Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Princess Michael at the Oxford Union

Earlier this evening I was at the Oxford Union to hear Princess Michael of Kent speak about her trilogy of historical novels set in early fifteenth century France.

The first of these deals with Yolande of Aragon, Duchess of Anjou, and a lady who is obviously a particular favourite of the Princess. The later volumes deal with Joan of Arc and with Agnes Sorel, the mistress of King Charles VII.

The Princess was, as one might expect of her, stylish, and spoke with enthusiasm, good humour,veuve and human insight into the events of the early and mid-fifteenth century. She displayed empathy for the people and circumstances she writes about.

Afterwards at a booksigning event after her talk I purchased a copy of the first volume of the trilogy, that about Yolande of Aragon, "Queen of Four Realms", and got it signed by HRH.

Although I am not normally a favourer of historical novels this one does deal with a series of historic events which interest me, and the opportunity to get a copy of the book signed by its royal author was not one to be missed. When I get time to read it I will post a comment.

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