Anna’s Entry into Edinburgh – 1590

This is one of the first DH projects that I’ve worked on.  It shows Anna of Denmark’s official entry into Edinburgh.

Process:

I found a near contemporary map of Edinburgh and using a narrative account of her entry, plotted each point on the map and have included what pageants happened at each site as well as historical engravings or photos of the landmarks of Edinburgh.

Firstly, I found the 1582 map of Edinburgh on the National Library of Scotland’s webpage. It said that the map itself was free to use for academic purposes, but it was provided in a much smaller format.  Geoff was able to find a high quality version of the same map and piece it together to be used in a “zoomify” project, where it can, well, be “zoomed” into to see smaller details in great clarity. Once it was zipped together like a digital jigsaw puzzle, I worked to figure out where each of the places mentioned in the Danish account of the Entry were located.  To do that, I consulted Google Maps for some, my own knowledge for others, as well as a fantastic historic map collection (of JUST Edinburgh!) put together by Christopher Fleet and Daniel MacCannell and published in association with the National Library of Scotland.  The narrative account is contained in David Stevenson’s Scotland’s Last Royal Wedding, with an English translation by Peter Graves. All quotes, unless otherwise noted, as from Scotland’s Last Royal Wedding.

After reading through the narrative account and finding any specific places mentioned by name, and plotting those on the map, I had to figure out a logical path to find all of the other places that were not mentioned by name. I think I have done so accurately, but the stylized nature of the map makes pinpoint accuracy difficult. I’m sure there were many more “side streets” in the Edinburgh of 1590 than pictured in the map, just as there are many little alleyways today.

Once I established a credible path for Anna’s entry to follow, I set about finding images to go along with each place.  I tried to include both contemporary or near-contemporary images of how the building or feature would have looked in Anna’s time as well as modern photographs (especially the gorgeous view from the inside of St. Giles!). After that, I tried to re-write some of the pageants and to describe them simply so that one could follow along easily and enjoy imagining some of the splendor of Anna’s entry. Sometimes, I found that I could not do the original text justice and left the quotes, but others I found I could put my own rhetorical spin on and re-wrote. This is, of course, not complete as the narrative account does contain the text of the speeches and pageants, but instead of including the lengthy prose I wanted to impart more of the visual aspects of Anna’s journey, rather than the textual.

The reason that I chose this particular project to craft is two-fold.  One, is honestly I’ve just been wanting to do this for a long time and finally found the software that I could do it with. I’ve worked with Anna for years now and have been itching to do more work with her in the last year.  Secondly is more of a scholarly reason: Entries seem to be rather understudied.  I am building for myself a scholarly toolkit of historian’s tools but also literary analysis and theatrical analysis and Entries are perfect blends of all three.  Entries are important introductions into not only how royals wanted to represent themselves to their people (self-fashioning), but also the expectations that the people had for their new king or queen.  It was their first chance to see their new king or queen, resplendent in their finery. It was meant as a way to both flatter and educate the king or queen, and so can give a little insight into who that king or queen was as a person and how they were perceived by others.  For Anna, much was made of her royal lineage and how powerful and noble Denmark was. The people of Edinburgh, in their speeches, asked Anna to be good, kind, virtuous, and to bear James many children. They also asked her to love Edinburgh and Scotland, even though it was not as rich or powerful as Copenhagen or Denmark. They also wanted her to love James, because he was also just and wise. This shows not only the love that they hoped that Anna would bestow upon them, but the love they had of their own city and kingdom.  They felt Scotland a worthy match for Anna, just one that is a little rough around the edges.

 

Without further ado, Anna’s Entry into Edinburgh, 1590:

StoryMapJS of Anna’s Entry

 

Reflections on the Newberry

This last weekend I had the honor and opportunity to attend and present at the Newberry Library’s Annual Graduate Student Conference.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by my peers and to become part of the community of young scholars.

I didn’t get to go to all the panels I wanted to attend (who does?) but the ones I did get to sit in on were fantastic.  They were filled with fascinating research and thought-provoking questions.  I particularly enjoyed the one on LGBT research in medieval/renaissance literature/musical performances.  Listening to the papers made me really think about my own research, and to think about incorporating more theoretical frameworks into my analysis.  How each of the presenters managed to do the theory and to have it flow seamlessly into the history was skillful and that is something I hope to work on this semester with an article I’m writing for a research seminar.

