Podcast

Episode 74 – Morality Snag

Happy Sunday, Clovers!

Wherever you are in the world, we hope it’s a peaceful, quiet day and that you’re safe and healthy and making the best of things. Today’s episode covers Chapters 7, 10, and 13 of Time’s Convert and Phoebe Taylor’s first few days as a vampire (and as Miriam’s daughter!). Join us for a discussion of maturity, privilege, morality, and more as we see what life is like on the other side of rebirth.

Download the episode here.

You can keep in touch with us by following us on Twitter, e-mailing us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com, joining our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or by finding us on Instagram. We’re so excited to keep discussing Time’s Convert and what’s next for the world of All Souls and hope to see you soon.

Take care of each other,

xoxo

Cait and Jen

Podcast

Episode 73 – Muppet Mitmore

Photo by Valerie Blanchett on Unsplash

You guys! We’re back!

Thanks for giving us a little bit of a break to decide how we’re going to process Time’s Convert — it’s a very different book from the All Souls Trilogy, so we decided to approach it in a non-linear (but highly sensical!) way. Today, we’re starting strong with Chapters 1, 2, and 4 — we’ve got a VERY AWKWARD dinner party to attend before we turn Phoebe into a vampire and begin her afterlife. You can dive into the new story (and join us on #TeamFreyja) at the link below.

Download the episode here.

Between now and our next episode, you can find us at chamomileandclovecast@gmail.com, in our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, or on Twitter @chamomilenclove. You can also support us on Patreon or purchase merchandise on Redbubble.

We love you, we hope you’re safe, and we’ll see you next time.

xoxo

Cait and Jen

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – 10-30 April – Chapter 32

Photo by Dom . on Unsplash

In today’s Real-Time Reading, we’re getting the eff out of Prague — and with good reason. The timing of these chapters is a bit curious, as we’re supposed to have Rudolf’s musical fiasco on 10 April and escape Prague on Walpurgis Night, which takes place on 30 April. I note this only because I’m unclear on when to publish this segment in our RTR journey — but we’re going to roll with it. It’s also possible that we’re playing with our funky 16th century European calendars again, so it probably all makes sense somewhere. Onward — to bonfires and vegetable portraits!

“The humans’ Dracula–the Dragon’s son known as the Impaler–was only one of Vlad’s brood,” Matthew explained.

“The Impaler was a nasty bastard. Happily, he’s dead now, and all we have to worry about are his father, his brothers, and their Bathory allies.” Gallowglass looked somewhat cheered.

Vlad III, Dracula, the Impaler, was Voivode of Wallachia between 1448 and his death. He reportedly earned his name because impaling was his favorite method of execution. Reportedly, he impaled monks to “assist” them in reaching heaven.

There’s plenty of speculation about how Vlad III earned his bloodthirsty reputation, including the claim that he was educated–but also tortured–while held captive by the Ottomans as a young man. He apparently consolidated power in Wallachia by inviting all of his rivals and vassals to a banquet… where he murdered and impaled all of them. He was also famous for nailing the hats of Ottoman diplomats to their heads and sending people with contagious diseases (plague, leprosy) to mingle with Ottoman armies as a form of biological warfare.

Vlad III took the surname “Dracul” from his father, who adopted it after his induction into the Order of the Dragon. “Dracul” likely became “Dracula,” the vampire, when Bram Stoker learned that, in the Wallachian dialect, “dracula” means devil.

Báthory, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bathory

As for Elizabeth Bathory, she’s a whole other kettle of fish — the world’s most prolific female murderer, accused of murdering some 650 young women between 1590-1610. There is a myth about her that claims she bathed in the blood of virgins to maintain her youth, but there appears to be a debate about whether she actually did such things or whether the story grew out of the evidence of tortured and mutilated women found at Bathory’s castle prior to the trial of her servants. Despite the remaining documents from the trial in 1611, modern scholarship questions whether Bathory actually committed the crimes attributed to her or whether the whole blood-bathing, murdery business was slander aimed at appropriating her territory. I’d rather not know.

If you wanted to, you could take a tour following the life of the “Blood Countess” in Slovakia. Tell me about it afterwards; I’ll wait right here.

