Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 8-9 April – Chapter 30

Photo by David White on Unsplash

Well, friends, we’re picking up the Real-Time Reading again…. right at about the point where life (and Shadow of Night) defeated me in 2019. In 2020, returning to the RTR provides a bit of distraction and interest in a world gone decidedly pear-shaped. I hope you’re all safe, sound, and taking care of one another — we’re all in this thing together.

So let’s get to it. We return to find Matthew and Diana in Prague, playing a dangerous game with the slimy, suspicious Emperor Rudolf and exploring the wonders of the sixteenth century.

“Master Habermel stopped by. Your compendium is on the table.” Matthew didn’t look up from the plans to Prague Castle that he’d somehow procured from the emperor’s architects.

Astronomical compendia like the one Master Habermel were prized scientific and artistic objects in the sixteenth century. Assuming one had a working knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, astrology, and geography, the owner of a compendium could “plan journeys, predict the time of the sunset . . . make astrological predictions, [and] measure the heights of the stars and constellations.” The one pictured here, made by Christopher Shissler in 1561, belongs to the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Aside from their practical use, compendia like Diana’s were made for display by wealthy scientific patrons and leaders to show their mastery of the natural world and their high social status.

On Deb’s Pinterest board, she links to this specimen (made by Habermel, himself!) housed at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. The Habermel model is fashioned more like a book and has space for leaves of paper or other tablets to be stored or carried inside. This example has a highly-decorated drum on the exterior and a lovely inscribed sundial on top. I always imagined Diana’s compendium to be of the round, highly-decorated type with swinging arms, but I like the idea of the notebook style, too.

“These particular salamanders were a gift from the king when I returned to France late in 1541. King Francis chose the salamander in flames for his emblem, and his motto was, ‘I nourish and extinguish.'”

François Ier Louvre.jpg
Francis I of France

Francis I ruled from 1515 until his death in 1547. As a patron of the arts, he’s the reason the Louvre houses the painting Mona Lisahe invited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and the artist brought the painting along. This period at the court of Francis I appears to the the inspiration for the 1998 film Ever After, a modern adaptation of the Cinderella story starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Houston, Dougray Scott (where did he go, anyway?), and Jeanne Moreau.

Anyways. Francis I did, in fact, choose the salamander, a fabulous animal in the medieval bestiary, as his personal emblem. Francis’s salamander, pictured below, sported a large crown and is often depicted either “spitting out water to extinguish flames” or “swallowing flames to feed itself with good fire.”

Symbols and Emblems of the French Monarchy in 16th Century France ...
Emblem of Francis I

According to Wired.com, Pliny the Elder perpetuated the myth that salamanders could survive flames (they can’t). St. Augustine believed that the salamander was a symbol of the soul’s resistance to the fires of Hell. The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy notes that, in alchemy, the salamander was a symbol of the prima materia and provides the following verse about our slippery little lizard friends:

Ruby Salamander Brooch (Reproduction), based on the wreck of the Girona

[The Salamander] is caught and pierced

So that it dies and yields up its life with its blood.

But this, too, happens for its good;

For from its blood it wins immortal life.

And then death has no more power over it.

“In spite of her name, Diana doesn’t like hunting. But it’s no matter. I will fly the merlin,” Matthew said.

The merlin is a member of the family Falconidae sometimes called a “pigeon hawk.” They’re small — their average wingspan is 2′-2’3″ as opposed to say, a peregrine falcon, which has an average wingspan of 3’3″-3’6″. Just as Emperor Rudolf notes, the merlin was a ladies’ bird in medieval falconry; Catherine the Great of Russia and Mary, Queen of Scots, reportedly flew merlins as their hunting birds of choice. There are merlins in the wild in Europe, Asia, and North America — you can learn about how to identify them (and tell them apart from kestrels) here.

There’s a very informative video of hunting using merlins below:

The bird pictured in the video is a mature female, very similar to our Šárka in Shadow of Night.

“Her name is Šárka,” the gamekeeper whispered with a smile.

“Is she as clever as her namesake?” Matthew asked him.

“More so,” the old man answered with a grin.

The legend of Šárka comes from “The Maidens War,” a tale from Bohemia about the uprising of a group of female warriors against men. According to Wikipedia, it first appears in the twelfth century Chronica Boëmorum. In the legend, Šárka tricks an army of men guarding the tomb of the great queen Libuše by tempting them to drink mead laced with a sleeping potion. Šárka calls her female warriors to the tomb once the men have fallen asleep and together, they slaughter the leader Ctirad and his troops. There are several versions of the myth, including an operatic version where Šárka falls in love with Ctirad, goes through with killing him, then throws herself off a cliff out of remorse. While you contemplate this tale, please enjoy Czech composer Bedřich Smetana‘s symphonic poem, Šárka:

We’ll pick up the Real-Time Reading of Shadow of Night again on April 10, when Matthew and Diana stage the legend of Diana and Endymion and retrieve Ashmole 782 from Rudolf’s palace.

In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or you can e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com.

xoxox

Jen and Cait

Podcast

Episode 72 – The Spreadsheet Olympics

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, Clovers.

