Sunday 11 February 2018

A School Topic on Richard III

Yesterday I got a message via The Children's Book of Richard III's Facebook page from a teacher. She wanted to buy one of my books. I was delighted to hear from her. She's a local teacher and her class is doing a topic on Richard III. I have offered to visit her school. I told her that I don't charge for school visits. All I ask is for the school and/or its pupils to buy a few books from me to cover my costs.

So far, so good. Now here's the down side:

The teacher told me in her message that a well known online book-selling website says there are no books available, only second-hand ones. They are wrong. There are books available. This is not the first time this has happened. So I shall endeavour to circumnavigate that well known site and let you all know that we have books available at The Reading Shop. If you click on the link you can buy a book and it will be sent to you by the very same person who would have packed and posted it to you had you gone to that other site.

This blog post is also a reminder that I am still available to give talks in schools 
in return for a few book purchases. This is me in action:

Saturday 3 February 2018

Leicester Castle

On this day, 3rd February in 1399, John of Gaunt died in Leicester Castle.

Leicester Castle has a fascinating history but so has John of Gaunt. I could write pages about both but I shall limit myself to something a tad more snappy - five facts about John of Gaunt and five facts about Leicester Castle:

Five Facts about John of Gaunt

Part of a portrait from c.1593
probably modelled on his tomb effigy.
1.  Leicester Castle was his favourite residence and the place where he died.

2.  He was the son of Edward III, brother of the Black Prince, Uncle to Richard II and Father of Henry IV.

3.  Born in 1340, he was an attractive man and well known as a womaniser.

4.  He was not popular with the people and during the Peasants Revolt of 1381 they set fire to his London Savoy Palace residence.

5.  Just before his death his son, Henry Bolingbroke, was banished from the country and the trauma may have contributed to his death.

Five Facts about Leicester Castle

1.  It was first built as a motte and bailey castle in 1068.

2.  The Great Hall, built some time in the1100s, had an impressive timber-beamed structure and was used until recently as Leicester's Crown Court.

3.  England's Parliament met in the Great Hall in 1349, 1414 and 1425.

4.  Gun holes, punched into the castle's walls during the Civil War when Parliamentarian Leicester was under siege, can still be seen today.

5.  John of Gaunt's cellar, a popular feature of the castle, is most likely the remains of an old stone kitchen.

Entrance archway