“I want us all as far from Prague as possible by the time the sun rises,” Matthew said grimly. “Something is very wrong. I can smell it.”

“That may not be such a good idea. Do you not know what night it is?” Gallowglass asked. Matthew shook his head. “Walpurgisnacht. They are lighting bonfires all around the city and burning effigies of witches — unless they can find a real one, of course.”

The Czech festival of Čarodějnice, or Walpurgis night, uses effigies of the pagan goddess Morana to show that the people are sick of winter and ready for spring. Celebrants make witch figures, burn them, and spread the ashes over bodies of water… unless, as Gallowglass notes, the celebrants of certain centuries found an actual human to burn.

According to the video below (filmed, delightfully, in Czech!), celebrating Walpurgis Night involves building large bonfires, shooting rifles and cracking whips to scare off evil spirits, and ritualistically throwing torches over large fires to symbolize the evil spirits warded off by holy fire. There’s also some business about cherry trees and kissing and fertility that seems intriguing.

As many of you likely know, May 1 is sacred and celebrated in many cultures. In the Celtic tradition, May 1 is Beltane, a festival that celebrates the return of the summer (and the fertile seasons) with bonfires. Like Walpurgis Night, Beltane marks the turn of the seasons and the cleansing power of fire to bless crops and livestock, ward off evil, and its reminder of the long, warm days to come in summer.

“Matthew’s father beat him with a sword once. I saw it.” The firedrake’s wings fluttered softly within my rib cage in silent agreement. “Then he knocked him over and stood on him.”

“He must be as big as the emperor’s bear Sixtus,” Jack said, awed at the thought of anyone conquering Matthew.

It’s hard, in the age of the terribly-disturbing Tiger King, to imagine Rudolf II as anything other than a very strange man with a very large ego who derived some sort of pleasure in ripping animals (and items) from their homelands for his pleasure. This fascinating article describes “three Rudolfs” visible from history:

“1. the feeble, unstable, and impoverished monarch who began his reign by succeeding to a glamorous political inheritance but ended it a prisoner in his own castle, powerless in the Empire, evicted from Austria and Hungary, deposed even in Bohemia, where he was forced to endure the coronation tumult of his detested brother; 2. The second Rudolf is a great Maecenas, the protector of the arts and sciences, of Arcimboldo and Spranger, Kepler and Tycho Brahe (Maecenas – cultural minister at the time of Octavian); 3. The third Rudolf is different again, and seemingly much less edifying. He is a notorious patron of occult learning, who trod the paths of secret knowledge with an obsession bordering on madness.”

Vertumnus (Rudolf II) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

The descriptions of Rudolf’s castle–and its menagerie–are fantastical. Lions, tigers, bears, apple trees, palm trees, olive trees, a maze, hedges in the shape of letters… an amazing place for anyone who visited in the 16th century. In a 2018 exhibition, the Bunkamura Museum in Japan hosted a number of artifacts from Rudolf’s fantastical collection that seem appropriate for today’s reading. First, the beautiful Orpheus Playing to the Animals (1625), allegedly inspired by the menagerie at Prague Castle. Second, this extraordinary portrait of Rudolf II as Vertumnus by court painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. I had no idea this fellow (note the peapod eyelids and pear nose) was based on Rudolf II, nor that the Hapsburgs employed Arcimboldo for over 25 years. Vertumnus is the Roman god of seasonal change and metamorphoses — apt, I think, for a student of alchemy and the occult.

Turning back, for a moment, to Rudolf’s menagerie — the Emperor reportedly kept a favorite lion named Mohammed. Apparently, Tycho Brahe told Rudolf that he and one of the lions had a similar horoscope and would share a similar fate. Rudolf, being superstitious, reportedly locked himself in his chambers when the lion died and followed him in death three days later. It’s not covered in Shadow of Night, but it appears that Rudolf had a very strange, sad life (and some very unusual children).

We covered this chapter in Episode 34, Plot Goals. The Daemons covered this chapter in Take 58! The One with the Secret Castle Tour.

