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The Fourth Sunday of Advent – What Anne Boleyn would have read

Posted By on December 21, 2014

anne boleyn portrait by john hoskinsIf you’ve read my previous three Sunday articles, you’ll know that I have been sharing readings from French Reformer Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples’ book Epistres et Evangiles pour les cinquante et deux semaines de l’an, or “Epistles and Gospels for the 52 Weeks of the Year”. Anne Boleyn owned an illuminated manuscript of Lefèvre’s work, a manuscript which was prepared for her and given to her by her brother George. It would have been very precious to her so I’m sure she delighted in reading it every Sunday.

Here are the readings for the fourth Sunday of Advent…

Philippians 4: 4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 1: 19-28

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

On this day in history…

  • 1495 – Death of Jasper Tudor, 1st Duke of Bedford and 1st Earl of Pembroke, at Thornbury. He was laid to rest at Keynsham Abbey, near Bristol. Jasper was the second son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois, half-brother of Henry VI and uncle of Henry VII.
  • 1549 – Death of Margaret of Navarre (Marguerite of Angoulême and Marguerite de France) at Odos in France. Click here to read more.

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Henry XXVIII and Anne Boleyn by Dr Josepha Josephine Wilkinson

Posted By on December 19, 2014

punch-and-judyThank you so much to author and historian Dr Josepha Josephine Wilkinson, author of The Princes in the Tower, Mary Boleyn: The True Story of Henry VIII’s Favourite Mistress and Anne Boleyn: The Young Queen to Be, for sharing this article with us today. And we haven’t made a typo, it really is Henry XXVIII!

It was not unknown for puppets to be conscripted into the service of one political cause or another. The Russian version of Mr Punch, Petrushka, is a famous, if tragic example. Another is Mr Punch himself who, by the early twentieth century, had become such a well-known figure that he could be used for such purposes to great effect. Mr Punch was brought in to comment on one of the several political upheavals that threatened to rock the country in the early part of the twentieth century: the emerging suffragette movement.

At the time, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree’s production of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, was playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Beerbohn Tree’s production was enormously popular, accomplishing no less than 254 consecutive performances between September 1910 and April 1911. Naturally, such a success came to the attention of the mountebanks and puppet showmen, and a Punch and Judy show opened for business close to the theatre.

(more…)

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