The Bedford Hours is a French late medieval book of hours. It dates to the early fifteenth century; the Duke and Duchess of Bedford gave the book to their nephew Henry VI in 1430. It is in the British Library, catalogued as Additional manuscripts 18850; the manuscript was produced over several stages, including new material, added as the manuscript passed from owner to owner. The origins of the manuscript are not known with certainty, nor is there agreement on its initial patron; the inclusion of certain heraldic symbols in its decorative programme may suggest an original patronage in the French royal family the dauphin, Louis of Guyenne. Or this first stage in production might have taken place after Louis's death, the heraldic symbols having no immediate reference to patronage, but being part of the standard iconographic programme of the workshop. In the early 1420s the manuscript was in the possession of John of Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford and regent of France on behalf of his nephew Henry VI from 1422 until his death in 1435.
In 1423 he gave the manuscript to his wife Anne of Burgundy as a wedding present. Personalizing additions to the manuscript's illumination that commemorate its ownership by the Duke and Duchess of Bedford include two large portrait miniatures, showing John kneeling before St George and Anne of Burgundy kneeling before St Anne. In 1430 Anne gave the manuscript as a Christmas present to the nine-year-old Henry VI, staying with the Bedfords in Rouen before his coronation as king of France; this gift was memorialized in the manuscript itself, on f. 256r, in an inscription made at the duke's request, written by John Somerset, Henry's tutor and personal physician. It is possible that it was in preparing the book as a gift to Henry that the portrait miniatures of the Bedfords were added, along with other additions to the programme of illumination. Owners include King Henry II of France and his wife Catherine de' Medici, Frances Worsley, wife of Sir Robert Worsley, 4th baronet of Appuldurcombe. Edward Harley purchased the manuscript from Frances Worsley, but he did not will it to his widow with the rest of the Harley collection, instead bequeathing it directly to his daughter, Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland, who sold it in 1786.
The manuscript was purchased by the British Museum in 1852, forms part of the British Library's collection of Additional manuscripts. The contents of the Bedford Hours can be divided into several major sections of content normal for a conventional book of hours, with the addition of three smaller sections of supplementary material miniatures; these contents are: Calendar: decorated with the Labours of the Months and the symbols of the Zodiac Genesis miniatures: includes full-page miniatures of the story of Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark and the Tower of Babel Gospel excerpts and prayers to the Virgin: includes large miniatures of the four Evangelists Hours of the Virgin: includes large miniatures of the Annunciation, Nativity, Annunciation to the shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Flight into Egypt, Death and Coronation of the Virgin. Penitential Psalms and Hours specific to the days of the week: includes large miniatures of David and Bathsheba, the Trinity, a performance of the Office of the Dead, the Coronation of the Virgin, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Virgin as the Virgin of Mercy Office of the Dead: introduced by a large miniature of the Last Judgement French prayers: includes large miniatures of the Madonna and Child and the Trinity Hours of the Passion: includes miniatures of the Agony in the Garden, the Arrest of Christ, Christ before Pilate, the Flagellation, Christ carrying the cross, the Crucifixion, the Deposition from the cross, the Entombment prayers and portraits of John, Duke of Bedford and his wife Anne, Duchess of Bedford: includes the inscription by John Somerset, recording the gift of the manuscript to Henry VI Suffrages to the saints, commemorations of saints, special masses full-page miniature depicting the legend of the Fleurs-de-lis and its presentation to King Clovis The programme of decoration in the Bedford Hours is an outstanding example of late medieval illumination.
The artists responsible for the manuscript have not been identified with certainty, but are collectively known as the "Bedford Workshop", the head artist is known as the "Bedford Master". The hands of the Bedford Master and the Bedford Workshop have been identified in other manuscripts from this period, including the Salisbury Breviary owned by the Duke of Bedford; the illumination of the Bedford Hours is related to that of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, illuminated by the Limbourg brothers. It is possible that some of the Bedford Hours miniatures were based on images in the Très Riches Heures. Other products of the Bedford Workshop include: the Lamoignon Hours: made c. 1420 and owned by Isabella of Brittany Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek cod. 1855: made c. 1422-1425 for Charles VII of France the Sobieski Hours: made c. 1420-1425 for Margaret of Burgundy, Dauphine of France, wife of
In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the Sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and decomposes before being born again. There are different traditions concerning the lifespan of the phoenix, but by most accounts the phoenix lived for 500 years before rebirth. Herodotus, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Lactantius and Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif. In ancient Greece and Rome, the phoenix was associated with Phoenicia, a civilization famous for its production of purple dye from conch shells. In the historical record, the phoenix "could symbolize renewal in general as well as the sun, the Empire, consecration, life in the heavenly Paradise, Mary, the exceptional man, certain aspects of Christian life".
