Br-Cadfael-msg - 1/28/99

 

Comments and information on the Brother Cadfael series of books written by Ellis Peters. Also available in a video series and an accompanying herb book. These are Mystery Books set in the 1150s in England.

 

NOTE: See also the files: movies-msg, monks-msg, videos-msg, England-msg, monks-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 23:13:09 -0500

From: "Helen Schultz" <meistern at netusa1.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

Stefan asked:  

"Can anyone tell me if there are more of these? For instance, if

this is series IV, is there a series I, II and III? Are there only three

episodes in the other series?"

 

.... Yes, there are four sets now.  All have three episodes except for one that

has four in it.  You can purchase them either from Barnes & Noble mail order

or at their stores... also in Borders Book Stores.

 

.... As best I can figure (and I am no expert), they do a very good

representation of the period.  The only small inconsistency I have found is

that Derek Jacoby has hands that are way too well manicured for an Herbalist!!

Small inconsistency, to my mind... but one I noticed a couple times when they

showed his hands.  He is very good in the part, isn't he? However, I have heard

someone say they didn't think he did the part justice -- which probably

means he did not fit the mental image of that person.

 

Katarina Helene

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 23:06:22 EST

From: <Bjmikita at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

There is a whole series of Cadfael.  I believe I have seen them packaged as

sets at large video stores.  As to authentic, a very good friend who is a

historic costumer.  Has remarked on more than one occasion that the clothing

was extemely authentic.  She did point out in a very early episode the young

woman of well off means was dressed properly however she wasn't sure the

headscarf was actually wrapped in the particular way the actress was wearing

it.

 

Jeanne de La Mer

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 23:37:43 EST

From: <Gingen3 at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

They are also available in Paperback and differ somewhat from the shows.

there are more books than shows at this point I think.

 

Lady Geva

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 23:28:33 -0600

From: "Boogie" <boogie at softdisk.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

> From: Bjmikita at aol.com

> The books are great.  Brother Cadfael mysteries. Books a million and I'm sure

> every other book store has them.  Isn't the auther Ellis Peters?  She died not

> too long ago, but has written a large number of the Brother Cadfael series.

 

> Jeanne de La Mer.

 

According to the bio in the Cadfael books, Ellis Peters was the pen name of

Edith Pargeter;  all her other books were published under her real name.

Her honors included (but limited to) the British Empire Award, the British

Crime Writers  Association's Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, the Mysery

Writers of America's Edgar, and Order of the British Empire from Queen

Elizabeth.

 

She died in 1995 at the age of 82 in Shropshire, England.

 

 

Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 21:33:51 -0800

From: Melinda Shoop <mediknit at nwinfo.net>

To: "sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Brother Cadfael mysteries

 

There are 20 BC's I believe, the last one is Brother Cadfael's Penance,

and seems to bring the series to close, psychologically. Perhaps Ellis

Peters wanted her readers to have a certain closure, prior to her death.

 

I've read and loved them all--they are an integral part of my life.

What a gift Peters gave to the world!

 

Vigdis Bjornsdottir

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 04:02:23 -0700 (MST)

From: starsinger at webtv.net (theresa sorrell)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

There is also a Brother Cadfael herbal book out.   About herbalry in his

time.  The books and videos can be found here also.  I've done business

with Firebird Arts for years as one of my main sources for

scifi/fantasty filk tapes and the like.

 

http://www.firebirdarts.com

 

Starsinger

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 10:09:58 -0500

From: "Helen Schultz" <meistern at netusa1.net>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

Stefan responded to my comment on manicured hands :

 

>Perhaps I'm not familar enough with herbalism or herbalists, but why do you

>say his hands were too well manicured for an herbalist? Because such a

>person would be of a lower class? Of course the monks were not selected

>from the lower classes and from what I've seen valued cleanliness.

 

No Stefan, not because an herbalist would be lower cast, but the nature of the

work requires one to get some dirt under their fingernails... Derek Jacoby has

beautifully buffed and slight long nails for a man who would be out in an herb

garden or mixing potions for his craft.  Even a very fastidious person in that

craft would have some residue of dirt under their nails -- and I doubt that even

as a monk, he would have had nails that long.  They would be getting chipped

and broken quite often.