I also got wonderful questions about my own research that made me think about how I wrote the paper, how I presented the work and where I am going from there.  I also got a great book suggestion that will stretch me out of my temporal comfort zone (but still sticking with my subject, consorts!) that I immediately ordered from Amazon and will devour when it arrives.  I really want to look at the foreignness of Henrietta Maria and how that played a part in her reception in England (which I did to some extent, but I think looking at it more would yield more insights) and I’ll incorporate a bit of that into my article, where I am looking at Anna of Denmark’s masquing career as well.

 

I do a lot of comparative work.  I’m OK with that. :)

MOOCs for the Independent Scholar

MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, are classes available online for anyone to take. They cover a wide variety of topics, and depending on from where they come, varying levels of difficulty and specialization. A major host of MOOCs is, of course, Coursera. Partnered with academic institutions, Coursera will host their content and provide a digital framework for the course. Either currently available or in their archives, Coursera boasts an impressive number of different courses. These range anywhere from, “Dinosaurs 101” through the University of Alberta, to “Heterogeneous Parallel Programming” from the University of Illinois-Champaign, to “Statistical Molecular Thermodynamics” from the University of Minnesota, and more.

Each of these, for the most part, will follow a similar structure/grading methods:

  • Lectures are delivered via pre-recorded videos.
  • Multiple Choice Quizzes
  • Forum Discussion
  • Class Project (complete with peer evaluations)

The participant will also be graded, sometimes, on how many peers’ projects they themselves have evaluated. In the end, if the grade is satisfactory, the participant will be awarded a certificate of accomplishment, or, as a push from Coursera to pay for the free courses, a Verified Certificate.

Personally, to challenge myself during my gap year, I am currently enrolled in 4 MOOCs. They are the above named Dinosaurs 101, Magna Carta and its Legacy, Data Scientist’s Toolkit, and Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts. Only three of these, though, are through Coursera, the fourth, is created and hosted by the good people at Stanford. So far, my experience with Digging Deeper is very different from the Coursera courses. I am not sure if it is because the topic is more directly relevant to my research or because how it is structured differently, but my enjoyment and learning levels seem to be different.

Stanford’s, or at least the professors’ approach, is somewhat similar to Coursera’s, where the lectures are presented by video. There is a transcript that runs alongside the video, as well as captions on the screen itself. There are mini-quizzes after each short video, to test recall and understanding. There are also, and this is the difference for me, practical exercises. I am also graded on how well I transcript an actual medieval manuscript. Already, after only having done the first week’s worth of material, I feel more confident in approaching a manuscript and attempting to understand it.

If you can, I would suggest signing up for Digging Deeper – it looks to be a promising course!

Semper Eadem indeed.

It seems as though the name of my blog was indeed prophetic.  Ever the Same – not posting.  If I had a more solid YouTube presence, I would be soliciting punishments from my viewers to atone for my lack of posts.

Luckily for me, that is not the case.    Huzzah, a lack of popularity can be a benefit!

So why am I not posting?

Currently, I am in the process of getting my classroom ready for the next semester.  As an early child hood educator, that means a lot more than just lesson planning.  I am configuring possible rearrangements of the furniture in the room, compiling student staff schedules, creating anecdotal record summaries and developmental growth charts for all of the children in my classroom.   This is after completing my room’s NAEYC portfolio.

For those of you who are not involved in Early Childhood education, NAEYC is the National Association for the Education of Young Children and they are an independent organization that provides accreditation for children’s centers.  To earn this accreditation is a very involved process and not every center can earn the distinction of being a NAEYC center.  UWM Children’s Learning Center, where I currently work, has held NAEYC accreditation since it started operations over 40 years ago.

Part of the process is at the room level (there are many levels to this within the center) is to create a portfolio of artifacts and explanations which demonstrate to the NAEYC assessors how our program, and specifically our room, meets all of the criteria that NAEYC sets down.  Something new for this year is that the portfolios can be created, saved, housed, and submitted digitally.  Ours lives in the Cloud.  I believe that ours, as an Infant and Toddler room, has to demonstrate how we meet over 60 criteria.  Some rooms, the Infant rooms, have less criteria to complete.  Others, like the Kindergarten rooms, have almost 100.

Because our portfolio is digital, I get to have the pleasure of completing the Sisyphean task solo.  Not a problem, and honestly, I’m looking forward to what I get to do with my room next semester.  Even if it’s exciting and fun that doesn’t mean it’s not time consuming.  It’s taken up quite  a bit of my bandwidth in terms of energy and mental capacity.  This, combined with graduate school applications, has taxed me quite a bit and when I get done with the work day I am basically a zombie.

