonists:
To admit any conformity between the reason of man and the eternal reason of God, and to pretend that God demands the sacrifice of human reason, is to maintain that God wills one thing and demands the other thing at the same time…If reason is a gift from heaven, and the same thing can be said of faith, then heaven has given us two presents not only incompatible, but in direct contradiction with each other. In order to solve this difficulty, we are compelled to say either that faith is a chimera or that reason is useless.1
Diderot considered the faith the Church asks of believers tantamount to an extinction of reason. We see this in his parable of the candle: “Bewildered in an immense forest during the night, and having only one small torch for my guide, a stranger approaches and thus addresses me: ‘Friend, blow out your light if you would be sure of the right path.’ This stranger is the priest.”2 (Read more.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Royal Portrait Exhibition at Buckingham Palace


From The Court Jeweller:

In May, Buckingham Palace will open the doors of The King’s Gallery to visitors for their annual summer exhibition. This year’s Royal Collection display, Royal Portraits: A Century of Photography, includes some truly iconic royal images. Curator Alessandro Nasini explains, “This is the first exhibition from the Royal Collection entirely dedicated to modern portrait photography, an artistic medium that has helped to shape how the world views the British monarchy. We are excited for visitors to discover the beauty and materiality of these original prints, many on display for the first time, and we hope they will also enjoy a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the creative process behind some of these iconic royal images.”

The exhibition features work from some of the great royal portrait photographers of the 20th century, including Cecil Beaton, Dorothy Wilding, and (former royal spouse) Lord Snowdon. Delightfully, the vintage prints are also accompanied by some fascinating ephemera–unreleased proof sheets, handwritten annotations, and even correspondence with members of the royal family. You’ll recognize some of Beaton’s work from his famous 1939 sitting with Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother , shown on the proofs above. (Read more.)

The Underground Government: Volunteer Committees and Commissions In Small Towns

 From Jan Greenhawk at The Easton Gazette:

If you know anything about living in a small town, you know about volunteers, committees and commissions. Most small towns don't have the population or the money to run all town operations with paid employees, so volunteers often fill the gap. These people are mostly wonderful people who want to give back to the community. Many are retirees or stay at home spouses. Sadly, sometimes they work to get favors from town government.

Having been what someone once called a "professional volunteer" throughout my life, I know how important volunteers are. I was a volunteer coach, a volunteer state, regional and national chairman for a sports organization, and a volunteer for other projects. If you think about it, most of what happens in our country would not happen without volunteers.

So, when I started to look into volunteers in some of our local communities, I looked beyond charitable organizations and instead looked at what I call "government volunteers." In other words, these are people who help in quasi-official government committees and commissions. Many are sworn in to office by local officials. (Read more.)


Women in the Days of the Cathedrals

While researching my novel set in medieval France, I was recommended  Women in the Days of the Cathedral Share

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Saint George and King Charles I

But the knight, turning him about, bade her remain where she was, and went out to meet the dragon.
When it observed him approach, the beast was struck with amazement, and, having paused for but a moment, it ran toward the knight with a great swiftness, and beating its dark wings upon the ground as it ran.
When it drew near to him, it puffed out from its nostrils a smoke so dense that the knight was enveloped in it as in a cloud; and darted hot flames from its eyes. Rearing its horrid body, it beat against the knight, dealing him fearful blows; but he, bending, thrust his spear against it, and caught the blows upon his shield. 
~ Legend of St. George and the Dragon

St. George's Day is on April 23. St. George is the patron saint of England as well as the patron of the Royal Order of the Garter, the order of chivalry cherished by King Charles I. The legend of St. George and the dragon was one of the most popular stories in the Middle Ages. St. George is generally believed to have lived in Asia Minor and to have suffered under the Emperor Diocletian. Ascalon, the sword of St. George, was celebrated by knights who took the martyred warrior as the patron of chivalry. While his name became the battle-cry of Merry Old England, St. George  was universally venerated in both the East and the West; in the Roman Church he was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

While we know there was indeed a martyr named George, how true is the account of his battle with the dragon? According to New Advent:
This episode of the dragon is in fact a very late development, which cannot be traced further back than the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is found in the Golden Legend (Historia Lombardic of James de Voragine and to this circumstance it probably owes its wide diffusion. It may have been derived from an allegorization of the tyrant Diocletian or Dadianus, who is sometimes called a dragon (ho bythios drakon) in the older text, but despite the researches of Vetter (Reinbot von Durne, pp.lxxv-cix) the origin of the dragon story remains very obscure. In any case the late occurrence of this development refutes the attempts made to derive it from pagan sources....