 

But, of course, Derek Jacoby is NOT really Brother Cadfael, he is simply playing

the part.  But, since they seem to have gone to such extents to make everything

else so realistic, I just thought he should also put at least some dirt

under his nails.   :-)

 

Katarina Helene

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 09:45:59 -0700

From: Sheron Buchele/Curtis Rowland <foxryde at verinet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

As an herbalist who grows a lot of the herbs used in her products for an

active mail order business AND

who has a 1150 personna, I have read most of the BC books. I am always

envious - he has novitates who he directs to work in the garden.  (It seems

that they do a lot of work on the cabbage field (yes, cabbage is a

wonderful medicinal much used in the MA).

 

Perhaps that is why his hands are lovely!  He sends someone else out to do

the hard labor whilst he pounds seeds to powder in his lovely morter and

pestle. ;-)

 

For myself, I wear gloves.  I have at least 6 pairs of gardening gloves

depending on what I am planning to do!  My hands are lovely and my nails

are clean and longish.

 

Seriously, I adore the show, I love Dereck Jacoby as Brother Cadfael, and I

*love* my BC herbal.  I saved up Christmas money last year to get it and

devoured it!  It is not a hugely scholorly (spelling -- aakk!!! sorry!)

source book that I use to help with my formulations, but it is beautiful

and fun to read.  It is important to have books around that please you.

 

Sorry to be gushy, but as pointed out before, there isn't a lot from my

time period, so I am pretty passionate about the thing that I have found

that is - even if it is fiction.  I wish that I knew what books Ms. P had

in her library!

 

Leonora

 

PS.  My former peer brought me a small bottle of water from Saint

Winifred's Holywell.  Way too cool!

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 12:00:40 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: alasdair.maciain at snet.net,

        "Windmasters' Hill Baronial List - The Keep"

<windmasters at netwharf.com>,

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Magnus said:

> > Cadfael IV Series, program 3 will be on Mystery tonite on PBS

> > in NC at 9 p.m. e.s.t.

> >

> > This episode will be the last of this series and is titled:

> > The Potter's Field.

>

> I enjoyed the two programs that I got to see.

>

> Can anyone tell me if there are more of these? For instance, if this

> is series IV, is there a series I, II and III? Are there only three

> episodes in the other series?

>

> Does anyone have any opinions on how accurate the items they represent

> were for the period? The clothing?, the carts, the pots etc? I liked

> the leather(?) outfit that the local Norman lord seemed to be wearing.

>

> Thanks.

>    Stefan

 

There are four series so far....this may be the last, so they say...

 

Series I had four episodes:

One Corpse Too Many

The Sanctuary Sparrow

The Leper of St. Giles

Monk's Hood

 

Series II had three episodes:

The Virgin in the Ice

St. Peter's Fair

The Devil's Novice

 

Series III had three episodes:

The Raven in the Foregate

A Morbid Taste for Bones

The Rose is Rent

 

Series IV has three episodes:

The Holy Thief

Pilgrim of Hate

The Potter's Field

 

Here in N.C. WUNC ran another ringer in on us again and did not run

the Potter's field last week, but instead an episode from Series II.

So, I guess here we've got another to go yet. The Potter's Field.

 

All episodes are available in boxed sets from dealers. Figure about

$20 per episode. WGBH in Boston is the one who produces the series,

which is shot in Eastern Europe, can't remember which country, but

they build and tear down the village each time, or did.

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/mystery/index.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/mystery/programs/cadfael/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/mystery/shop.html for dealers see bottom of

page.

 

Magnus

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 15:07:37 -0500

From: Becky Needham <betony at infinet.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

> > Can anyone tell me if there are more of these? For instance, if this

> > is series IV, is there a series I, II and III? Are there only three

> > episodes in the other series?

>

>   There have been several - check the A&E website, I believe they sell the

> videos - for that matter, I think Barnes and Nobles also sells them.

 

They do and so does Media Play and PBS has a catalog out. Britania

does, too, for the same price as all the others.  The prices for the

sets of 3 are $59.95 and they are $19.95 singletons.  The set of 4 was

$79.95.

 

> > Does anyone have any opinions on how accurate the items they represent

> > were for the period? The clothing?, the carts, the pots etc? I liked

> > the leather(?) outfit that the local Norman lord seemed to be wearing.