Only now as we get closer to the New Year, am I gaining some of my energy back.  I’ve been chatting with my undergrad supervisor and found a fantastic list of books that he’s using for a class this year that I am going to be buying and reading on my own.  I need to stay in touch with this world.  I try to on my Twitter, so far, it’s been a fairly successful endeavor.  One that I don’t have to carve out time for daily as it neatly fits in with my morning commute.

Currently, as my grad school apps are all in and I am awaiting my judgments, I am working on writing a little something on the Rose of Versailles and as soon as I am done with it, a review on John Guy’s biography on Mary Stuart.  I’ve also ordered Mark Kishlansky’s abbreviated biography on Charles I, which I am excited to read!

For now, I will most likely maintain a reading interest in Stewart/Stuart history, and I’ve been toying around with a few ideas for possible MA theses/PhD dissertations.  We’ll have to see what happens, it all depends on where I am accepted!  Wish me luck!

 

For now, I’ll sign off – I just wanted to post to remind myself that I can and that I am not dead online.

 

Happy Holidays!

Remember, remember…

Truthy Tuesday: Remember, Remember…

 

This week marks the 409th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, which was an attempt to kill James I of England, kidnap his daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, and replace him on the throne with her as Queen. The attempt was, of course, unsuccessful, or else it wouldn’t still be celebrated today, in the form of Bonfire Night. Bonfire Night is exactly as it sounds, it’s a holiday where bonfires and fireworks are lit to celebrate something NOT being lit on fire. A delightful irony that.

Religion had much to do with the origins of the Plot, which was pinned on Guy Fawkes and a group of Catholics. This band of men hatched a plan to explode the House of Lords on the State Opening of Parliament, which was to take place on November 5th, 1605. However, a last minute search of the belly of the building revealed 36 barrels of gunpowder and Fawkes. Fawkes played off like the was a serving man and almost got away, but he was apprehended and brought before the King the next day.

James questioned Fawkes and tried to pressure him into revealing who worked with him, but Fawkes, under the alias John Johnson (yes, quite original), resolutely denied the existence of any co-conspirators, and insisted that he acted alone. While he gained some measure of respect from the monarch. However, that did not save him from torture. He held out for two days, but eventually recanted his story of working alone and gave up his comrades.

His story does not end there. He was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to be hung, drawn, and quartered. When the time came for his death, he jumped from the scaffold, breaking his neck. Now, he is burned in effigy each year at Bonfire Night and his name, alone out of all of the conspirators, is remembered by the general public in connection with the Plot.

There were others, and why did they do it?

Catholics had had a hard time in England since Henry VIII’s break from the Church of Rome in 1534, with the Act of Supremacy which stated that Henry was the Head of the Church in England. His successor, Edward VI, was a staunch Protestant, but his eldest half-sister, Mary, was just as devoutly Catholic. During her reign, Catholics enjoyed a brief respite in the campaign against the Church. Mary’s reign was short-lived, and her younger half-sister, Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558. While still not religious tolerance, Elizabeth’s punishments for Catholicism were less harsh than those of her brother and her church was more of a Protestant one, with a dash of Catholicism. Her successor, James I, was far more tolerant than any of the Tudors in the matters of religion. He had been head of the Church of Scotland since ascending the throne of his homeland while still a young child, and became head of the Church of England in 1603.

While he had been tolerant to a point that ended after several Catholic plots to assassinate him had been uncovered. If it was one thing that scared James, it was threats to his life. He began to change his stance on just what punishment was visited upon recusants. This riled up the Catholic community and Fawkes and his ilk decided to take action. Kill the King, kidnap his daughter the Princess Elizabeth, and set her on the throne as Queen. That was foiled and now the night is celebrated instead. So please, friends, celebrate this night, but…

 

Remember, remember the fifth of November

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

I know of no reason

Why the Gunpowder Treason

Should ever be forgot.


 

 

 

Trying Something New! And Posting!

So, this post is coming from my Microsoft Word program on my computer. I’m interested in seeing what it can do for me! I draft most of my posts in Word anyway, so this saves me the middleman of copy/pasting it to my blog to post. We’ll have to see how it goes!

 

I’ve been working on constructing my CV and Personal Statements for my grad school apps over the past few weeks. I’m finally getting to a point where I feel comfortable with them, where I will send them to the gracious individuals who have offered to write me letters of recommendation. J After that, I’ll be working on fixing up one of my papers to use as a writing sample (It’s probably going to be my paper on Anna of Denmark, of which I presented an excerpt in England). Then… application time! I’ve narrowed my choices down to a small number of schools, but at least the pool is larger than last year’s. One of the benefits of not being a student this time is that I’ve got more money to use for the application fees, GRE sending fees, and transcript sending fees. Lots of fees.