The best known form of the legend of St. George and the Dragon is that made popular by the "Legenda Aurea", and translated into English by Caxton. According to this, a terrible dragon had ravaged all the country round a city of Libya, called Selena, making its lair in a marshy swamp. Its breath caused pestilence whenever it approached the town, so the people gave the monster two sheep every day to satisfy its hunger, but, when the sheep failed, a human victim was necessary and lots were drawn to determine the victim.

On one occasion the lot fell to the king's little daughter. The king offered all his wealth to purchase a substitute, but the people had pledged themselves that no substitutes should be allowed, and so the maiden, dressed as a bride, was led to the marsh. There St. George chanced to ride by, and asked the maiden what she did, but she bade him leave her lest he also might perish. The good knight stayed, however, and, when the dragon appeared, St. George, making the sign of the cross, bravely attacked it and transfixed it with his lance. Then asking the maiden for her girdle (an incident in the story which may possibly have something to do with St. George's selection as patron of the Order of the Garter), he bound it round the neck of the monster, and thereupon the princess was able to lead it like a lamb.

They then returned to the city, where St. George bade the people have no fear but only be baptized, after which he cut off the dragon's head and the townsfolk were all converted. The king would have given George half his kingdom, but the saint replied that he must ride on, bidding the king meanwhile take good care of God's churches, honour the clergy, and have pity on the poor. The earliest reference to any such episode in art is probably to be found in an old Roman tombstone at Conisborough in Yorkshire, considered to belong to the first half of the twelfth century. Here the princess is depicted as already in the dragon's clutches, while an abbot stands by and blesses the rescuer.
The key to the legend of St. George is that it epitomizes the spiritual combat in which all Christians are engaged, on one level or another. As Fr. Blake explains:
I love saints like St George, whose true story is lost in myth. In both stories George becomes a Christian "everyman". The first legend reminds us that despite every attempt to overcome him by God's grace George endures and survives all, and even in death is victorious.
The second story draws on apocalyptic imagery, the dragon is the symbol of evil, the power of sin, but here it is to be contrasted with the pure virgin. I am reminded of St Athanasius' struggle for twenty years in the tomb against demons. In all of us there is the pure virgin and the dragon. George, here takes on the attributes of St Michael (Michael means "Who is like God"), in his struggle he overcomes evil which then becomes subject to purity.
King Charles I was greatly devoted to the chivalric mission of the English Order of the Garter, founded by Edward III on Saint George's Day, 1348. Charles I had the Garter Star embroidered on the cloaks of all the knights, as a "testimony to the World." From The Victoria and Albert:
This form of the Order of the Garter (the highest order of English knighthood) as a star was introduced by Charles I (ruled 1625-1649) in 1627. It was to be worn by Knights of the Garter 'upon the left part of their cloaks, coats and riding cassocks, at all times when they shall not wear their robes, and in all places and assemblies...a testimony to the World, of the honour they hold...the Order Instituted and Ordained for persons of the highest honour and greatest worth'. (Read more.)
A pendant of Saint George slaying the dragon was also worn. From Sotheby's:

By the end of the fifteenth century a collar had been added to the regalia, possibly as a result of the influence of foreign Orders where a collar was worn to form a badge. The collar design has changed very little since its introduction being composed of a series of gold heraldic knots and roses encircled by the Garter, with a hanging pendant of St George slaying a dragon, known as the Great George.  As for other British chivalric orders, the collar is worn on ceremonial occasions and designated Collar Days throughout the year.

