An Adelina in the Domesday Book
Dear little Adelina Guinea Pig,
Reading this book about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings and the Bayeux Tapestry, and there you are! Here’s what the author, Andrew Bridgeford, says about you: “The Domesday Book of 1086…..reveals that a lady jongleur (or possibly the wife of a jongleur) called Adelina held land in Hampshire under the patronage of Roger of Montgomery, the Earl of Shrewsbury.” And there’s more: “The land of Adelina Joculatrix lay in Upper Catford.” I think I am going to start calling you Adelina Joculatrix of Catford.
Warning to Would-Be Historians
As I wrangled terse notes into artefact captions all week, I’ve been watching all my circas, date ranges and correct addresses. I am pretty fussy with my history. If a story has a few too many versions, my captions make much use of “alleged” and “said to be” and things like that. Plus, I like to be consistent (Canadian spelling, metric) and I like exactness (I look up everything on a map to make sure that when I say something is on Jardine Street, there is actually a Jardine Street).
In the evenings this week, I turned to a book I started reading last fall. The book is 1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry by Andrew Bridgeford. Tonight’s much appreciated passage is, examines the maybes of the Bishop Odo of Bayeux’s involvement with the tapestry:
In popular books, or where space precludes the usual caveats, the ‘probably’ and the ‘perhaps’ have been hardened into statements of fact.