Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Royal Women in Devon; Margaret Beaufort in Sampford Peverell

I'm busy working on my book at the moment and consequently do not have much time for long blog posts. But rather than stop completely I'll instead blog a shorter fragment, or a poem (or part of) and notes, probably taken from the present focus of writing or research.
At present a preoccupation is with royal women and  their links with Devon; so here, as a start is the first section of a  poem about the Countess of Richmond, Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, who owned large estates in Devon and lived for a while at Sampford Peverell  - whose church retains and presents its links with her.

Margaret Beaufort; Imagining Translation

(Click, double click click, click click click.) Moving
through space virtually frame by frame, tubular
tunnels, phrase by phrase, through textual palimpsests
year by year to the void of the past, where spatially
her story perhaps began. Even the Book
was then as good as new.She lived and worked
with Latin texts; once dissected,
selected the equivalent felicitous phrase. Manuscripts
      meticulously set
by the first print press were stored in vaults at old
archival sites. They’re ISP lit up from that
original source. Now, imagining translation
her textual lines are sifting in, snatched
from gaps in this shifting chimera,
its parchment pages, rich medieval illumination
words written between the covers of her book of blacke velome.

The poem was published several years ago in The Exeter Flying Post.  It was on the web, but I can't track it down just now.

lines 6-10:  Printing was still a new art; William Caxton set up his printing press under her protection and printed books at her request and expense. One of the earliest of these was Blanchardine and Eglantine.
lines 12-16: Margaret Beaufort had a love of literature and herself translated several texts. These included The Mirroure of Gold.

You can find a little more about Beaufort on my web-site South-West-Women-Writers and there are several web-sites about her, including Tudor history. This page from Tudor-history is about her books