Over time the collar came to be regarded as an encumbrance during ordinary activities and by the early sixteenth century the first reference can be found to the Lesser George [Lots 24; 28], an image of St George encircled with the Garter worn as a separate badge. Lesser Georges were originally hung from a blue ribbon around the neck so as to be worn upon the breast. But by the late seventeenth century it had become practice to sling the Lesser George under the right arm, a contemporary chronicler explaining that this was for ‘conveniency of riding and action’. (Read more.)

From the Royal Collection Trust:

A length of blue silk attached to a book in the Royal Collection may in fact be the Garter ribbon worn by Charles I as he sat for Sir Anthony van Dyck’s famous triple portrait, scientific analysis has revealed. The portrait and the ribbon will be brought together for the first time for In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion, which opens on 10 May, 2013, at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.  The exhibition explores the changing fashions of the rich and powerful of the Tudor and Stuart era through paintings, drawings and prints, as well as rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories.

Charles I placed great importance on the Order of the Garter, the oldest and highest order of chivalry in England – even wearing a Garter badge to his execution in 1649.  Fourteen years earlier, in Van Dyck’s portrait, the monarch is shown wearing a pale blue Garter ribbon around his neck. 

The inclusion of Van Dyck’s painting in the exhibition prompted Royal Collection Trust curators to take a closer look at four lengths of blue silk ribbon attached to the binding of a copy of the Eikon Basilike (‘The Royal Portrait’), now in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle.  The book was first published just ten days after the monarch’s execution on 30 January 1649 and quickly became one of the biggest-selling books of the 17th century, fuelling the image of Charles I as a martyr. (Read more.)

Charles I never converted to Catholicism, in spite of his wife Queen Henrietta Maria's efforts and prayers. He continued to collect recusancy fines from practicing Catholics throughout his personal rule. However, he frequently showed  leniency to Catholics who had been arrested. Charles insisted that the Church of England be hierarchical and appointed bishops who were in favor of a majestic and dignified liturgy. His mentor and Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud, upset the Puritans when he said that the Church of Rome was not the "Whore of Babylon." (In spite of that, Henrietta Maria never liked him.) From The Amish Catholic on the life and death of Charles I:

A few years ago, Fr. Hunwicke produced a very good argument as to why, canonically and liturgically, a soul who died in schism could be recognized as a saint (taking the precedent of various Eastern saints like Palamas and Gregory of Narek). He has argued for a favorable reading of Charles’s Catholicizing tendencies before.

I would add my voice to Fr. Hunwicke’s. Charles was, on the whole, a boon to the Catholic Church. Charles’s marriage to a formidable Catholic princess, Henrietta Maria of France, saw the arrival at court of Roman Catholic priests, a first since the days of Mary Tudor. He allowed the ambassadors of foreign courts to hold their own chaplains, notably at St. James’s, Spanish Place. Charles even opened up diplomatic talks with the Pope for the first time in decades, receiving more than one papal legate during his personal reign. High-level talks about reunion between the two churches were carried on in secret. He wrote to the Pope, in a letter of 1623 preserved and collected for publication by Sir Charles Petrie (1935),

Be your holiness persuaded that I am, and ever shall be, of such moderation as to keep aloof, as far as possible, from every undertaking which may testify any hatred towards the Roman Catholic religion. Nay, rather I will seize all opportunities, by a gentle and generous mode of conduct, to remove all sinister suspicions entirely; so that, as we all confess one undivided Trinity and one Christ crucified, we may be banded together unanimously into one faith. (See Petrie, The Letters…of King Charles I, pg. 16).

Of course, Charles was inconstant in these measures of good will. He was harsher on Recusants when it came to fines, but significantly lowered priest-hunting efforts. I believe I will not err in saying that, among the many martyrs of the English Reformation, none came during the King’s personal reign in the 1630’s. I only count four overall, of which we can probably acquit Charles from the burden of guilt. The two Catholics executed in 1628 – St. Edmund Arrowsmith, a Jesuit, and Blessed Richard Herst, a layman – seem to have fallen victim to the prejudices of lower officials rather than to any especially anti-Catholic venom emanating from the Crown. And once trouble with the Scots and Parliament began, Charles attempted to hold the situation together by, among other things, clamping down on priests. But even those martyrs which followed in the wake of these efforts owe their deaths more to the actions of local and middling anti-Papist forces than to the intentions of a harried crown. Only two seem to have died in 1641, the last year the King had any discernible control over what was going on in London. Realistically, it would be more appropriate to blame parliament for those deaths. In his church appointments, Charles always preferred those clerics who showed a marked sympathy to the doctrine of Rome. William Laud is only one among several examples that could be cited. (Read more.)

