Plantagenet Society of Australia
with their beautiful banner:
The Plantagenet Society of Australia was formed in Sydney in 1991 by five members of the Richard III Society. The aim was not to rival the RIII Society but to promote interest and debate covering many aspects of the Plantagenet era, Henry II to Richard III (1154-1485). We now have 70 members, an average attendance of 35-40 and many of our members belong to both societies. Our honorary president is Sydney University Associate Professor Carole Cusack.
Two of our members are published international historical novelists and have shared their research with the society through talks and newsletter articles.
Isolde Martyn’s novel The Maiden and the Unicorn about Margaret Huddlestone (Warwick the Kingmaker’s bastard daughter/de Commynes’ anonymous woman spy) has won major awards in America and Australia and her third book, The Silver Bride, is centred on the politics of 1483. She has also written novels from the viewpoints of Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham (Richard III’s perfidious cousin) and that delightful troublemaker, Mistress Shore. More information about her Ricardian books can be found at www.isoldemartyn.com
Felicity Pulman is known for her YA books especially The Janna Mysteries series which are set in the 1140s during the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. For more details, see www.felicitypulman.com.au.
Plantagenet Society meetings take place six times a year and we frequently have a guest expert presenting an hour’s talk. However, our members are not without talent when it comes to research and presenting talks. As well as our writers, we have a professional heraldry wizard, a retired Supreme Court judge who has a tremendous interest in law and trade in the Middle Ages, an enthusiastic Scotsman who brings the Sassenachs down to earth on border issues and our newsletter editor is a wonderful speaker on Medieval Fare.
Over the last eleven years we have covered topics relevant to Ricardians including
- Richard III,
- Tewkesbury Abbey,
- the Four Margarets (Margaret of Anjou, Margaret Beaufort, Margaret Paston and Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy),
- the real Mistress Shore and
- King Edward IV’s London.
This year our meetings have included the performance of a mystery play, medieval single combat, embroidery and medieval coinage.
Once a year we have a discussion meeting. These usually provoke lively debate. Our members really do their homework! Past years have seen topics such as
- ‘Did Robin Hood exist?’
- ‘Medieval Queens: mares or show ponies?’
- ‘Joan of Arc’
- ‘Witchcraft’, and ‘How Clean was my Hovel?’
For our tenth anniversary we held a special open day which included talks, medieval musicians and a public debate. And some years back, we even managed a medieval banquet!
Our subscription is only $AUS20 a year and this includes a very good bimonthly email/snailmail newsletter The Plantagenet Chronicle. Our meetings are advertised on our website and in the local media and visitors are most welcome at our meetings.
For more information visit our web site at members.optusnet.com.au/arablts
John McDermott (Membership Secretary)