>

>   This question I'll leave someone more expert, except to say that some

> things looks fairly good to my eye.  I've never seen doc. for the colored

> veils, etc, and I do wish they'd get over the  " it was the Middle Ages so

> everything had to be dirty and dull" idea, though.....<G>

 

From what I have read (preface of the hardcover "A Morbid Taste for

Bones" by Peters herself), Ellis Peters did her homework when it came to

her books and the producers have tried very hard to recreate the

series.  IMO, they have done a good job.  I can't swear they haven't

taken garb (I don't remember if Peters could find sumptuary laws or not)

and other liberties, but it all looks plausible.  And, more importantly

to my way of thinking, the people wearing and doing seem comfortable

with it all.  I would love to go to Hungary and visit the set - shoot,

I'd love to have a bit part! ;->>

 

>     Liadain

>

> >    Stefan

 

Bet

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jan 1999 16:50:27 -0600

From: Roberta R Comstock <froggestow at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net> writes:

>Perhaps I'm not familar enough with herbalism or herbalists, but why

>do you say his hands were too well manicured for an herbalist? Because such

>a person would be of a lower class? Of course the monks were not

>selected from the lower classes and from what I've seen valued cleanliness.

 

>  Stefan

 

Manicure aside, his hands don't look like they have a history of doing

applied labor of any kind.  No calluses, no weathering. Both would be

evident  to some extent in the case of a former crusader/soldier and an

active gardener.  I am one who was not exactly thrilled with the casting

of Derek Jacoby as Cadfael.  Although he did pretty well with the role,

he just strikes me as being a little too urbanely polished and genteel.

 

My first choice would have been someone like my maternal Grandad - he was

a farmer for many years, strong, sensible, very gentle, kindly sense of

humor, but definitely weathered from all the time spent outdoors.

 

Or Leo McKern.  A  more earthy sort of person.

 

Hertha

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 00:17:05 +0000

From: "S.B. McDaniel" <fretknot at earthlink.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Cadfael - Costume Accuracy

 

I have read and adored the Cadfael mysteries for many years, and have

loved the series for the most part (I was also skeptical at first about

Sir Derek's casting in the lead role.)

 

I've been surprised, however, by the lack of criticism of the costuming

of the female characters. The men's clothing, though it looked odd to

me, is pretty good eastern european dress of the period.

(The series is filmed in Hungary, and so the costumer may be

Hungarian.)  I've been impressed by the footwear, especially.

 

The women, however, are generally decked out in someone's multi-eraed

fantasy.  The occasional ensemble is very close (usually an old woman or

servant), but the women have usually got bizarre modernish or Renn-or

even Victorian looking headdresses, combined with gowns that remind me

of 70s era loaner costumes.  This costumer has a particular fondness for

overly short 14th century toques combined with dark colored crepe veils

of odd shapes and lengths.

 

One of the worst examples was the performance getup in which the female

jongleur in Pilgrim of Hate was shown. A red 1940s movie gypsy thing

with bare arms and a strange padded-roll headdress.  This woman  wears a

muffler in other scenes which seems to be crocheted acrylic.

 

Any other comments?

 

Sandy

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 12:58:53 -0500

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

>Does anyone have any opinions on how accurate the items they represent

>were for the period? The clothing?, the carts, the pots etc? I liked

>the leather(?) outfit that the local Norman lord seemed to be wearing.

 

One minor thing I caught the other night was that Cadfael's workbench is at

least 400 years ahead of its time.  It has a tail vise on one end that I've

not seen illustrated or in artifacts prior to 1600.  It's a joiner's bench

they probably thought looked vaguely medieval because it was old and worn.

I get a bit annoyed by the "dark and worn out" school of medieval set

design.  Sure, there were antiques in the 12th century, but there was also

new furniture that looked like it was just built (because it was).  We've

also caught some anachronistic architecture, windows, etc.

 

But it's only TV.

 

Fin

--------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Rettie                                         tom at his.com

Heather Bryden                                 bryden at hers.com

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 13:15:44 -0500

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Questions on the Cadfael series

 

The historical books she wrote under her own name are even better, IMHO,

than the Cadfael series, and I enjoy the Cafaels a great deal.

 

The _Brothers of Gwenyd_ (sp?) Quartet tells of the last kings of Wales.  I

have read & re-read it.  _A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury_ was also quite

good.  (Try ILL for these, as they can be hard to obtain in the US.)

 

All of the Cadfael books are now in print in the US, thanks to the TV!

 

Lady Carllein

 

<the end>



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