Sunday, November 25, 2012

Special Events

For most of us, the memory of our first pet is special.  It might have been a puppy, or kitten, or fish, or turtle, or even a snake, or some other sort of critter.  But just having that first pet, becomes a special event.  "You will have to feed it"..."You will have to take care of it"..."You will have to train it"..."You will have to clean-up after all its messes"... were often some of the requirements. 

Here is a picture of Linda Carol.  It must have been one of those special events.  A puppy it is.

My puppy!   I have got it safely tucked in my arms, and I will feed it, take care of it, and clean up after it, and sleep with it, and...and give all my love.    Not enough hugs to go around.  Here, take this picture of my new puppy and this special event. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Real Jewel of Alfred The Great

A Saxon kingdom in southwestern England produced a fellow named Alfred [also spelled Aelfred] who is given the name "Alfred The Great".  He is credited with saving the Saxon world from the Danes, and ignited the Saxon world with learning and literacy. [It is felt by some historians that the writing of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle began during his life (b. 849-d. 899 AD).

An elaborate gold ornament was found in 1693 with an inscription stating: "Alfred ordered me to be made".  Now just imagine what it would be like to be able to order a "gold" ornament consisting of an enameled plague with your figure in the middle, and your "order" written on the side.  It has become known as "The Alfred Jewel".  It measures about 2 and 1/2 inches, with a sketch of it shown above.  It must have been special to Alfred since it was found near Athelney, Somerset where Alfred took refuge from the Danes in 878 AD.

The sketch of this jewel as drawn above is found on the cover of the book published in 1873 and entered according to "Act of Congress" by Leypoldt, Holt & Williams, in the Office of the Librarian of  Congress.  The title page from the book is shown below.

A hand-book of Anglo-Saxon and early English.  At one time it was owned by Winfield S. Moody, Jr. who has written his name in the upper right.  Now it was Alfred who invited scholars to his court to help him make available books that were "...most necessary for all men to know".  He also directed that all young freemen of adequate means must learn to read English in 887 AD.  Can you believe it.  All this time the jewel of Alfred has been felt to reside in a museum at Oxford clasped in gold and enamel.  But old Hiram Corson knew the truth.  The "Real Jewel of Alfred The Great" lies in the book above.