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A step back in time

Today I visited the beautiful Berrington Hall just outside Leominster, Herefordshire. Built 130 years after the execution of King Charles I and Cromwell’s Puritanical grip on the country that followed, its opulent neoclassical style is a stark contrast to the world in which Tom and Eliza lived.

High and low magic

Weaving, agriculture, architecture, hunting, trade, cooking and blacksmithing: the seven mechanical arts, as described by the philosopher and theologian John Scotus Eriugena, inspired the characters of the Vestarian, the Agriculturian, the Architecturian, the Venatorian, the Mercaturian, the Coquinarian and the Mettalician. In the strictly hierarchical society of medieval Europe, the mechanical arts were inferior to the Continue reading High and low magic

Propaganda and the poodle

Boye, the faithful companion of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, King Charles’ most senior cavalry commander, featured alongside his master in Roundhead propaganda which claimed that Prince Rupert was involved in witchcraft. He was alleged variously to be the prince’s familiar or the devil in disguise. Today, he is remembered as the first official British Army Continue reading Propaganda and the poodle

There are no accidents in magic….or writing

While lost in one of those Wikipedia wormholes I so often find myself in a few years back, I encountered the Holly King and the Oak King. Reading further on the subject across various books and websites, I discovered that they are speculative motifs of Celtic (and possibly wider European) folklore representing the cycle of Continue reading There are no accidents in magic….or writing