Monday, 20 March 2000

Elton’s Tudors

Listening to:

Beethoven, piano sonata No. 28 in A, opus 101. I was listening to something else before, honest! Alfred Brendel is a star.

Still reading:

Elton on those dang Tudors. Didn’t get as much read this weekend, but I managed to get through the description of 16th century inflation, and onto preliminaries about the reign of Elizabeth I.

(Incidentally, her perhaps not so direct descendent, Elizabeth II is currently touring Australia. Not so long ago, the Australians voted to retain her as head of state. The Republican movement made a pig's ear of the campaign, not seeming to pay enough attention to the distrust felt for politicians, and then backing a scheme which would have politicians elect a President, rather than letting the general public do it directly, as happens in Eire (Republic of Ireland) for example.)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing ever more about Elizabeth. I think the general theme of the period is the gradual construction of a state independent of the person of the Monarch. For all that Henry VIII was a powerful individual simply as monarch, his reforms, in conjunction with other factors, ended up strengthening the power of Parliament. All this then came to a head in the Civil War of the next century. It’s fascinating stuff.

Had our oven fixed this morning. It meant a late start to the day, but HeatComplete (hate their web-site) did their bit, and I think it was probably worth it.