Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here we go, slithering and squelching

I've been living a bit like an amoeba as in the ISB's "A cellular Song" on The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, which I've now heard a couple more times. I'm supposed to be haed down on Troubadour and have indeed finished Chapter One but now the copy-edited text of City of Secrets has arrived and will take some days of work.

But I have no engagements other than my classes and domestic stuff for several weeks, so no excuse not to progress further with the new book.

I read Desmond Seward's Richard the Third: the Black Legend and found it utterly convincing. I hadn't realised that the Lovell in "The Cat , the Rat and Lovell our dog/ Rule all England under the Hog" was the owner of Old Minster Lovell Hall which, now beautiful ruins, is very near us and a favourite haunt for walks and picnics. (The Cat was Catesby and the Rat Ratcliff. Lovell's crest had a dog on it and of course Richard was the Hog - his symbol being the white boar).

The poor man who stuck that couplet on a church door was horribly executed, his pains not really worth the immortality of that one squib.

Also read a dreadful "novella" - very short - by Pirandello called The Crow of Mìzzaro. I didn't like it at all.

I heard, apart from the Incredible String Band, a David Munrow CD from the 60s of music from the Middle Ages. There's a second disc in the set of Renaissance muisc which I haven't tried yet.I needed to stay in the world of Estampies.

And I had my first fresco class, on Simone Martini's Maestà and Guidoriccio in the Palzzo Pubblico in Siena. The lecturer was brilliant and it's going to be a terrific course.We've booked our holiday to Siena in June so I shall be able to spot all the points she gave us.

Have also booked a short trip to the Languedoc, to do some field work for Troubadour. There's not much left to see at Béziers and Carcassonne is a sort of theme park but nothing beats standing in the right landscape.


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