18 May, 2006

Empress Maud speaks

Alianore tagged me for the historical personages meme. Normally I decline memes because I can never think of anything intelligent to say, but as this one isn't about me but is about someone more interesting, I'll have a go at playing along. Gabriele has a list of the other entries.

I am: Empress Maud (or Matilda), daughter of King Henry I of England, wife first to Emperor Henry V of Germany and then to Count Geoffrey of Anjou, mother of King Henry II of England.

I want: to be Queen of England. It's my right. I'm my father's only surviving child. So what if I'm not a man?

I wish: my brother William hadn't drowned on the White Ship. Or that Cousin Stephen had. He nearly embarked on it, you know, but changed his mind at the last moment. Typical! He always was a weathervane.

I hate: Cousin Stephen for usurping my throne. My father for marrying me to Geoffrey of Anjou - I ask you, is a Count a fair exchange for an Emperor? The Archbishop of Canterbury for crowning Cousin Stephen and telling all the barons they needn't keep their oaths of fealty to me. Those uppity Londoners for chasing me out of the city - what were they complaining about? I only demanded they pay extra taxes!

I miss: being Empress of Germany. Queen of England would do as a consolation prize, though.

I fear: people will muddle me up with Cousin Stephen's oh-so-virtuous wife Matilda of Boulogne and imagine that I was in love with that weathervane.

I hear: that Son Henry is having trouble with his new Archbishop of Canterbury. I told him not to appoint Thomas Becket, but would he listen?

I wonder: was there a way to win?

I regret: letting my faithful half-brother Robert of Gloucester cover my retreat. Everything went to hell in a handcart after he was captured.

I am not: Queen of England, more's the pity.

I danced: when we captured Cousin Stephen.

I sing: mostly hymns, these days.

I cry: with frustration.

I am not always: as hard as people think me.

I made: two daring escapes, from Devizes disguised as a corpse and from Oxford in a snowstorm. Cousin Stephen never did anything half so brave or exciting.

I write: reams of good advice to Son Henry. Who ignores it, of course.

I confuse: what I have the right to with what I can get.

I need: tact, but it's too late for that now.

I should: be Queen of England. Have I mentioned that?

I start: quarrels.

I finish: still an appendage to a royal Henry, as I have been all my life. Will anyone remember me for myself?

I tag: anyone who passes by and wants to play along.


Bernita said...

Well done, Carla.

Carla said...

Thank you, Bernita. I've never done one of these before. I didn't formally tag you, but would you care to play? If you don't want to do Hugh or Roger de Conyers, I'm sure the Sockburn Worm would make an fascinating addition to the collection :-)

Gabriele Campbell said...

Interesting meme, Carla. Thanks for playing along.

One can actually learn a few things from the fun.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Enjoyed your take on the Empress, Carla.
This historical meme thing is rather entertaining. From a novelist's point of view. I think it's really good way of developing characters - be they real or imaginary. I am going to have to write some for characters in my current work in progress and see what turns up!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.
Don't think either Roger de Conyers or even Rannulf le Flambard are significant enough to qualify.
The Worm, now, I would have to think about.

Carla said...

Elizabeth - someone else commented on the value as a characterisation tool on one of the other entries (I can't remember which). You certainly have to think quite hard about the character and 'know' them quite well to do one of these. I'm sure there would be plenty of interest in other characters!

Bernita - I don't think there are any rules as such about who's significant enough to qualify, so you could pick whoever (or whatever in the case of the Worm) you think would be most fun.

Bernita said...

On your head, Carla.