Tuesday, March 06, 2007

(sporadic series) super-cool ancestors: katherine swynford

In keeping with my recent interest in genealogy, I thought I would share with you one of my more exciting relatives. She's my great x 22 grandmother on my mother's mother's father's mother's etc. etc. side. She's got a famous novel and a whole society dedicated to her. I share her lineage with Luke and Travis as well as, probably, a nontrivial number of you.

She is Katherine Swynford, mistress to John of Gaunt (Plantagenet), the patriarch of the House of Lancaster, those of the red rose in the Wars of the Roses. The novel Katherine by Anya Seton, based on her life with John, is widely celebrated as an exemplar of the historical novel form and is consistently rated as one of the top love stories of all time. I haven't read this novel, but am thinking I should now. She's family, after all.

Her children with John, illegitimate until declared legit (when they were well into adulthood) by their half-brother Henry IV (who also included a clause preventing them from ever inheriting the throne), were given the surname of Beaufort.

1 comment:

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