We’ll pick up again with Peter Knox in modern day Prague in our next post. In the meantime, don’t forget that our coverage of Time’s Convert begins this Sunday, April 12, 2020. You can follow us on Twitter as @chamomilenclove or join our Facebook group, the Chamomile & Clove Clovers, if you want to stay in touch.

We hope you and those you love are safe, sound, and healthy. We’re so grateful for our All Souls family and glad that you’re here. Take care of each other.

xoxo,

Cait and Jen

Real Time Reading

Shadow of Night Real-Time Reading – April 9-10 – Chapter 31

Photo by Martin Krchnacek on Unsplash

“You don’t think we’re being too philosophical?” I wondered aloud, worrying at my lip with my fingers.

“This is the court of Rudolf II,” Hoefnagel said drily. “There is no such thing as too philosophical.”

The Rudolf II of the All Souls Trilogy is complicated — a villainous, lecherous man who just happens to patronize and support some of the greatest artists of his time. The Met Museum has several of the items from Rudolf’s Kunstkammer on display to include the images featured here: the celestial globe by Gerhard Emmoser, a female nude in the style of Albrect Durer, a bronze Apollo by Adriaen de Vries, and this allegorical relief by Hans Daucher:

As this essay notes, the bulk of Rudolf’s collection was dispersed after his death — however, you can see many of the items that once belonged to his court at the Kunstkammer Museum in Vienna. Several of these items are on virtual display, including this ball runner clock by Christoph Margraf and this mechanical celestial globe by Johannes Reinhold the Elder and Georg Roll. The curator’s notes also reveal fascinating details about life in Rudolf’s court… like how he had Roll locked up in prison when the globe he delivered didn’t work as promised. Charming. True to Shadow of Night, the curator’s notes also reveal that Rudolf had, err, “a penchant for erotic-mythological subject matters” such as this extremely disturbing painting of Leda and the Swan by Joseph Heintz the Elder. I cannot unsee this.

Signor Pasetti was delighted to teach some of the court ladies a “dance of the wandering stars,” which would provide Matthew something heavenly to observe while he waited for his beloved moon to appear.

Blame quarantine, y’all, but I definitely fell down a Renaissance dance YouTube hole. Our friend Signor Pasetti did, in fact, exist (and he was the imperial dancing master for Rudolf II), but I couldn’t find any preserved examples of his choreography. What I did find was examples of the hopping dance known as the galliard and the stately pavane. Embedded below is a video that purports to demonstrate Czech folk and court dances of the Renaissance. I have no idea, as I was not there, but I’ll buy it for purposes of imagining the dance of the wandering stars.

You can learn more about Renaissance dance types (and watch helpful videos) via the U.S. Library of Congress.

“It is a mark of respect, Herr Roydon.” Rudolf placed a subtle emphasis on the name, “This once belonged to King Vladislaus and was passed on to my grandmother. The insignia belongs to a brave company of Hungarian knights known as the Order of the Defeated Dragon.”

Rudolf may be referring to the Order of the Dragon, or the Societas Draconistarum, a monarchical chivalric order founded by Sigismund von Luxembourg that sought to fight the Ottoman Empire, defend the Hungarian monarchy, and defend the Catholic Church. The order chose as its symbol the defeated dragon slain by St. George, sometimes depicted as a ouroboros with a red cross. Vlad II Dracul, Prince of Wallachia (and father of Dracula!), was a member of the order. According to Wikipedia, there aren’t many surviving historical examples of the original emblem… which is probably why my internet searches turned up a lot of very modern jewelry portraying dragons and no beautifully-embellished, jewel-encrusted chains like the one Rudolf gives Diana in 1591. I like to imagine that she left it behind and 16th Century Matthew lost it.

I tried extremely hard to find an image of the phallic cabbage root Diana mentions from the Kunstkammer, but alas — the internet failed me. In our next installment for the Real-Time Reading, we’re fleeing Prague under cover of night. I hope you packed your red hose.

Between now and then, you can find our back catalogue of episodes here or you can get in touch with us by e-mailing us, following us on Twitter, or by becoming a member of our Facebook group. As a reminder, we’re starting our chapter-by-chapter discussion of TIME’S CONVERT beginning THIS SUNDAY, 12 April 2020. We can’t wait to see what you have to say!

Until next time,

xoxo

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