Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Monday, September 8, 2008

Two items on two of (my writing) fronts!

I got a good "double whammy" today. One is from Elizabeth Chadwick, one of my favorite writers, whose own work has helped me gain the courage to write my own Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece. But there's another part --- the "With Neandertals" part. And that's where the "double whammy" comes in. Because it now seems, according to a study published in a prestigious journal today, Neandertal brains(or at least their heads), grew pretty much the same way ours did and do. Which suggests a similar growth rate pattern, and not a "primitive" one at all.

This is important, because one of the salient themes --- though implied --- is that the "moderns" of the medieval time period in which theNow Neandertals end up operation, don't really "recognize" most of the differences between Neandertals and ourselves, that seem so "obvious" to people nowadays. They do recognize that there's something "different" about them, but it's not what many people nowadays would think it is, and they interpret that quite, well, differently. The "brain study" only reinforces my own beliefs that, whatever differences between "them", and "us" there were, they were actually rather subtle, and may or may not have contributed to their eventual demise(bear in mind that there were never very many of them to betin with).

Now, to Elizabeth Chadwick: She's apparently writing abook about Mahelt Marshal, the daughter of the much more famous William Marshal. Interesting project, that, since she admits that almost nothing is known about her, other than that she was Marshal of England for a while --- in the later 13th century! MosMipeople think that the Middle Ages was "a man's world", with knights riding off to do whatever they did and fair ladies just waiting around. . . .well it was "a man's world" in some ways, but that doesn't mean the fair ladies just waited around. They could be, and sometimes were, just as active in their own way, as their men. Of course, women didn't have the choices women do today, but heck, most men didn't have all that much choice either, at least not in the 13th century. Life tended to follow expected patterns, and most people "complied", at least to the extent that they had to: they followed in the footsteps of whatever status their parents had, they got married and had children, inherited lands if they were of the nobility, But even here, some men and women made their mark. William Marshal certainly did, and benefited. So, apparently --- at least according to Elizabeth Chadwick, did some women. I am really looking forward to seeing what she does with Mahelt Marshal. I'd really like to see her write more about strong women in a historical context. And maybe my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals will complement her efforts in various ways!
Anne G

No comments: