Friday, 30 November 2012

School Plays, Pantomimes and Mystery Plays

It's that time of the year again when innumerable excited children rehearse for the Christmas Play and look forward to attending a pantomime or some other performance. In times past equally excited children must have looked forward to mystery plays originally performed throughout the year in churchyards. However, in the dark cold winter the story of the Christ Child's advent must have been a colourful highlight of the year. Later, awestruck children must have watched among other things the shepherds and three wise men visiting the new born babe on a pageant, a wagon with two stages and special scenery. Whether the mummers performed at mansions, inns or in the streets the audience needed their strength for some plays began at 4.30 a.m. and did not finish until dusk.

Christmas Past and Present

My seven year old grandson's main Christmas present will be a toy castle. I went to Toys R Us today and found toy mounted knights and a dragon reduced in price from £8 to £4 each, so I bought half a dozen for for him.

The toy knights seated on their destriers and equipped with weapon evoked images of mediaeval Christmas celebrations.

Modern Christmas festivities did not originate in the Victoria...n era. Many preparations were made to celebrate the period which, due to numerous saints' days lasted longer than it does today. The dates of the pagan festivals became Christian dates, and to remember the birth of the Christ Child Christmas people celebrated. In those days most of them would have gone to Church, exchanged presents, and enjoyed special food and drink as well as making music. In days when when people relied on candlelight Christmas must have been eagerly anticipated in the cold, dark winter, and as they do today children probably hoped for snow.

Monday, 26 November 2012

No problem

Yesterday, I thought I would have a nervous breakdown because my research was at fault. Thank goodness, the research was correct but I had entered a wrong year at the head of a chapter and then entered the wrong year at the head of several chapters. Only typos which were easy to correct.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Cure or Not

I have four more doses of antibiotics to take, the cough is getting better, but  antibiotics have made me very uncomfortable in spite of taking live yoghurt to encourage good bacteria.

I'm glad to announce that I finished the last, very short chapter, of my mediaeval novel, but realised I need to check some dates and places, so it's back to check in The Fourteenth Century 1307-1399/The Oxford History of England/McKissack. When I have done that, I shall work on the line edits and then write the synopsis and my c.v. before sending the novel to a publisher I have in mind.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Dream World

Before I attended the Festival of Romance I was taking antibiotics. After I returned I was unwell and consulted my doctor, with the result that I am now taking very strong antibiotics. However, whether as a result of them or not I experience an amazing dream last night. As a rule I don't remember more than snatches of my dreams but I remember the emotion, the event and the glorious technicolour of this one.

For a long time I have been toying with the idea for writing a children's fantasy novel but couldn't imagine a portal into another world. Well, I experienced the portal. In my dream I passed through it into a parallel world.

Whether or not I will have time to write the novel is questionable, but I shall try because the concept intrigues me.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My Mediaeval Novel

Years ago I had the idea for the novel, and its sequels, mainly set in England in the reign of Edward II. First I created character profiles, then, while researching the era, I wrote a paragraph here and a paragraph there. At that time I had the imagination to write a novel but not the know how. Now, at long last, I should complete the final revision in the next two or three days.  Then I will complete a line edit and, after I write a c.v. and a synopsis I shall submit it to a publisher. Fingers crossed, one day, the book will be published.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Near Disaster

We are so fortunate. My daughter-in-law phoned to tell me their bedroom ceiling collapsed on their bed. Fortunately, a strange noise woke them up and they quit the bedroom before the ceiling fell. If they had not the alternative is unbearable to think of.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Festival of Romance

I've returned from The Festival of Romance. I congratulate Kate Allan who organised it. Altough I was short listed my novel Tangled Love did not win the award, but I'm pleased to have been on that list. I met lots of interesting people and made some contacts which might be useful.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Retail Therapy

Finding something to wear at The Romantic Festival's gala ball has been more a case of stressful shopping than retail therapy, but, today, my daughter-in-law and I had an enjoyable morning catching up over a coffee, and browsing in the shops. I bought three tops, a brown handbag and a copy of Mallory's Morte d'Arthur, which I know I'm going to enjoy.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

In Memory of Children

Yesterday, I visited the library. Outside, on a patch of immaculate grass, I noticed a brass plaque and several wreaths of artificial poppies. Curious, I approached it. On the plaque are inscribed words in memory of Anne Frank; the dedication is to children who lost their lives during the 2nd World War. The blood red poppies with black centres and the peaceful green grass area dedicated to Anne and legions of voiceless children brought the horror of the past closer. iI don't know who laid the wreaths but am glad those helpless victims are not forgotten.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Rosemary Morris' Novel Short Listed

I am delighted to announce that my novel, Tangled Love, set in Queen Anne's reign, 1714-1714. The results will be announced on the 17th November at the Romance of Festival's gala ball in Bedford.

Tangled Love is available from:

Amazon Kindle and elsewhere

Manuscript Evening at Watford Writers

I attended Watford Writers yesterday evening. Once again I was impressed by the talented members of the group who read their work - among other work shared with the group was a moving poem, which asked who would remember two young soldiers who gave up their lives when the author was dead, the first chapter of a lyrical fantasy novel, a sensitive short story about a lonely woman and part of a modern rendition of Sleeping Beauty. I read part of an exciting chapter from my mediaeval novel set in Edward II's reign, which was very well received.