The modern English noun phoenix derives from Middle English phenix, itself from Old English fēnix. A once-common typological variant is phœnix. Old English fēnix was borrowed from Medieval Latin phenix, derived from Classical Latin phoenīx; the Classical Latin phoenīx represents Greek φοῖνιξ phoinīx.. In ancient Greece and Rome, the phoenix was sometimes associated with the similar-sounding Phoenicia, a civilization famous for its production of purple dye from conch shells. A late antique etymology offered by the 6th- and 7th-century CE archbishop Isidore of Seville accordingly derives the name of the phoenix from its purple-red hue; because the costly purple dye was associated with the upper classes in antiquity and with royalty, in the medieval period the phoenix was considered "the royal bird". In spite of these folk etymologies, with the deciphering of the Linear B script in the 20th century, the original Greek φοῖνιξ was decisively shown to be derived from Mycenaean Greek po-ni-ke, itself open to a variety of interpretations.
Classical discourse on the subject of the phoenix points to a potential origin of the phoenix in Ancient Egypt. In the 19th century scholastic suspicions appeared to be confirmed by the discovery that Egyptians in Heliopolis had venerated the Bennu, a solar bird observed in some respects to be similar to the Greek phoenix. However, the Egyptian sources regarding the bennu are problematic and open to a variety of interpretations; some of these sources may have been influenced by Greek notions of the phoenix, rather than the other way around. Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BC, gives a somewhat skeptical account of the phoenix: have another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity in Egypt, only coming there once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies, its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow:– The plumage is red golden, while the general make and size are exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, there buries the body.
In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry. Such is the story; the phoenix is sometimes pictured in ancient and medieval literature and medieval art as endowed with a halo, which emphasizes the bird's connection with the Sun. In the oldest images of phoenixes on record these nimbuses have seven rays, like Helios. Pliny the Elder describes the bird as having a crest of feathers on its head, Ezekiel the Dramatist compared it to a rooster. Although the phoenix was believed to be colorful and vibrant, sources provide no clear consensus about its coloration. Tacitus says; some said that the bird had peacock-like coloring, Herodotus's claim of the Phoenix being red and yellow is popular in many versions of the story on record. Ezekiel the Dramatist declared that the phoenix had red legs and striking yellow eyes, but Lactantius said that its eyes were blue like sapphires and that its legs were covered in yellow-gold scales with rose-colored talons.
Herodotus, Pliny and Philostratus describe the phoenix as similar in size to an eagle, but Lactantius and Ezekiel the Dramatist both claim that the phoenix was larger, with Lactantius declaring that it was larger than an ostrich. The Old English Exeter Book contains an anonymous 677-line 9th-century alliterative poem consisting of a paraphrase and abbreviation of Lactantius, followed by an explication of the Phoenix as an allegory for the resurrection of Christ. Dante refers to the phoenix in Inferno Canto XXIV: In the play Henry VIII by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, the King says in Act V Scene v, in flattering reference to his young daughter Elizabeth: Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures; these analogues include the Hindu garuda and gandaberunda, the Russian firebir
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued. It is estimated to contain 150–200 million+ items from many countries; as a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport; the British Library is a major research library, with items in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, journals, magazines and music recordings, play-scripts, databases, stamps, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC. In addition to receiving a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, the Library has a programme for content acquisitions.
The Library adds some three million items every year occupying 9.6 kilometres of new shelf space. There is space in the library for over 1,200 readers. Prior to 1973, the Library was part of the British Museum; the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The Library is now located in a purpose-built building on the north side of Euston Road in St Pancras and has a document storage centre and reading room near Boston Spa, near Wetherby in West Yorkshire; the Euston Road building is classified as a Grade I listed building "of exceptional interest" for its architecture and history. The British Library was created on 1 July 1973 as a result of the British Library Act 1972. Prior to this, the national library was part of the British Museum, which provided the bulk of the holdings of the new library, alongside smaller organisations which were folded in.
