Recent Visit to the British Library

The British Library (BL) is one of my favourite places to hang out in London. I may sound eccentric to some people but hey, I make no apologies for having penchant for libraries and bookshops. 🙂 Since I moved to London, I’ve made numerous visit to the BL, mostly on my own, or sometimes with some visiting family and friends. I haven’t been there in a long time and last week I got to visit again. The highlight of the visit was meeting Patricia Lovett, a renowned English calligrapher and author (she was awarded the MBE ‘Member of the British Empire’ for services to heritage crafts and calligraphy). I have a copy of her recent book ‘The Art and History of Calligraphy’ and learned a lot from it. She happened to be conducting a workshop at the BL on Saturday, and she was very accommodating and sweet in showing me the work she was doing there. I am very much interested in attending one of her workshops soon, hopefully before the summer months. Continue reading

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The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

This is one of the best historical novels I’ve read. Thanks to my friend Yasmin Cooper who mentioned this to me as one of her favourites and gave me a copy to read. The author explores some of the discrepancies in the Houses of York and Lancaster story covering the late medieval period. Anyone who is familiar with English history is well aware that the Wars of the Roses culminated in the brutal murder of Richard III in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth. After Henry VII was crowned the new king of England, he married Elizabeth of York and their marriage symbolically brought an end to the Wars of the Roses and the unification of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster that created the ‘Tudor Rose’ which is widely recognised as the floral heraldic emblem of England.  Continue reading

In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn by Morris & Grueninger

I have been fascinated by the story of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife, who was tragically beheaded at the Tower of London on 19 May 1536.  The Tudor period is on top of my list of the most intriguing eras of English history.  When reading a book about this period, I am always enthralled by Henry VIII’s evil scheme to get rid of his wife to achieve his goal to produce an heir; the conspiracy among his circle of trusted courtiers; and all the other fascinating events usually inspire me to read up more about the Tudors. Continue reading