12th Century Marriages
I believed I learned this from 1215 (which would actually be 13th century marriages, but that’s close enough for me). Basically, what I learned is that the marriage ceremony, when done in correspondence with the church (which it didn’t have to be, actually), took place at the church’s doorstep. Not inside the church, as every single Alan-a-dale tale I’ve ever read has proclaimed. After the ceremony, the new couple would go inside for Mass. Because I, too, have told the Alan-a-dale story, I will have to re-work it to suit my historically accurate obsession.
(Really, Nai, really?)
Yeah, really. During my trip to Nottingham, I learned that it’s not only known as that Robin Hood town, but also as the “City of Caves.” And why? Because there is so much sandstone in the region--you could carve out caves with minimal difficulty. As such, there are lots and lots of caves. I didn’t get to visit the city’s caves on my trip, but I did make it into some of Nottingham’s castle’s (historical novelist side: SQUEEEEE!), so I have a picture (or two):
|You should know that I am very proud of my discovery of these caves *before* trips to England that allowed me to use them as a plot point. VICTORYYYY.|
(I’m waaaay too excited about the cave thing, aren’t I? Sigh.)
Nottingham Castle Dungeon
I’m sorry. Yes, my visit into the caves included a visit to the dungeon, where I DID take pictures despite the fact that my camera’s batteries were doing horrible by this point. And I have a morbid enough (read: author-ly enough) reason to actually really need to study this dungeon.
Let’s just say: it was smaller than I thought and I have quite a bit of editing to do because of that. There are other things I learned that will add cool (is that too nice of a word?) details and accuracy, but we’ll leave that for my book.
Don’t believe anything Robin Hood books tell you. (Except mine, of course.) Why? They’re so rife with inaccuracies it’s just laughable. Here’s another common inaccuracy, like the portrayal of weddings: in the time period most books are set (roughly 1191-1193), though a prominent character is Friar Tuck, there weren’t actually friars at this point. Hermits and monks, yes, but they would not have gone by the name “friar.” My take (destroyed/improved) on Friar Tuck, Friar Anselm, will thus get an overhaul of some kind. I’ll have to double-check, but I think if my characters referred to him as Brother Anselm, voila, they would be historically accurate.Let's ignore for now the fact that they'd be speaking Anglo-Saxon, not modern English.
And that is all from Lady Accuracy: until next time!
Note on sources:
I have been working on becoming proficient in this time period for so long that I rarely remember where I pick up things. However, the first claim or re-assertion to these revelations most likely go to the following:
1215 by Danny Danziger & John Gillingham
The High Middle Ages, Professor Daileader
The Medieval World, Dorsey Armstrong
All are recommended for the historical enthusiast or Lady Accuracy in you.
P.S. If you want more pictures or more specifics on these things, say so. You can be assured I'll be more than happy to oblige. I'm crazy, remember?