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View Diary: Monday Murder Mystery: Brother Cadfael (121 comments)

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  •  I have visited Shrewsbury ... (22+ / 0-)

    ... pronounced shrows-burrie, and it is a cute little town in the West Country, although there's precious little left from the time of Good Queen Mab, who was neither particularly good nor a queen.

    The war between Stephen and Matilda was a bizarre continent-wide affair -- her marriage to a knight of Anjou triggered the enmity of many Norman allies. After it was over, Henry II ascended the throne heading up a feudal empire that rivaled the Duchy of Burgundy and exceeded the realm of his liege-lord, the King of France.

    One thing that deserves mention is Brother C's oral tales about the Crusades, where he describes the ugliness of that enterprise rather than the glory.

    Robert, Duke of Normandy, "won" his way to legendary Jerusalem itself, but ended up a prisoner of kinsman Henry I, even though he may have owned a stronger claim to the Crown. Brother C's civil war is easily described as a continuation of that same family fight. Stephen is noted in contemporary annals as a king who "did no justice."

    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

    by MT Spaces on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:49:37 PM PST

    •  We drove around in Shrewsbury... (15+ / 0-)

      ...because I got us lost, and we had a terrible time getting back on track for our destination, a small town in Wales. Somehow we kept ending up back in Shrewsbury, sort like walking in circles when you're lost in the woods.

      I had to severely curb my historian's desire to keep adding more and more detail about the period. I think I should have made it clear that the Normans still held LOTS of land in both England and France, and many of the most powerful spent more time in France than in England. I still haven't figured out exactly who the liege lord of Shrewsbury was at the time we're discussing. The original lord had come to a bad end, it may be that King Stephen himself was the lord of the place.

      If your internal map of reality doesn't match external conditions, bad things happen.--Cambias

      by pimutant on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:07:42 PM PST

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    •  don't look for Shrewsbury in the West Country! (6+ / 0-)

      Head a little south west of Birmingham (England's second city) in the west Midlands, and indeed almost into Wales.

      'West Country' really starts around the Bristol/Gloucester area, and heads west

      Shrewsbury as a city is fine, but the Abbey was much destroyed in the past and I don't find any sense of history there. A super excuse to go exploring the delights of Shropshire!

      •  It's west of the West End ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JG in MD

        ... of London!

        Sheesh -- micro-geography
        (I used to live in Cornwall -- everyplace else in the UK was "up north," and mostly east of us.)

        Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

        by MT Spaces on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 10:23:59 AM PST

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      •  Shropshire is lovely (4+ / 0-)

        and the English do call it par of The West, as opposed to The South West, which is also The West Country (which includes Cornwall and Devon), or Wessex (though that excludes Cornwall and most of Devon).
        I was lucky enough to visit Shrewsbury Abbey at a time when they were raising money for a new roof by inscribing roof slates. Somewhere up there is the name of my son's fourth grade teacher, a fellow Cadfael fan, and someone who deserves to have her name recorded for posterity.

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 02:14:46 PM PST

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