This triple portrait by Van Dyck was for the purpose of making a sculpture of the King
Henrietta Maria holding a butterfly

I am happy to announce that I have become a staff writer for The Easton Gazette under my legal name, Mary-Eileen Russell. I am mostly writing about cultural things but some political. Please do follow The Easton Gazette on social media. We are on Facebook, Gab,Telegram, Rumble, Truth Social, Gettr, X/Twitter.



Columbia President After 9/11 Said Terrorism Is ‘A Form Of Protesting’

 From The Daily Wire:

Just two months after the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, Columbia University’s president Minouche Shafik remarked that terrorism was a “form of protesting against a system,” according to a video unearthed by The Daily Wire.

Shafik, who was a vice president at the World Bank at the time, was asked about the economic roots of terrorism in developing countries during an event with the University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies. While she condemned “extreme views” held by terrorist groups, she said the reason they are popular is because terrorism is a “protest.”

“You’ll always have individuals who will have extreme views,” Shafik said at the November 2001 event, “but what’s really troubling in the region is that there’s actually quite a broad base of society which has some sympathy for the terrorists, not so much because they approve of their methods, but it’s a form of protesting against a system which is not delivering for them on the economic or the political front.” (Read more.)

Divine Right and the Petition of Right

 From The History Jar:

Divine right is the belief in the God given right of a monarch to rule. The idea was established in the reign of James (1603-25) who believed that the king was subject to no other earthly authority and could only be judged by God. Any attempt to depose or even to restrict the powers of the king went against God’s will. In 1598 he had published a book called The True Law of Free Monarchies. He claimed that ‘Kings are justly called gods for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power on earth’. The Basilikon Doron written by the king as a set of instructions for his eldest son, Prince Henry, in 1599 identified his ideology more clearly.

The book is divided into three parts:

I) how to be a Christian king

2) practical aspects of kingship

3) the king’s behaviour in everyday life.

James’ belief in the divine right of kings had a negative impact on his relationship with the English Parliament. During the reign of his successor, Charles who inherited the throne following the deaths of his elder brother in 1612 and James in 1625 also believed in the divine right of kings. Charles I also believed that because he was God’s representative only he had the right to make laws and that to oppose him was a sin. He believed that he was above the law and had to govern according to his conscience.

By the time James died in 1625 Parliament was suspicious of the Stuart kings, by 1628 the tension turned to Parliamentary demands known as the Petition of Right. Charles lacked both experience and confidence and relied upon the advice of his favourite, the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham advocated a raid on Cadiz which was a disaster. Parliament demanded that she should be impeached – so Charles dissolved parliament before it granted him any funds. Buckingham arranged for the king to marry a French Catholic bride (Henrietta Maria) and then went to war with the French in 1627 in support of the Huguenots of La Rochelle – the whole thing was a disaster because of poor planning. By 1628 Charles was at war, without any money and was trying to extract forced loans. He had no choice but to call Parliament. (Read more.)


Monday, April 22, 2024

The Context of Henriette-Marie


An insightful assessment of My Queen, My Love from Laura Crockett at The History Desk:

Henriette Marie married Charles I of England in 1625. She became his queen but was never crowned, formally. When she married Charles, she was 15. Our modern perspective tells us that is a mere girl. Nevertheless, previous ages were practical in these matters. Henriette died when she was 59. That too, is young in our eyes.  Nonetheless, she lived to a ripe age, because the average, back in the day, was 35 years.

Vidal structures the story as one of those perfect circles, wherein she begins with Marie de Medici, Henriette’s mother, and then closes the story with Marie. What is given to us, in between the Marie sections, is the story of her daughter, who lived during a crucial development era in the history of the Western world.