In 1974 functions exercised by the Office for Scientific and Technical Information were taken over. In 1983, the Library absorbed the National Sound Archive, which holds many sound and video recordings, with over a million discs and thousands of tapes; the core of the Library's historical collections is based on a series of donations and acquisitions from the 18th century, known as the "foundation collections". These include the books and manuscripts of Sir Robert Cotton, Sir Hans Sloane, Robert Harley and the King's Library of King George III, as well as the Old Royal Library donated by King George II. For many years its collections were dispersed in various buildings around central London, in places such as Bloomsbury, Chancery Lane and Holborn, with an interlibrary lending centre at Boston Spa, 2.5 miles east of Wetherby in West Yorkshire, the newspaper library at Colindale, north-west London. Initial plans for the British Library required demolition of an integral part of Bloomsbury – a seven-acre swathe of streets in front of the Museum, so that the Library could be situated directly opposite.
After a long and hard-fought campaign led by Dr George Wagner, this decision was overturned and the library was instead constructed by John Laing plc on a site at Euston Road next to St Pancras railway station. From 1997 to 2009 the main collection was housed in this single new building and the collection of British and overseas newspapers was housed at Colindale. In July 2008 the Library announced that it would be moving low-use items to a new storage facility in Boston Spa in Yorkshire and that it planned to close the newspaper library at Colindale, ahead of a move to a similar facility on the same site. From January 2009 to April 2012 over 200 km of material was moved to the Additional Storage Building and is now delivered to British Library Reading Rooms in London on request by a daily shuttle service. Construction work on the Newspaper Storage Building was completed in 2013 and the newspaper library at Colindale closed on 8 November 2013; the collection has now been split between the St Pancras and Boston Spa sites.
The British Library Document Supply Service and the Library's Document Supply Collection is based on the same site in Boston Spa. Collections housed in Yorkshire, comprising low-use material and the newspaper and Document Supply collections, make up around 70% of the total material the library holds; the Library had a book storage depot in Woolwich, south-east London, no longer in use. The new library was designed specially for the purpose by the architect Colin St John Wilson in collaboration with his wife MJ Long, who came up with the plan, subsequently developed and built. Facing Euston Road is a large piazza that includes pieces of public art, such as large sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi and Antony Gormley, it is the largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. In the middle of the building is a six-storey glass tower inspired by a similar structure in the Beinecke Library, containing the King's Library with 65,000 printed volumes along with other pamphlets and maps collected by King George III between 1763 and 1820.
In December 2009 a new storage building at Boston Spa was opened by Rosie
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly
Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly was a French novelist and short story writer. He specialised in mystery tales that explored hidden motivation and hinted at evil without being explicitly concerned with anything supernatural, he had a decisive influence on writers such as Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Henry James, Leon Bloy, Marcel Proust. Jules-Amédée Barbey — the d'Aurevilly was a inheritance from a childless uncle — was born at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, Manche in Lower Normandy. In 1827 he went to the Collège Stanislas de Paris. After getting his baccalauréat in 1829, he went to Caen University to study law, taking his degree three years later; as a young man, he was a liberal and an atheist, his early writings present religion as something that meddles in human affairs only to complicate and pervert matters. In the early 1840s, however, he began to frequent the Catholic and legitimist salon of Baroness Amaury de Maistre, niece of Joseph de Maistre. In 1846 he converted to Roman Catholicism.
His greatest successes as a literary writer date from 1852 onwards, when he became an influential literary critic at the Bonapartist paper Le Pays, helping to rehabilitate Balzac and effectually promoting Stendhal and Baudelaire. Paul Bourget describes Barbey as an idealist, who sought and found in his work a refuge from the uncongenial ordinary world. Jules Lemaître, a less sympathetic critic, thought the extraordinary crimes of his heroes and heroines, his reactionary opinions, his dandyism and snobbery were a caricature of Byronism. Beloved of fin-de-siècle decadents, Barbey d'Aurevilly remains an example of the extremes of late romanticism. Barbey d'Aurevilly held strong Catholic opinions, yet wrote about risqué subjects, a contradiction more disturbing to the English than to the French themselves. Barbey d'Aurevilly was known for having constructed his own persona as a dandy, adopting an aristocratic style and hinting at a mysterious past, though his parentage was provincial bourgeois nobility, his youth comparatively uneventful.
