Monday, October 06, 2008
Six Wives in the Vegetable World
I have lately been ruled by the vegetable world: tomatoes, endless tomatoes, tomato sauce for dinner every night, simmering on the stove while I absently read the newspaper. Baked eggplants, doomed never to be eaten. (We have quite a few scooped eggplants in the refrigerator, but no tahini so we never make our dip. When asked what tahini is, I always vaguely say, "They sell it at the health food store." If I remember correctly, it's like peanut butter. So can I just use Skippy?) I'm also harvesting hot peppers so horrifyingly spicy one dares use only a sliver in cooking . It is one big vegetable world, in fact.
So the other day, bored with the vegetable world, I visited a bookstore, and while browsing in the "If You Like This, You'll Like This" section, I discovered Alison Weir's beautifully written and thoroughly researched history, The Six Wives of Henry VIII.
Between Alison Weir's scholarship and Philippa Gregory's historical novel,The Other Boleyn Girl (yes, I enjoy this racy interpretation of the facts), I am taking a crash course in Boleyns and rapidly filling in the gaps. The clarity and organization of Weir's work is especially impressive.. I can dip into it and learn quickly about the period. (I'm using it as a reference book.) She explains confidently (and not in the subjunctive) her various sources and different historians' interpretations. The basics are necessary to understand the elusive quality of Jane Boleyn and to appreciate Fox's ambitiious biog (which occasionly seemed hazy to me) .
So I've moved beyond my first intro to Henry: "I'm 'Enery the Eighth I am...Enery the Eighth I am I am...I got married to the woman next door...she's been married seven times before...And everyone was a 'Enery..." Something like that.
Posted by Frisbee at 4:14 PM