Back in February a golden opportunity arose to pay a visit to Speke Hall near Liverpool, aka The Old Lodge. Whilst teenage offspring were carousing around Europe on school trips, we decided to meet up with family in Ormskirk which is very close to Speke. I haven’t visited since reading the All Souls Trilogy so was looking forward to viewing it from Matthew and Diana’s perspective.
It began with an oil painting …
Meet Isabel Parkinson, an undergraduate student of Philosophy and German at Oxford University. Isabel also happens to be a huge fan of the All Souls Trilogy. Her love for the book series brought her to ask Ruth Fitton, the talented painter working on Isabel’s portrait, to include A Discovery of Witches in her own portrait. Said portrait brought together Isabel, Ruth Fitton, and All Souls Con—and eventually The Tenth Knot. As a student at Oxford, Isabel shared what it’s like living and studying there, and yes, even working at the All Souls Library. But that’s not it. In a bonus post, Ruth shares some of her painting secrets. P.S. You will be able to admire a photo reproduction of the portrait at All Souls Con.
If you’ve listened to the narration of the All Souls Trilogy, read by Jennifer Ikeda (and the Harry Potter audiobooks narrated by Jim Dale), you may suffer from “audiobook hangover.”
Jennifer Ikeda has won two Audie Awards for her All Souls Trilogy narration. And back at All Souls Con 2015, Deborah has stated herself that when she writes Diana, she hears Jennifer Ikeda’s voice. Jennifer is that good!
Do consider coming to our next meeting. Doris makes a divine Battenberg cake.—Linda Crosby, The Book Of Life, Ch. 25.
We wanted our first post of the year to be somewhat different and whimsical, so why not tackling food history? Battenberg Cake history to be precise. We promise, it’s very light reading, with lots of pictures.
Warning: We highly recommend reading this blog post on a full stomach to avoid temptations 😛
“Dinner is waiting for you at Les Revenants,” she said. “Les Revenants?” It was not a place I’d heard of before. “Philippe built the castle to house Crusaders coming home from the Holy Land,” Matthew explained. “It belongs to Maman.”
“It’s your house now. I’m giving it to you,” Ysabeau said. “Happy anniversary.” (The Book of Life, Ch. 32)
Are you planning to visit France any time soon? If you are, you may want to hurry to visit Château de Montbrun, the model for Les Revenants. The current owner is very generous and allows the public to tour the castle. However, Château de Montbrun is for sale, and we don’t know if the future owner will welcome visitors.
In New Haven Part 2—we walk from the Beinecke Library all the way to Diana’s townhouse on Court Street, crossing through the New Haven Green, and finally ending up at Gallowglass’s condo on historic Wooster Square. We also provide a tip for a very enjoyable and free tour of New Haven, courtesy of Yale students.