Inspired by the character and ambience of Valognes, he set his works in the society of Normand aristocracy. Although he himself did not use the Norman patois, his example encouraged the revival of vernacular literature in his home region. Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly was buried in the cimetière de Montparnasse. During 1926 his remains were transferred to the churchyard in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, his complete works are published in two volumes of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. "Next to the wound, what women make best is the bandage." "The mortal envelope of the Middle Age has disappeared. Because the temporal disguise has fallen, the dupes of history and of its dates say that the Middle Age is dead. Does one die for changing his shirt?" "In France everybody is an aristocrat. The red cap of the Jacobins is the red heel of the aristocrats at the other extremity, but it is the same distinctive sign. Only, as they hated each other, Jacobinism placed on its head what aristocracy placed under its foot."
"In the matter of literary form it is the thing poured in the vase which makes the beauty of the vase, otherwise there is nothing more than a vessel." "Books must be set against books, as poisons against poisons." "When superior men are mistaken they are superior in that as in all else. They see more falsely than small or mediocre minds." "The Orient and Greece recall to my mind the saying, so colored and melancholic, of Richter:'Blue is the color of mourning in the Orient. That is why the sky of Greece is so beautiful'." "Men give their measure by their admiration, it is by their judgments that one may judge them." "The most beautiful destiny: to have genius and be obscure." Charles Baudelaire Joris-Karl Huysmans Works by Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly at Project Gutenberg Works by Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly at LibriVox Works by or about Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly at Internet Archive Works by Barbey d'Aurevilly, at Hathi Trust Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly: Encyclopædia Britannica Jules-Amédée Barbey d’Aurevilly: Encyclopédie de L'Agora Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Barbey d'Aurevilly, Jules Amédée". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Battle for Caen
The Battle for Caen is the name for the fighting between the British Second Army and German Panzergruppe West in the Second World War for control of the city of Caen and vicinity, during the Battle of Normandy. The battles followed Operation Neptune, the Allied landings on the French coast on 6 June 1944. Caen is about 9 mi inland from the Calvados coast and is astride the Orne River and Caen Canal at the junction of several roads and railways, the Orne and Odon rivers and the Odon canal, which made it an important operational objective for both sides. Caen and the area to the south was flatter and more open than the bocage country in western Normandy and the Allied air force commanders wanted the land captured to base more aircraft in France; the British 3rd Infantry Division was to seize Caen on D-Day or to dig in short of the city if the Germans prevented its capture, masking Caen temporarily to maintain the Allied threat against it and thwart the possibility of a German counter-attack from the city.
Caen and Carentan were not captured by the Allies on D-Day and for the first week of the invasion the Allies concentrated on linking the beachheads. The Anglo-Canadians resumed their attacks in the vicinity of Caen and the suburbs and city centre north of the Orne were captured during Operation Charnwood; the Caen suburbs south of the river were captured by the II Canadian Corps during Operation Atlantic. The Germans had committed most of their panzer divisions in a determined defence of Caen, which made the fighting mutually costly and deprived the Germans of the means to reinforce the west end of the invasion front. In western Normandy, the US First Army cut off the Cotentin Peninsula, captured Cherbourg and attacked southwards towards Saint-Lô, about 37 mi west of Caen, capturing the town on 19 July. On 25 July after a weather delay, the First Army began Operation Cobra on the Saint-Lô–Périers road, coordinated with the Canadian Operation Spring at Verrières ridge to the south of Caen. Cobra began a collapse of the German position in Normandy.
The city of Caen was destroyed by Allied bombing which, with the damage from ground combat, caused many French civilian casualties. After the battle little of the pre-war city remained and reconstruction of the city lasted until 1962. Britain had declared war in 1939 to maintain the balance of power in Europe. British post-war influence would be limited but by playing a full part in the overthrow of Germany and the Nazi regime, the 21st Army Group would remain a factor in the post-war settlement, provided that it had not been destroyed in the process; the British economy had been mobilised for war since 1942, when a severe manpower shortage had begun in the army. By avoiding casualties, the effectiveness of the army would be protected, morale among the survivors would be maintained and the army would still be of considerable size once Germany was defeated. At the reopening of the Western Front in 1944, the 21st Army Group would be constrained by a lack of reinforcements, which would add to the burden of maintaining morale.