Hopefully this time it will pan out a bit better, and more in the “acceptance” letter range rather than the “rejection” letter range. We’ll have to see!

 

OK, well, I must be back to work now. I’ll be working on a post on the history of Rose of Versailles as well as a vlog series on which I am tinkering.

There was a star danced, and under that I was born.

Much Ado About Nothing movie poster

A quick review of Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

 

This movie, released in 2013, was filmed at Joss Whedon’s home with a few of his close friends.  Amy Acker plays the role of the quick witted Beatrice, who has decided never to marry after being hurt by love previously.  Alexis Denisof takes on her would-be wooer, Benedick.  The two utilize both entertaining verbal repartee as well as physical comedy.  I particularly enjoyed the scene where the Prince, Leonato and Claudio talk about Beatrice’s supposed love for Benedick and we get to see Denisof rolling around just outside the patio door.  It reminded me a bit of laser-tagging Barney Stinson (portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, who, as a Whedon actor, I was hoping to see make an appearance in this film) with exaggerated ninja-ing and dramatic barrel rolls.

Also particularly entertaining was Nathan Fillion, who did such an amazing job playing the dunce Dogberry, as though he were the straight man of a comedy duo.  His timing and delivery helped him to steal every scene he was in.

 

All in all, I really enjoyed this film, but as it is quite late, I’ll be heading off to bed.  Hopefully tomorrow I can either watch more Shakespeare, explore a bit of Milwaukee’s history, or get even more studying for the GRE done!  Wish me luck!

 

Joss Whedon at the Globe

 

 

I saw a tweet today…

You know it’ll all end well when that’s how I open a post.  I saw a tweet today that featured a portrait of James VI/I of Scotland and England.  While that is all well and good, and I am very glad that he got a bit of publicity today, the author of the tweet continued on that it was he who first thought to bring the two nations together under one monarch.

James was particularly fond of the idea of a “Great Britain,” and while he did unite the two nations (of course along with Wales and Ireland) under one crown when he ascended the throne of England in 1603, he was not the first monarch of the Isle to take action with that end goal in mind.  The ascendancy of the Stewarts was the inverse of the fortunes of the Tudors, whose last monarch, Elizabeth, passed her crown on to James.  The first Tudor king, though, Henry VII, also held dear the dream of a united kingdom of Great Britain.  Why else, would one imagine, he marry his eldest daughter, Margaret, not to the French, the Spanish, or a German prince, but to the Scottish King?  Any of their future children would carry the blood of both the Tudors and the Stewarts, bringing the two dynasties an intimate connection which later came to fruition with James VI.

Without the ambition of Henry VII, there would not have been a Stewart claim to the English throne, or at least as legitimate as the one James possessed through his descent from Margaret Tudor.

Of course, there had been marriages between the royal families of Scotland and England before, such as the marriage of Joan Beaufort and James I, but she was not the daughter of a ruling monarch, she was only his half-niece.  She did, however, have royal blood and was a descendant of Edward III through her father’s line.  Another example of the English royals marrying into the Scottish ruling family occurred much earlier, with the marriage of Joan of the Tower, the youngest daughter of Edward II and Isabella of France to David II of Scotland (the House of Bruce).  Margaret of England, daughter of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, married into the Scottish royal family by her marriage to Alexander III.  Joan, a daughter of John of England, married Alexander II.  I could go on, but the point is adequately made.

Marrying into the Scottish royal family wasn’t a new idea in by Henry VII’s time, actually, it seems to have been almost a traditional practice (especially if one had a daughter named Joan!).  Henry VII, though, hoped to have Scotland under his thumb more directly by having his eldest daughter marry her King, whereas most of the aforementioned marriages were between Scottish monarchs and younger daughters of English monarchs.  In an interesting turn of events, it was not Scotland under England’s rule, but England under the rule of a Scottish king that brought together the two nations in a more peaceful manner than had been experienced previously.  The Wars of Scottish Independence had, for a time, brought both nations together, but in a forcible manner, unlike that which passed under James VI.

 

This is particularly important to remember, especially tonight, when the Scottish people are voting in the largest referendum to date in their history.  Scotland has a proud and vibrant history, and it is because of that history that the citizens of Scotland are voting tonight.

I cannot make any claim as to how I want to see this turn out.  I certainly have my own opinions, but it is up to the Scots, tonight, to decide for themselves.   I just hope that they remember how it wouldn’t have been the United Kingdom without a Scottish monarch to bring it all together (even if it had been an aim of the English monarchs for centuries before it actually happened).

James IVMargaret Tudor