Thursday, April 27, 2017

First Line Friday: Thomas Becket Edition


Okay, so sue me, in a not-so-roundabout way this post is ALSO an 'Eleanor Edition'. While I am still in the early chapters of my own book, concerning Eleanor's early life and journey to Paris, Thomas Becket would be a key figure in her life later on.

This week my first line is from this gem:

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And I highly recommend the book. It is FANTASTIC.

"Archbishop Thomas Becket, who for four centuries after his gruesome murder in Canterbury Cathedral would be nicknamed 'lux Londoniarum' (the light of the Londoners), was the only surviving son of Gilbert and Matilda Becket, born very probably when the wreck of the White Ship was still the hottest news in town."

For those unfamiliar with the White Ship and the havoc it played on England in the ensuing years, a recap: Henry I (son of William the Bastard/Conqueror) lost his heir Prince William when the White Ship sank on November 25th, 1120. Only one man survived of an estimated 350 (crew and passengers). William likely would have survived, as he was launched out onto the water in a dinghy, but he returned to the wrecked ship to save a half-sister. That very decision, one that cost William his life as the dinghy was swamped, put Henry II - and Eleanor of Aquitaine - on the throne in 1154.

With William gone, Henry I had only one surviving, legitimate child, Matilda. Before his death, he repeatedly made his barons swear an oath of fealty to Matilda and protect her claim as rightful heir. One who swore that oath was Matilda's cousin Stephen, who might be an even worse king than Henry I's great grandson John. Naturally, Stephen stole the throne for himself with Matilda out of the country when her father died. A long, chaotic, brutal civil war followed and was finally put to an end when Stephen agreed for Matilda's son, Henry, to inherit the throne even over his own son Eustace. And thus, the Plantagenet dynasty was born.

Now, you might be wondering what all of that has to do with Thomas Becket. For that I say, please do read the book.

Leave me a comment on your own line this week, or your thoughts about some of my most and least favorite people in history. Then head over to the blogs of my fellow First Liners and see what they have waiting for you this week.


Rachel - Bookworm Mama




Lauraine - Lauraine's Notes

Andi - Radiant Light


Robin - Robin's Nest


Kathleen - Kathleen Denly


Jessica - A Baker's Perspective

And a very happy welcome to the newest participant Trisha at Joy of Reading!

Happy Reading!
Sarah

18 comments:

  1. I haven't really read anything from this part of British history though I do know of the people and events you mentioned through various documentaries. I always plan to read more but haven't had the time recently! I think I have a Tudor book by this author which I haven't read.

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    1. Ooooh, which ones? He's got a couple really great books about the Tudors also. And I LOVED his book about Mary, Queen of Scots.

      I have found over the last couple of years, the Plantagenets have replaced the Tudors as my favorites to read about. I think maybe because there are so many more people to read about, as they ruled for about 300 years. with the Tudors it is just 5 people, 6 if you count Jane, and there is only so much material available about Edward VI so...

      Happy Friday!

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  2. I'd love to read this one! This period is full of such fascinating people!

    Since I have so many wonderful first lines to choose from at the moment, I'm going to share a different one here than on my blog. It's the first line from Varina Denman's 'Looking Glass Lies':

    "I woke up in the middle of the night in our cavernous walk-in closet. Again."

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    1. It is fantastic. Whenever people do ask me about the Plantagenets, I always recommend this one and of course Dan Jones' book about them to start with.

      I must say, I have never woken up in a closet. Interesting. Happy Friday!

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  3. The line I’m going to share with you here is different than the one featured on my blog post. This book is one that my 9 year old son is currently reading for the second time.

    “This is a true story. Well some of it. Most of it.”
    Harlow & Sage (and Indiana) A true story about best friends by: Brittni Vega

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    1. Hi Trisha, and welcome to First Line Friday! Thank you for sharing a line with me, how old is your son? I have an almost-four year old who LOVES to read. Happy Friday!

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  4. Today I’m sharing the first line from Cynthia Roemer’s debut book that came out today.
    Under This Same Sky
    Illinois ~ May 8, 1854
    Nothing could have prepared her for this.
    Nothing.

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    1. Hi Andrea, thanks for sharing a line with me today. That one sounds quite ominous!

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  5. I wish I had the time to sit down and read bunches of books on British royalty. Have you ever watched the documentaries they show on PBS? They are really good.

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    1. Hey Heather! I will gladly recommend gobs and gobs of books when you have the time :) A lot of the PBS docs are on Netflix and I used to watch those in that first year after Eleanor was born when I could not really focus on reading. The Hampton Court one and the Tower of London ones are my faves. Happy Friday!

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  6. Happy Friday (is it really?)!! My first line is from a nonfiction book that is being released on May 2nd, Women Who Move Mountains by Sue Detweiler: " 'Get my baby out!' I screamed with a raspy voice."

    And one of my favorite quotes: "Every day we have the opportunity to agree with God & allow His perspective to flood us with His hope. It’s like having a pressure washer in your mind."

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    1. Oh gosh, yes it is Friday, thank goodness! My students were off the walls today! Thank you for sharing your lines with me, I love that pressure washer idea. It is a great way to look at God and try to see His perspective. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. I love your history lessons hehe!

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    1. Good, I am glad people enjoy them. Otherwise I would just be that crazy lady talking to herself about people who have been dead for centuries! Happy Friday :)

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  8. PROLOGUE

    They were coming. - Orphan's Song by Gillian Bronte Adams

    HAPPY FRIDAY and HAPPY READING!

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    1. Happy Friday and Happy Reading to you also Caryl, thanks for coming by!

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  9. Thank you for sharing such interesting info. Happy Friday!!!

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    1. I am glad it is interesting to you, thank you. I have a deep love of history and love to share that history with others. Have a wonderful weekend, thank you for stopping by!

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