World Without End: Election

worldwithout_nixon_2449442bPreviously on World Without End: The townspeople decided to hang Mattie, because Brother Joseph’s doing such a bang-up job keeping them all alive. Once they all crowd onto the bridge, however, it collapses, killing quite a few of them (including Mattie) and giving Petranilla a chance to move her son up the ranks at the priory.

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, the wounded and dead are being brought to the cathedral, where Caris is directing operations, presumably because Joseph’s off chanting in a corner somewhere. Monks and nuns try to attend to the injured and give last rites. Roland’s brought in, accompanied by his child bride, who seems genuinely upset. Philippa thanks Ralph for saving him and calls him brave. Caris rushes over and asks to examine Roland, but his oldest son refuses to let her lay a hand on him. She asks if he’d prefer Joseph and the guy lets her get to work. She notes that the skull has been fractured through to the brain and starts trying to fix him.

Continue reading “World Without End: Election”

World Without End: Nothing’s Certain but Death and Taxes

20216984.jpg-r_640_600-b_1_D6D6D6-f_jpg-q_x-xxyxxPreviously on World Without End: Petranilla proved she’d do anything to help her son get ahead, including murder. A dickish new lord took over as Earl of Shiring, disinheriting the real earl’s two sons, and a knight with a mysterious past arrived, asking to become a monk and naming none other than Queen Isabella as his patron. Queen Isabella? Not happy about that at all.

Elfric and Caris are getting married in the cathedral. Wow, she actually went through with it. Not that she had a choice, and I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering Aliena married Alfred in the last book, but still, wow. Her father looks a bit sad. So do Mattie and Merthin.

Continue reading “World Without End: Nothing’s Certain but Death and Taxes”

World Without End: Back to Kingsbridge!

world-without-end-ben-chaplin-world-without-end-1768854761The Armchair Anglophile’s three years old now. First off, thanks to everyone who’s been reading, commenting, and visiting the site—it’s been great hearing from you and I hope you’ve enjoyed the recaps etc as much as I’ve enjoyed writing (most of) them. Second, in celebration of the birthday, I thought it only fitting to go back to where this all started: Kingsbridge! Yes, I’m finally getting around to recapping World Without End, the sort-of sequel to Pillars of the Earth. Just so you know, while I did read PotE, I haven’t gotten around to WWE yet, so you’ll get fewer ‘but it was different in the book!’ comments from me this time around. Since this is a celebration of sorts, I think it’s only appropriate to have a little game—feel free to adapt this into Ken Follett Bingo or a drinking game. Using PotE as a guide, I think we can expect the following:

Continue reading “World Without End: Back to Kingsbridge!”

Malcolm and Macbeth

Double, double, toil and trouble…On July 27, 1054 Siward, the Earl of Northumbria invaded Scotland to join Malcolm Canmore’s effort to reclaim his throne from the usurper Macbeth of Scotland. Malcolm was the eldest son of King Duncan I, who was killed in battle by Macbeth on August 15, 1040, when Malcolm was (probably) still a child. His family attempted to overthrow Macbeth in 1045, … Continue reading Malcolm and Macbeth

The White Queen: Queens Militant

b036y80nPreviously on The White Queen: Warwick changed sides again, allying with Margaret of Anjou by marrying his daughter Anne to Margaret’s horrible son. Edward was sent running to Flanders for safety, while Elizabeth sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey and gave birth to a prince.

At court, Jasper snakes through the crowd to Margaret and tells her there’s a rumour that Edward and his brother, Richard, are both dead in a shipwreck. She’s somewhat dubious, despite Jasper claiming this is good for their cause. She observes that, even if Edward is dead, he has a son and heir now, so if it’s God’s will that her son Henry should be king, why does he keep throwing up roadblocks? I think God might just be bored, Margaret.

Continue reading “The White Queen: Queens Militant”

The White Queen: Flip-Flopper

James Frain as the Earl of Warwick in episode 4 of The White QueenPreviously on The White Queen: Edward forgave Warwick, brought him back into the inner circle, and rewarded him many times over, so naturally, Warwick decided to rebel again. Except this time it went so poorly he had to drag his pregnant daughter to France, costing him a grandson. Also pregnant: Elizabeth, and this time she’s sure it’s a boy.

Continue reading “The White Queen: Flip-Flopper”

St Cuthbert

On 20 March, we celebrate the feast day of St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, a medieval monk and hermit who died on this day in 687. He’s considered the patron saint of northern England. Cuthbert was born in the Kingdom of Northumbria (comprising parts of modern-day northern England and Scotland) during a particularly tumultuous period. Christianity had come to the kingdom about a decade prior, but … Continue reading St Cuthbert

The Battle of Stirling Bridge

On September 11, 1297, a Scottish army led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray met and defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, near Stirling on the River Forth. Stirling Bridge followed a Scottish defeat at the Battle of Dunbar in April 1296. The English victor, John de Warenne, thought he was facing a rabble at Stirling and didn’t really take proper precautions … Continue reading The Battle of Stirling Bridge

Freedom Fighter

After managing to evade pursuers for seven years following his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk, Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace was captured on 5 August 1305 when one of his countrymen, John de Menteith, turned him over to English soldiers near Glasgow. Wallace, who’d been making life hell for the English for almost a decade, was taken to Westminster Hall in London, where he … Continue reading Freedom Fighter