My favourite painting from this afternoon’s quick walk round parts of the National Gallery was Schedoni‘s portrait of the Holy Family, a little painting of the Virgin Mary teaching the infant Jesus to read, with Saint Joseph in the background.  I will pass over my puzzlement over why Mary is attempting to teach a child of that age to read…  I know nothing about it, as I know almost nothing about art generally, but it appealed to me in some way.  It was something about the tenderness, I think.  I can’t find a public domain copy of the National Gallery’s version that I can insert, so you’ll just have to head for the National Gallery website.   The only one I can find on wikimedia commons has an extra child in it and the composition doesn’t appeal to me as much.  Anyway, I thought it was a beautiful little thing, and it caught my eye.

Anthonis Mor - Queen Mary Tudor of England - W...

Anthonis Mor – Queen Mary Tudor of England – WGA16178 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Yesterday it was my great pleasure to give my first talk to a branch of the Historical Association in Manchester.  Called ‘No Lion Wilde, a Lion Tame – Popular Depictions of Mary I’, it was based the research I did for my first chapter on the ballads of the reign of Mary Tudor.  The audience seemed to enjoy it, and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion it provoled at the end of the lecture.  What surprised me really was how much my ideas about Mary have developed since I wrote the chapter – there are a few things that I’d now like to change a bit, but we’ll have to see!

I must think about doing some more talks, perhaps for the H.A. but also for conferences.