Marie’s story is fascinating all on its own. Marie was an old maid of 25 before she was married. But what a marriage! Her guy was Henry IV, perhaps one of the smartest men to hold the French crown for centuries. His grandson was Louis XIV. But after that, for the French royal houses, it was all downhill. Marie was Henri’s second wife. Louis XIII, of Musketeer fame, was their first child. Henriette their last. When Henriette was still in infancy, her father was assassinated. That was an event that truly changed the trajectory of history. Henri would be considered a rather liberal thinker, in the traditional sense of the word; live, and let live. Indeed, the French coined the phrase, laissez faire; leave it alone. Wherein we get the phrase, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Henri gave us the Edict of Nance, which ended the religious wars in France. The essence of the Edict was toleration of the protestants, i.e., leave them alone. (Read more.)


Are There Furries In Your Child's School?

 From Jan Greenhawk at The Easton Gazette:

What in the heck is a "furry? " This is a question I was asked recently by a parent who was totally confused when they saw a story about students walking out of a middle school in Utah because the Administration of their school, Mt. Nebo Middle School, allows students who claim to be animals to act and dress up like animals during school. Other students claim to be spit on, sprayed on, clawed at, barked at etc. by these "furries." The administration allegedly set up a litter box in the girls' bathroom.

So what are "furries"? I mean it sounds so cute, right? Can this be real?

Yes, it is.

"Furries" can be defined in many different ways, but the bottom line is that they are people who dress up and portray animals in their everyday lives. It's sort of like a Halloween costume but worn more, even during the day when one might be on the job or in school. The fad started in the 1980's as an off shoot of events like Comic Con where people dress up like their favorite comic book and/or science fiction characters. Rod Stansfield and his partner Mark Merlino saw hundreds, sometimes thousands, attended the Comic Con events, and decided to start one for people who wanted to take on the appearance of animals. They suddenly had a following as big as Comic Con. The furry culture grew after several popular TV series such as CSI devoted episodes to it.

Over the decades, the concept of "furries" has started creeping into society and has morphed into a haven for some adolescents and adults who are dealing with bullying or some form of disability. Others want attention and this is a way to get it. Many associate overly committed "furries" with transgenderism and point to body dysphoria as the mental state that brings on the behavior. Some associate the behavior with sexual fetishes. Many trace the practice back to anthropomorphic animals portrayed in movies, video games, and televisions.

Not all "furries" are disruptive. Some just participate in the practice during their lives outside of work or school. Like the attendees at a Comin Con, they dress up for the weekend, have a blast, and then go home to reality. (Read more.)


Harriet Tubman's Cabin

 From The Easton Gazette:

I once heard a mainstream news personality describe Harriet Tubman as someone who had led "millions" of enslaved persons to freedom during the days of legal chattel slavery in America. Such an individual clearly has no concept of how difficult it was to lead a mere ten people out of Dorchester County, Maryland, through the swamps in the middle of the night, being chased by bloodhounds. Maybe it was just her personality, or maybe it was the head injury she suffered as a teenager, but Harriet knew no fear. She had an uncompromising faith in God, and was comforted and guided by dreams and visions. Plus she made it a point to be always well-armed. She was not going down without a fight.

In the last three years or so there has been the discovery and archaeological excavation of Harriet's father's cabin in what is now known as Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge outside of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Harriet, who was then known as Araminta Ross, or "Minty" was one of the many children of the freeman Benjamin Ross and his enslaved wife Harriet Ross. Because their father Benjamin Ross was free and married to their mother, Minty, her mother and her siblings went by the Ross name rather than the last name of their enslaver, as was usually the custom. Their enslaver was Edward Brodess who owned several properties in Dorchester County. Minty, her mother and siblings worked at a farm in Bucktown, Maryland. It was in the general store in Bucktown that thirteen-year-old Minty tried to protect an escaped slave but the white overseer threw a lead weight at her head, causing a brain injury. Minty afterwards suffered from headaches, seizures and narcolepsy but she also began to have prophetic dreams and visions. The Bucktown General Store where she was attacked and injured is now a museum. (Read more.)