Monday, 12 November 2012


I never have enough bookcases. Every once in a while I have to be ruthless. Recently, I've been ill. Thanks to antibiotics I'm on the mend. And while I'm on the mend I have reorganised my bookcases. I have arranged my non-fiction books in historical order, others according to subject, and fiction in alphabetical order according to the author's name. Not without a few regrets I am disposing of every book I will never refer to or read again. Now I need to decide which magazines I want to keep and declutter my filing cabinet.

Somehow or other when I finish decluttering, whether it is my bookcases, my workspace or, for example, my clothes, the house always seems uplifted. I should find time to do it more regularly.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Example of the Cockney Spirit in World War II

Today is Remembrance Sunday. As usual, I am thinking of my father. When young he suffered from tuberculosis and, therefore, his applications to join the armed forces in the Second World War were rejected. Determined to ‘do his bit’ for king and country he joined the fire service.

One morning on his way back to the fire station after the East End was cruelly bombed, a little old lady flagged down the fire engine he drove.

“Get yer ladders out,” she said pointing to the upper storey of her house, the front of which had been blown away. “Look lively. Me best ’at’s up there on top of me wardrobe, an’ Mister ‘itler ain’t going to ‘ave it.”

Father retrieved the hat. “No one,” Father said, after he told me the story, “thought we would lose the war, and that little old lady, who had lost nearly everything, represents the spirit of the times.”

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Lord George Byron

I am reading a 1943 edition of Britain against Napoleon by Caroloa Oman for which: The author desires to record her most grateful thanks to the maker of the Index - Georgette Heyer.

The opening paragraph is: "A country correspondent wrote from the south of England that filberts were in bloom, and under a shelered bank he had found primroses, though ragged and beaten by the weather. The throstle had sung a little at differenttimes."

Carola Oman, daughter of historian Carol Oman, know her history, which she intersperses with annecdotes and sippets. For example: "A short, stout lady, seated to an unappeteizing meal with a pale child, in lodgings close to the Marischal College (Aberdeen), had no need to invest in fresh black (to mourn Louis VIII) Mrs John Byron, whose temper was the terror of her landlady, already wore widow's weeds.

".... Her sole interest nowadays was her son....She had a taste for books. George Gordon the child seated opposite her in a by-street of the Granite City on this gloomy winter's afternoon, had been so christened in memory of his maternal gandfather, a descendant of the poet King James I of Scotland.

"If Mr Pitt was to declare in the House of Commons on Tuesday that Britain was at war with France....even if the war went on for years, it could not hurt Mrs Byron, her only son could never go to a war, because he was a cripple." His right foot and leg were contracted by infant paralysis.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

"Kiss of Youth and Love."

Their lips drew near, and clung into a kiss;

A long, long kiss, a kiss of youth, and love,

And beauty, all concentrating like rays

Into one focus, kindled them above;

Such kisses as belong to early days

Where heart and soul, and sense in concert move,

And the blood’s lava, and the pulse a blaze,

Each kiss a heart-quake – for a kiss’s strength,

I think, it must be reckoned by its length.

Lord George Byron

Poet 1788 - 1824

A Kiss - Courtesy of Lord George Byron

When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past –

For years flee away with the wings of the dove –

The dearest remembrance will still be the last,

Our sweetest memory the first kiss of love.

Lord George Byron

Poet 1788 - 1824

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tangled Love has been shortlisted

I am delighted because Tangled Love, set in Queen Anne Stuart's reign, has been shortlisted by the Festival of Romance to be held soon in Bedford.

More Kisses and Romance

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships,

And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!

Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies!

Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.

Here will I dwell, for heaven is in those lips,

And all is dross that is not Helena.

Christopher Marlow

Playwright and poet 1664 - 1693

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Kisses - An Invitation to the Feast

Thomas died at the age of thirty. I wonder what he would have expressed in prose and poetry if he had lived longer.

Are kisses all? – they but forerun
Another duty to be done:
What would you of that minstrel say,
Who tunes his pipe, and will not play?
Say, what are blossoms in their prime
That ripen not in harvest time?
Oh what are buds that ne’er disclose
The longed for sweetness of the rose?
So kisses to a lover’s guest
Are invitations not the feast.

Thomas Randolph
Poet and playwright 1605 - 1635

Friday, 2 November 2012

Commonplace Diary - Romance and Kisses

I have not made entries in it so much, looking for quotes about romance and kisses, that I am neglecting the revision of my mediaeval novel.

Among thy fancies tell me this,
What is the thing we call a kiss?’’’
It is a creature born and bred
Between the lips all cherry red,
By love and warm desires fed.

Robert Herrick
Poet and Clergyman 1591 - 1674

Thursday, 1 November 2012

More Romance and Kisses

My sweet did sweetly sleep

And on her rosy face
Stood tears of pearl, which beauty’s self did weep;
I, wondering at her grace,
Did all amazed remain,
When Love said, “Fool can looks they wishes crown?
Times past comes no again.’
The did I bow me down,
And kissing her fair breast, lips cheeks and eyes,
Proved here on earth the joys of paradise.

William Drummond of Hawthornden
Poet 1585 - 1649