Yet Another Medieval Christmas Newsletter

As promised, I was able to unearth the Christmas newsletter of Isabella, queen of Edward II and mother of Edward III, over the weekend. From the intimate tone of it, I suspect it was intended primarily for her female relatives in France rather than for general consumption.

Wallingford, 1326

My, time has flown since my last Christmas letter! This has been a very special year in terms of personal and professional growth for me.

First, knowing what a burden my marriage has been to me over the last couple of years, I think you’ll be glad to hear that I’ve finally made some progress on the Edward front. We had been living apart for quite a long time now, and I might have been content just to leave it at that, but some friends, and one very dear friend in particular, helped me to realize that for my good, and for the good of all around me, I just had to stop sitting around and wondering what was going to happen next. I also had to take steps to make sure I had an adequate income, because frankly, the pittance Edward was allowing me simply wasn’t enough. And his friends–well, let me say that they were just insufferable. Absolutely insufferable.

So I finally took the initiative, and do you know what???? Everything worked out just perfectly, and Edward gave into all of my requests! It’s so empowering to realize that all along I had the ability to make these changes, but just needed to muster the will and the courage to make them. It saddens me now to think that I wasted all of those years being a passive, obedient wife when there was so much potential in me just waiting to be unleashed.

You might wonder what Edward is doing now. Well, as you might know, part of the reason our marriage had been so stressed is because of his work situation, which has gone from bad to worse. The upshot of this is that although nothing has been set in stone yet, I think he’s really going to have to understand that he just can’t stay on in his present position and that some new blood will have to be brought in to really turn things around. In the meantime, he’s living with a relative in the country and thinking things over (sans the dreadful friends, I might add, whose lives are in pieces, so to speak). I just hope he sees reason and gives in gracefully. But you just really don’t know with Edward. You really don’t. He’s impossible.

But enough about Edward, and to some very special news about me. For the very first time in my life, I have found a man who meets all of my needs. (And I mean all of them.) He’s the dear friend I referred to earlier, just in case you haven’t guessed! We had known each other for some time, actually, but it was only around the beginning of this year that we finally admitted that we really belonged together and that nothing and no one—no, not even the Church—was going to keep us apart. Roger (that’s his name) has a wife and children—the good ones always do, you know—but it’s purely a marriage of convenience. He will spend some time with them now and then for appearances’ sake, but I am the real love of his life, and everyone who hasn’t realized that will soon know it. You can’t stand in the way of true love, and Roger’s wife will just have to understand that. Anyway, Roger is now in a position to be more than generous to her financially, which is probably all she cares about. She’s never appreciated Roger the way she ought to. Wives just never do.

I’m also pleased to say that this year has brought me improved professional opportunities as well. Roger and I have some exciting ventures in mind. It’s not quite clear what exact form my own role will take, since so many changes have taken place so suddenly, but I’m absolutely certain that it will be a fulfilling one that allows me to make use of all of my diverse abilities. Really, my destiny is mine to shape. Thank God Roger has been there to help me see that.

But enough about moi for now. Little Ned is doing well. He’s at that awkward age where children want more independence but aren’t quite ready to deal with it, even though they think they can handle it just fine. We have a bit of a dust-up about this now and then, especially since I’m now for all intents and purposes a single mother, and what son thinks his mother knows anything? Ned really needs a man around, a real strong man who can serve as a role model for him and to tell him what to do when the situation demands it. Roger, of course, has been invaluable here. Ned has a bit of that tedious “you broke up my parents’ marriage” thing going on with Roger, but I keep telling him that it was broken before Roger ever came into the picture. In any case, I have my own needs, and Ned is just going to have to deal with that. He really is, because there’s more to me than just being Ned’s mother, and it’s high time he realized that. As Roger says, there’s facets of me that no one ever dreamed existed until this year, and I just need to keep working on uncovering them. It’s something I positively owe to myself.

Here’s wishing that your 1326 has been as exciting a personal journey as mine and that 1327 will be even better,


9 thoughts on “Yet Another Medieval Christmas Newsletter”

  1. Lol, our dear femnist icon Isabella, striving so hard to lead a fulfilled life as woman and queen.

  2. Susan Higginbotham

    Thanks, all, and thanks for the award, Alabama Work Worm! Hope everyone’s 2009 is a great one!

  3. Susan Higginbotham

    Did I really say “Alabama Work Worm”? I’d blame it on the eggnog, except that I didn’t have any!

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