Our speaker, Karen Bowman, brought along some unusual guests with her on Saturday. They dominated the room, beautifully attired in the fashions appropriate to their time in history. The 'guests' were mannequins that Karen uses to display the clothes worn by women from the middle ages, through Tudor, Georgian, Regency and Victorian periods. The costumes were very eye-
Karen had enjoyed writing from childhood and recalls gaining a brownie badge for her early efforts. She helped form a sub-
Karen was an extremely well prepared and interesting speaker and she was asked many questions after the break about her fascinating study. One member proudly announced that he too had once donned period costume, and appeared as an extra in the TV series, Downton Abbey!
"Karen has brought to life dozens of Essex women's lives from the past. Some of them are immortals, such as Queen Boudicea, whose statue stands outside the Houses of Parliament, the embodiment of the English fighting spirit. Others, such as the radical firebrand leader Anne Carter, executed for leading a Maldon riot in protest against poverty, were quite forgotten. Now, rediscovered by Karen, these extraordinary womenfolk finally get the credit they deserve." Tom King, Echo Newspapers
"It was perhaps inevitable that 'Essex Boys' would follow 'Essex Girls', it's been like that since time immemorial. The Normans liked to hunt in Essex and so did the Tudors, like Henry VII and Henry VIII, who also included a number of 'Essex Girls' in his 'sport'. Queen Victoria's lusty son Albert, who later became King Edward VII, pursued his Essex hunt at Easton Lodge for neigh on ten years.
This new book by Karen Bowman is a cornucopia of Essex talent, achievement, daring and criminality, including heroes like Byrhtnoth, high on courage but perhaps low on wisdom?” Robert Hallmann -
© Brentwood Writers' Circle, 2011 -
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