"I wish I could write. I get these ideas but I never seem to be able to put them in words."
F. Scott Fitzgerald (via pearleyednomad)
Katherine of Aragon’s Book
Housed in the Chapter Library is a book once owned by Henry VIII’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon. Printed in Antwerp in 1529, the book is by Joannes Ludovicus Vives (1493-1540) and is titled De concordia et discordia in humano genere (On concord and discord in humankind).
In De Concordia Vives discusses peace in Europe and the war against the Turks. This piece of social criticism emphasised the value of peace and the absurdity of war, advancing the idea of a League of Nations as the only remedy for preventing aggressive wars among nations. In it, Vives asserts that the first aim and object of all governing bodies must be the welfare of their people.
The volume in the Chapter Library is bound in tooled leather bearing the arms of Henry VIII, Katherine’s personal emblem, the pomegranate, and the arms of Castile. (x)
"Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff."
Although I have to point out that there was a piece of speculative science fiction called The Blazing World published by one Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1666, slightly predating Mary Shelley.
This is the thing. Women have been doing awesome shit since there was awesome shit to do, we’ve BEEN THERE, if anyone bothered to look.
Oh, they looked. And then maliciously and willfully erased us from the books to keep anyone else from “getting ideas.”
Hell, the first named author in history? Enheduanna, a Sumerian high priestess, poet and lyricist. She’s known as the Shakespeare of Sumerian literature.
Don’t ever let ANYONE tell you what you can write, whatever your gender, whatever your age, whatever your circumstances. Write your story. Invent a genre. Create your world.
"I dealt with whatever was bothering me through reading. You could not find me without a book."
♔ A n n e B o l e y n (c.1501 → 19th May 1536)
↳ Remember me when you do pray, that hope doth lead from day to day.
history meme: 03/07 pairings | Thomas and Martha Jefferson
Throughout their almost eleven-year together, the Jeffersons appeared to have been deeply devoted to each other and to have had a loving marriage, sharing common passion for music, literature and a mutual suport for the tragedies they went through. Of his wife Martha, Thomas once wrote, "in every scheme of happiness she is placed in the foreground of the picture as the principal figure. Take that away, and there is no picture for me."
On 1782, Ms. Jefferson’s health took a turn to the worse, and Martha died on September 6, after four months of agony due to the birth of her last child, months during which Thomas never left her bedside. Jefferson never remarried and remained a widower for the rest of his life, as he promised to his wife.
He was inconsolable in his loss and "was led from the room almost in a state of insensibility by his sister Mrs. Carr, who, with great difficulty, got him into his library where he fainted"—and not for a brief moment. Jefferson “remained so long insensible that they feared he would never revive.” After the funeral, he withdrew to his room for three weeks.
He was incoherent with grief, and perhaps surrendered to rage. There is a hint that he lost all control, according to his daughter Patsy, the "witness to many violent bursts of grief" : "the scene that followed (…) when, almost by stealth, I entered his room by night, to this day I dare not describe to myself”. He destroyed all her letters and didn’t keep any of her belongings -just a few survived-. In a letter to his sister-in-law, he even was alluding to the possibility of suicide: “This miserable kind of existence is really too burdensome to be borne (…) I could not wish its continuance a moment”, but he would endure for their children.
Not until after long weeks did Jefferson begin to resume a normal life when he wrote, “emerging from that stupor of mind which had rendered me as dead to the world as was she whose loss occasioned it. All my plans of comfort and happiness were reversed by a single event.” On her gravestone, as a part of the epitaph, Jefferson added lines from Homer’s The Iliad: Nay if even in the house of Hades the dead forget their dead, yet will I even there be mindful of my dear comrade ; and below This monument of his love is inscribed.
Thomas Jefferson never fully recovered form her death. He never mentioned his wife, even to his closest firends, and almost 40 years after her death, he still referred to her in his autobiography as: “the cherished companion of my life, in whose affections, unabated on both sides, I had lived the last ten years in unchequered happiness.”
After Jefferson’s death, in a secret drawer beside his bed, a folded paper with a text written by Martha on her deathbed was found, a lock of her hair carefully hidden inside. Its wear showed that it was opened and refolded often.