Another great novel by Stephen King. Mr Mercedes is a thriller that plays with the mind with the twisted madman Mr Mercedes. After mowing down a crowd of innocent job seekers killing eight people he then continues his madness with his mind games with the now retired detective Hodges who failed to track down the killer.
Read the full review
Book Review – Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
Absolutely Brilliant piece of work that will have you crying with laughter. This book is now on my must read list.
Check out full review of Peter James book ‘The Perfect Murder’.
Book Review – The Perfect Murder by Peter James
Completely Brilliant – Great but simple plot had me cracking up.
Stephen King the greatest of horror and suspense author of modern day. Check out my book review on Carrie his debut novel that was turned into now what is a classic movie.
Click for full book review on Carrie by Stephen King
I have made it through to Z and I really couldn’t think of anything with a ’Z’ Plantagenet related so would just like to thank everybody who has followed my series this month on one of the most amazing families that has ever ruled England.
I hope I have been able to provide you with a little insight to how this family worked and sparked an interest for you to further investigate. There are many interesting facts that surround the Plantagenet’s unfortunately too many to cover in this month.
If you have enjoyed my blogs it would be great to keep in touch so be sure to subscribe to my site. I have planned some really interesting and gruesome topics in the next few months so don’t miss out.
Henry was the second eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine and was born on 28 February 1155. He married Margaret the daughter of Louis VII in 1160. William who was Henry’s older brother who should have been King died of a seizure whilst at Wallingford Castle in 1156 and was buried in Reading Abbey at the feet of his great grandfather Henry I.
Crowning of Henry in 1170 by Roger, Archbishop of York. At the celebration banquet afterwards, the Prince is waited on by his father the King.
Henry II arranged for the Young King to be crowned in 1170.
He spent a lot of his early adult life traveling to tournaments throughout the country where he became renowned for his skill which may have been attributed to his training from William Marshal.
Henry was getting frustrated with his lack of power and land and in 1173 the young king, with his brothers Geoffrey and Richard, encouraged by their mother Eleanor to rebel against his father. The rebellion failed and Henry and his father reconciled the differences the following year.
Tomb and effigy of Henry in the Rouen cathedral
In 1182 he took up arms against his brother Richard and later against his father again. The following year at the age of 28 whilst in France he suddenly died of dysentery in 1183.
I struggled to think of anything beginning with X so I am going to take it as a cross and the romantic story of Edward and Eleanor. As we are nearing the end of this Plantagenet journey I thought it would be fitting to end with a story of true love.
Edward I, Edward the Hammer of Scots, Edward who conquered the Welsh was also a man that had a soft heart for his family and his dearest beloved and beautiful wife Eleanor of Castile.
Eleanor’s Cross, in fact twelve crosses, are memorials that Edward erected following the death of his wife as she was travelling to meet him in Scotland in 1290. The twelve crosses were placed in towns along her cortege from Lincoln to Westminster. The most famous in folk etymology is chère reine — “dear queen” in French then to become Charing Cross. Although I would love to believe this, Charing was a hamlet that pre-dated Eleanor’s death and only the cross part thus now known as Charing Cross is true.
The other eleven crosses were placed at: Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Hardingstone near Northampton, Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St. Albans, Waltham, Cheapside. Unfortunately only three remain today Geddington, Northampton and Waltham Cross.
Eleanor was the daughter of the king of Castile and came to England when she about 12 years old in 1254 to marry Edward the future king of England. She provided Edward with up to 16 children which seven of whom survived into adulthood. She travelled with Edward on all his campaigns and went on crusade in 1270. Whilst on crusade Edward was wounded with a poison arrow and it is said that Eleanor’s grief and worry over Edward was so immense she had to be removed from the room he was being treated in.
Me at Eleanor Cross in Charing Cross
The monument at Charing Cross was constructed in Victorian times in front of the entrance to the station. The original monument was a five minute walk up Whitehall.
Wallace was born around 1272 and became the leader of the Scots revolt against the English and legendary figure for his beliefs and bravery. In 1297 Wallace took a band of thirty men to avenge the death of his wife Marion. It is said that the night before Wallace was seen at his wife house and the sheriff men surrounded the house but Wallace managed to escape. However his wife was taken from the house killed by the sheriff’s men.
The events themselves may not be so romantic and may fit more with a film Mel Gibson may appear. It is more likely that the attack was premeditated and was in the name of John Balliol who had been stripped of his authority as king of Scotland the previous year.
Wallace continued his attacks on the English and more and more Scots joined his cause and they drove the English out of Lanark, Perth and Stirling by August 1297 then spread onto Northumberland and Cumbria.
Edward I was campaigning in France when he heard the news about the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the defeated English. He returned to England and began assembling an army to take to Scotland. On Tuesday 22 July 1298 Edward I army crushed Wallace’s forces. Wallace continue guerrilla warfare against the English until August 1299 where he went to France to seek aid in his fight.
He returned to Scotland in 1303 and was made an outlaw by Edward I the following year. Wallace was betrayed and handed over to the English where in August 1305 where he was taken to the London. His trial took place at Westminster Hall (now part of Westminster Palace) and was found guilty of treason. He was then chained to a hurdle, a piece of fencing, which was dragged through the street by two horses from Westminster to the Tower of London. The distance of about two and half miles where people were able to ridicule and throw stone and dirt, he was then taken to Smithfield via Aldgate a further three miles for continued humiliation.
Then at Smithfield he was hanged until near death before being cut down. Then in good old medieval fashion his penis and testicles were cut off and burned in front of him. Then his stomach sliced open and his internal organ cut out and again thrown in a brazier in front of Wallace to burn. The hangman then cut open Wallace’s chest and by hand pulled out his heart. It is not recorded if his heart was still beating at the time which was the aim of a skilled hangman to achieve. Finally Wallace was decapitated and quartered with his quarters sent to Scotland and his head put on a pike on London Bridge.