Many British and Canadian commanders had fought as junior officers on the Western Front in the First World War and believed that an operational approach based on technology and firepower could avoid another long drawn-out bloodbath. Great care would have to be taken by the British commanders because the German army in Normandy could be expected to confront novice Anglo-Canadian formations and leaders with several veteran divisions and many experienced commanders. Intelligence gained from reading German wireless messages coded by Enigma cipher machines was codenamed Ultra by the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in England. German measures to repel an invasion and the success of Allied deception measures could be gauged by reference to Ultra and other sources of intelligence. In March 1944, decrypts showed. On 5 March, the Kriegsmarine thought that up to six divisions would invade Norway and Fremde Heere West, the intelligence department of Oberkommando des Heeres that studied the Allied order of battle put the danger zone between the Pas de Calais and the Loire valley.
Rundstedt forecast a 20-division invasion in early May between Boulogne and Normandy but identified the concentration area between Southampton and Portsmouth. Anti-invasion practices were conducted from Bruges to the Loire and one scheme assumed an invasion 50 km wide from Ouistreham to Isigny. On 6 December 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed Supreme Allied Commander Allied Expeditionary Force; the invasion was to be conducted by the 21st Army Group, which would command all Allied troops in France until Eisenhower established his ground forces HQ in France. Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander and his staff had been preparing invasion plans since May 1943. Montgomery studied the COSSAC plan and at a conference on 21 January 1944, advocated a landing on a w
Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It lies north of Saint-Malo and to the west of Jersey and the Cotentin Peninsula. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency; the jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands, many small islets and rocks. The jurisdiction is not part of the United Kingdom, although defence and most foreign relations are handled by the British Government; the entire jurisdiction lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Islands and the Republic of Ireland, although it is not a member of the European Union, it does have a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community with access to the single market for the purposes of the free trade in goods. Taken together with the separate jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey; the two Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey together form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.
The name "Guernsey", as well as that of neighbouring "Jersey", is of Old Norse origin. The second element of each word, "-ey", is the Old Norse for "island", while the original root, "guern", is of uncertain origin and meaning deriving from either a personal name such as Grani or Warinn, or from gron, meaning pine tree. Previous names for the Channel Islands vary over history, but include the Lenur islands, Sarnia, Sarnia is the Latin name for Guernsey, or Lisia and Angia. Around 6000 BC, rising seas created the English Channel and separated the Norman promontories that became the bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey from continental Europe. Neolithic farmers settled on its coast and built the dolmens and menhirs found in the islands today, providing evidence of human presence dating back to around 5000 BC. Evidence of Roman settlements on the island, the discovery of amphorae from the Herculaneum area and Spain, show evidence of an intricate trading network with regional and long distance trade.
Buildings found in La Plaiderie, St Peter Port dating from 100–400 AD appear to be warehouses. The earliest evidence of shipping was the discovery of a wreck in St Peter Port harbor of a ship, named "Asterix", it is thought to be a 3rd-century Roman cargo vessel and was at anchor or grounded when the fire broke out. Travelling from the Kingdom of Gwent, Saint Sampson the abbot of Dol in Brittany, is credited with the introduction of Christianity to Guernsey. In 933, the Cotentin Peninsula including Avranchin which included the islands, were placed by the French King Ranulf under the control of William I; the island of Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Duchy of Normandy. In 1204, when King John lost the continental portion of the Duchy to Philip II of France, the islands remained part of the kingdom of England; the islands were recognised by the 1259 Treaty of Paris as part of Henry III's territories. During the Middle Ages, the island was a haven for pirates that would use the "lamping technique" to ground ships close to her waters.
This intensified during the Hundred Years War, starting in 1339, the island was occupied by the Capetians on several occasions. The Guernsey Militia was first mentioned as operational in 1331 and would help defend the island for a further 600 years. In 1372, the island was invaded by Aragonese mercenaries under the command of Owain Lawgoch, in the pay of the French king. Owain and his dark-haired mercenaries were absorbed into Guernsey legend as invading fairies from across the sea; as part of the peace between England and France, Pope Sixtus IV issued in 1483 a Papal bull granting the Privilege of Neutrality, by which the Islands, their harbours and seas, as far as the eye can see, were considered neutral territory. Anyone molesting Islanders would be excommunicated. A Royal Charter in 1548 confirmed the neutrality; the French attempted to invade Jersey a year in 1549 but were defeated by the militia. The neutrality lasted another century, until William III of England abolished the privilege due to privateering activity against Dutch ships.
