As part of my research for my novel in progress, I’ve been looking into the question of whether William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, wrote the poems attributed to him. (Short answer: no one knows for sure.) Anyway, in researching this (and trying to be careful that my novel doesn’t turn into The Tragical History of the Duke of Suffolk, with a Little Bit About Margaret of Anjou Also), I came across this headache-inducing tidbit from a 1915 article by C. Rutherford entitled “The Forgeries of Guillaume Benoit” published in the English Historical Review:
We know that Suffolk set out from Paris with Ralf Boteler, the abbot of Fecamp, and Giles Clamecy, on or about 12 November [in 1424]. On the following Tuesday he met with an accident in a certain village near Amiens, a beam falling on his head as he lay in bed.
Ouch! Suffolk was taken by litter to recuperate in Paris, where, according to Guillaume Benoit, the then-unmarried Suffolk was pining for love. To cheer him, Benoit read him love poetry (which to me would have the opposite effect, but what do I know?) and summoned the musician Gilles Binchois, to whom Suffolk gave two ells of scarlet cloth in exchange for writing a rondeau.
I do hope I’ll get to work this into my novel somehow, as aside from the poetry, it’s not every day that the ceiling falls in upon a man lying in bed.
Now for some odds and ends. Having finally finished reading some books for review, I’ve had a chance to start Michelle Moran’s Cleopatra’s Daughter, which I’m enjoying thoroughly. Pick up a copy!
And thanks to my darling daughter and thoughtful husband, I am now the proud owner of a Snuggie (“the blanket with sleeves”). Mine is blue, and I can hardly wait for winter to come so I can bedazzle my neighbors by walking Boswell in it. (I can even buy Boswell a matching one.)