At long last, you have the nerd-a-riffic, highly specific content you’ve been waiting for — the whole All Souls Trilogy plot shebang in one spreadsheet. It was a (very colorful, slightly stressful) labor of love, but it definitely puts things in a whole new perspective. You can download the PDF version of the slides here:

This episode wraps our wraps, closes all the books, answers all the questions — well, at least most of them. We’re talking about trilogy structure, strong plotting choices, sneaky plotting choices, a little bit of time travel, and all our favorite things about the All Souls Trilogy. You don’t want to miss it.

Download the episode here.

If you’re interested in our other trilogy wrap episodes, you can check out Episode 70: The List on the Seat of Our Pants or Episode 71: The Narrative Ish. Our book-level wrap episodes are here.

Until we start Time’s Convert in April or so, you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Redbubble, and Patreon. You can always e-mail us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com.

Thanks for the journey, y’all. It’s been amazing.

xoxo

Cait and Jen

Podcast

Episode 71 – The Narrative Ish

Photo by Farzad Mohsenvand on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, loves.

We promise — the plot and time travel discussion is coming — we’re just chickens. Procrastinating chickens. This week, we’re talking about all the themes covered by the All Souls Trilogy — identity, family, love and trauma, redemption, the meaning of the epigraph, and on and on. While wrapping our brains around these huge topics, we’re also talking about redeeming antagonists, the price of responsibility, divinity, cosmic duologies, and even a little tiny bit of time travel. It’s a big, meaty episode, so dig in and let us know what you think by shooting us a message on Twitter, sending us an e-mail, or by joining our discussion group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers on Facebook.

Download the episode here.





If you haven’t already, please leave us a rating or review on the podcast application of your choice! You can also support us via Patreon or by purchasing some C&C swag on Redbubble.

Keep your eyes peeled for our Time’s Convert reading schedule on Twitter and Facebook. Also, MARK YOUR CALENDARS for All Souls Con this October in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Next time, we PLOT.

xoxox

Cait and Jen

Podcast

Episode 70 – The List on the Seat of Our Pants, or, Our First Attempt to Talk About A Trilogy

Clovers,

How does one wrap up a trilogy? How does one pick up all of the threads of plot and character and all of the questions we asked in the dozens of episodes we asked in between the first cover and the last? You try your damned best and see what shakes out at the end. We made a list and we tried to follow it, y’all.

In this episode, we’re talking about character arcs, genre, antagonists, narration, fated mates, patriarchy, and women in fiction as they apply to the entire trilogy…. and we’re just getting started. Next time, it’s themes and motifs and maybe some time travel and… well, we’ll see how far we get.

Download the episode here.

Thank you SO much to all of you who participated in our giveaway with the All Souls Discussion Group! We’re so glad you enjoyed the prizes and can’t wait to collaborate with Deb’s team again, soon. If you have a minute, we’d love if you review us on iTunes or Google Play or Facebook or the pod-gatherer of your choice. You can also follow us on Twitter, become a member of our Facebook group, support us on Patreon, or buy our merch on Redbubble. If we’re not to your taste, we hope you’ll check out our friends Daemons Discuss, the All Souls Witchy Women, and the All Souls Pod!

Thanks for all that you do to keep us going. We love you!

xox

Cait and Jen

Uncategorized

The Great Wrap-Up

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Clovers and friends!

Starting this afternoon, we’ll begin recording our final two wrap episodes for the All Souls Trilogy — all three books, all at once. It’s going to be a blast.

In preparing for this episode, we’ve gone back into the vault and listened to our wrap episodes from A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and the Book of Life in order to tease out trilogy-wide themes, plots, character arcs, and motifs. While listening to the back catalogue, I realized it might be helpful for y’all to have all of our wrap episodes listed in one place. Accordingly, here’s a quick guide to our wrap episodes:

Episode 18: Cait and Jen and the Time Nautilus – A Discovery of Witches Wrap Episode 1. Time travel! Plot structure! Download the episode here.

Episode 19: Tweedy Malevolence – A Discovery of Witches Wrap Episode 2. Character arcs! Antagonists! Listener feedback! Download the episode here.

Episode 42: I Made Slides – Shadow of Night Wrap Episode 1. Otherwise known as Cait Fell Down a Powerpoint Hole and Shadow of Night Has Lots of Plots. Download the episode here.

Episode 45: This Diagram Is Not To Scale – Shadow of Night Wrap Episode 2. Time travel, character development, themes, and the not-so-subtle feeling that the universe is too large for our brains. Download the episode here.

Episode 68: Plotschund – Book of Life Wrap Episode 1. The Return of the Powerpoint. Download the episode here.

Episode 69: Segway Away – Book of Life Episode 2. Character arcs and themes and motifs and thoughts on how to land the ending of a trilogy. Download the episode here.

We are so excited to start talking about the trilogy as a whole and we hope you’ll join us. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more prizes and fun from the All Souls Discussion Group during the A Discovery of Witches TV 2020 Winter Watch! As always, you can find us on Facebook in the Chamomile & Clove Clovers group and on Twitter as @chamomilenclove. If you’re so inclined, you can check out our merchandise on Redbubble or become a member of our Patreon.

As always, please feel free to show us a bit of love on the podcasting app or review site of your choice. It helps other people find us and makes our day. We’re so lucky to have you!

See you Sunday!

Love,

Cait