In the mid-16th century, the island was influenced by Calvinist reformers from Normandy. During the Marian persecutions, three women, the Guernsey Martyrs, were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs, along with the infant son of one of the women; the burning of the infant was ordered by Bailiff Hellier Gosselin, with the advice of priests nearby who said the boy should burn due to having inherited moral stain from his mother. On Hellier Gosselin fled the island to escape widespread outrage. During the English Civil War, Guernsey sided with the Parliamentarians; the allegiance was not total, however. In December 1651, with full honours of war, Castle Cornet surrendered – the last Royalist outpost anywhere in the British Isles to surrender. Wars against France and Spain during the 17th and 18th centuries gave Guernsey shipowners and sea captains the opportunity to exploit the island's proximity to mainland Europe by applying for letters of marque and turning their merchantmen into privateers.
By the beginning of the 18th century, Guernsey's residents were starting to settle in North America, in particular founding Guernsey County in Ohio in 1810. The threat of invasion by Napoleon prompted many defensive structures to be built at the end of that century; the early 19th century saw a dramatic increase in the prosperity of the island, due to
Charles VII of France
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461, the fifth from the House of Valois. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, Charles VII inherited the throne of France under desperate circumstances. Forces of the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Burgundy occupied Guyenne and northern France, including Paris, the most populous city, Reims, the city in which the French kings were traditionally crowned. In addition, his father Charles VI had disinherited him in 1420 and recognized Henry V of England and his heirs as the legitimate successors to the French crown instead. At the same time, a civil war raged in France between the Burgundian party. With his court removed to Bourges, south of the Loire River, Charles was disparagingly called the “King of Bourges”, because the area around this city was one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France.
Joan of Arc and other charismatic figures led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans, as well as other strategic cities on the Loire river, to crush the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims switched allegiance and opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral; this long-awaited event boosted French morale. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais; the last years of Charles VII were marked by conflicts with his turbulent son, the future Louis XI of France. Born at the Hôtel Saint-Pol, the royal residence in Paris, Charles was given the title of comte de Ponthieu at his birth in 1403, he was the eleventh child and fifth son of Charles VI of Isabeau of Bavaria. His four elder brothers, Charles and John had each held the title of Dauphin of France in turn. All died childless. After his accession to the title of Dauphin, Charles had to face threats to his inheritance, he was forced to flee from Paris on 29 May 1418 after the partisans of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, had entered the city the previous night.
By 1419, Charles had established a Parlement in Poitiers. On 11 July of that same year and John the Fearless attempted a reconciliation by signing, on a small bridge near Pouilly-le-Fort, not far from Melun where Charles was staying, the Treaty of Pouilly-le-Fort known under name of Paix du Ponceau, they decided that a further meeting should take place the following 10 September. On that date, they met on the bridge at Montereau; the Duke assumed that the meeting would be peaceful and diplomatic, thus he brought only a small escort with him. The Dauphin's men reacted to the Duke's arrival by killing him. Charles' level of involvement has remained uncertain to this day. Although he claimed to have been unaware of his men's intentions, this was considered unlikely by those who heard of the murder; the assassination marked the end of any attempt of a reconciliation between the two factions Armagnacs and Burgundians, thus playing into the hands of Henry V of England. Charles was required by a treaty with Philip the Good, the son of John the Fearless, to pay penance for the murder, which he never did.
At the death of his father, Charles VI, the succession was cast into doubt. The Treaty of Troyes, signed by Charles VI in 1420, mandated that the throne pass to the infant King Henry VI of England, the son of the deceased Henry V and Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI. For those who did not recognize the treaty and believed the Dauphin Charles to be of legitimate birth, he was considered to be the rightful heir to the throne. For those who did not recognize his legitimacy, the rightful heir was recognized as Charles, Duke of Orléans, cousin of the Dauphin, in English captivity. Only the supporters of Henry VI and the Dauphin Charles were able to enlist sufficient military force to press for their candidates; the English in control of northern France, were able to enforce the claim of their king in the regions of France that they occupied. Northern France, including Paris, was thus ruled by an English regent, Henry V's brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, based in Normandy.
In his adolescent years, Charles was noted for his flamboyant style of leadership. At one point after becoming Dauphin, he led an army against the English dressed in the red and blue that represented his family. However, in July 1421, upon learning that Henry V was preparing from Mantes to attack with a much larger army, he withdrew from the siege of Chartres in order to avoid defeat, he went south of the Loire River under the protection of Yolande of Aragon, known as "Queen of the Four Kingdoms" and, on 22 April 1422, married her daughter, Marie of Anjou, to whom he had been engaged since December 1413 in a ceremony at the Louvre Palace. Charles, claimed the title King of Franc