|(This poster is incorrect as Ben Whishaw plays as Richard II, not I, aka the Lionheart.)|
Due to having started my degree program in video game programming and assuming a temp job which insults my intelligence every minute of the day, I haven't been able to dedicate much time to this blog. But for now, allow me to apprise you on something I've been watching: The Hollow Crown, a BBC mini-series adaptation of Shakespeare's Henriad (Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V). The series features several big names and familiar faces, including Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston (of Thor and Avengers fame as Loki), Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, James Purefoy, Michelle Dockery, and so on.
The events of the first play kick off what would come to be called the Wars of the Roses: the bloody game of thrones which began when Henry of Lancaster ousted the throne from his cousin, Richard II. I've only seen the first play so far, but if that's any indication, then the first of the mini-series should be fantastic. The series can be had on DVD from Amazon here (no Blu-ray so far).
My next planned topic was to be on the sorts of names that medievals liked to use for their pets. It turns out that one of the characters in the Henriad, Edward, 2nd Duke of York (whose death is portrayed in Henry V), was responsible for the oldest book on hunting in the English language. Truth be told, The Master Game is mostly a translation of a previous French work, but it's noteworthy for the fact that Edward somehow thought it necessary to include a whole 1,100 names that would be appropriate to give to hunting dogs. The relevant article on Medievalists.net lists just a handful of those you might consider the next time you sally forth to the pet store: "Troy, Nosewise, Amiable, Nameles, Clenche, Bragge, Ringwood and Holdfast". There's a free version of Edward's book online here, which includes a forward by one of the most famous hunters of our own civilization, President Theodore Roosevelt himself!
Not to leave you cat people out of the loop, it seems the English really liked to name theirs Gilbert, or Gyb for short; and Frenchies were partial to Tibert. We can also look to the old Irish poem of a monk and his cat named Pangur Bán. In homage to the poem, Pangur Bán is also the name of Aisling's cat in the animated film The Secret of Kells.