Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

British Heritage: DECEMBER 1999/JANUARY 2000 Letters

Originally published by British Heritage magazine. Published Online: September 23, 2000 
Print Friendly
1 comment FONT +  FONT -

ANOTHER CORNISH GEM

I enjoyed "Cornwall: Land of Literary Shrines" in the December 1999/January 2000 issue (page 47). However, I was surprised that no mention was made of Eleanor Hibbert. Ms. Hibbert is a world-famous British author who has sold millions of books worldwide under the pseudonyms Victoria Holt, Jean Plaidy, and Philippa Carr. Of the one hundred-plus titles that constitute her life's work, most have been published under her Plaidy pseudonym. She derived this name from Plaidy Beach, in Cornwall. Nineteen of her 20 books written under the Carr pseudonym are collectively known as "The Cornwall Saga." The early books in that series are set largely in Cornwall. One can learn a lot about the way of life there, especially from a historical perspective, by reading these wonderful books.

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to British Heritage magazine

Bonny G. Smith
Fairfax, Virginia

OF MICE AND MEN AND MERLIN AND MALORY

I have just finished reading Karen Eberhardt's excellent article "Literary Cornwall" in the December/January issue. In her article, Ms. Eberhardt states that though John Steinbeck spent time in Cornwall studying the environs of Tintagel, he never published his book about King Arthur.

I suppose she is technically right as his book was published after his death, but there is a Steinbeck book, published in 1976, titled The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights.

Steinbeck credits the original work of Sir Thomas Malory with helping him learn to read.

Edythe Connolly
Lake Oswego, Oregon

PAYING FOR THE PAST

I read "Keepers of the Kingdom" in the December 1999/January 2000 issue and I am of the opinion that these ancient titles are museum pieces. They should be be treated as such and paid for by those wishing to view them.

Many other similar European institutions have either functioned in this manner or have disappeared. Even in the United States, it has become necessary to solicit voluntary money to preserve what we do not wish to lose. But ancient British titles, including those of the present monarchy, seem to me to be an unnecessary expense for the British taxpayer.

The British do have their various heritage foundations and trusts. I think it more appropriate to subsidize these relics in this way than to increase the British tax burden.

Rosella Jones Willis, M.D.
Kirkwood, Missouri

TAPESTRIES GALORE

I was interested to read about the Bayeux Tapestry in your October/November issue. I've been fascinated by this embroidery since I learned about it as a child.

Your readers might be interested to know that there is a replica of the Bayeux Tapestry in England, in Reading Museum. I hadn't been there for almost 40 years, and last time I was in the U.K., I stopped over in Reading. I didn't expect much of the place, but I thought I'd give the local museum a look. It turned out to be a little gem; they have some excellent Roman artefacts from the excavations at Sil-chester, and some reconstructions of local buildings. And there, in its own specially designed case, is the replica of the Bayeux Tapestry.

It was made in 1885-6 by a group of embroiderers from Leek, Staffordshire. The idea came from Mr. and Mrs. Wardle of that town. Mr. Wardle was a silk-dyer. He and his wife had seen the original embroidery in Bayeux and hand-colored photographs of it at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Mrs. Wardle felt that England ought to have a copy of the tapestry for its own, and Mr. Wardle went about dying the woollen thread to match the original as closely as possible. Mrs. Wardle and her team of ladies set to work and produced this replica in just over a year.

According to the information accompanying the display, the Victorian ladies "modified" certain elements of the original which they deemed not quite suitable for all eyes. (Some of the pictures were indeed quite racy.)

The finished work later toured the U.S., to great acclaim. Eventually it was sold to a local alderman, who subsequently became mayor of Reading and donated the tapestry to the local museum. When the museum was restored and expanded in 1993, the tapestry finally got its own custom-built display case and a routine cleaning and remounting.

There are several other reproductions in the U.K., including one in Hastings and one in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, which I found to be particularly charming and beautifully worked in a variety of styles and emboidery. I also saw one in Plymouth that was being prepared as a gift to be sent to someplace in Maryland. Anyone could put a stitch into it for one pound. I was told that "everyone" had put in a stitch, including the Queen and Prince Philip!

Finally, travellers interested in such things should not miss the Overlord Tapestry at the D-Day Museum at Southsea, Portsmouth. This work, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, commemorates the landings in Normandy in June, 1944.

J. M. Ferguson
North Vancouver, British Columbia

ATTENTION ON SARGENT

A belated congratulations and thanks for the article on my favourite painter, John Singer Sargent, in your April/May issue. My wishes are all the more sincere for being late, as I have just returned from Boston where I was fortunate enough to visit the Sargent exhibition twice. Your article was the deciding factor in my making that trip. I have long admired Mr. Sargent and am so pleased that I finally have gotten to see so many pieces in person.

Tom Johnson,
Pasadena, California


One Response to “British Heritage: DECEMBER 1999/JANUARY 2000 Letters”


  1. 1
    robyn says:

    i wanted to find out som history on the ferguson clan my granfather was andrew nielson ferguson he was born in 1902in falkirk scotland i sure hope you can help me find some info or guide me where to go!



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Weider History, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2014 Weider History. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy