Cadfael

Started by Vox Clara, December 04, 2022, 05:20:16 PM

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Vox Clara

Is anyone else a fan of the Cadfael mystery series? If you're not familiar, IMDb describes it as "the medieval era cases of a Crusader-turned-Monk who investigates mysteries in the Norman English town of Shrewsbury." I was pleasantly surprised to find it free on YouTube.

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Goldfinch

Brother Cadfael is played by Derek Jacobi in the series.

As a matter of curiosity, the Benedictine monk's name "Cadfael is a Welsh name derived from the words cad ("battle") and mael ("prince"). Peters wrote that she found the name "Cadfael" only once in the records, given as the baptismal name of Saint Cadog, who later abandoned it. There are differing pronunciations of the name Cadfael; Peters intended the f to be pronounced as an English v and suggested it be pronounced /?kædv?l/ KAD-vel, although normal Welsh pronunciation would be [?kadva?l] (approximately /?kædva?l/ KAD-vyle). The name is commonly mispronounced /?kædfa?l/ KAD-fyle in English (including the television series), and Peters once remarked that she should have included a guide for this and other names in the series that have uncommon pronunciations." (Wikipedia)
"For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight." - St. Leo the Great

Bernadette

Interesting. I'll have to check that out.
My Lord and my God.

Melkor

I read the first book. It was interesting but inferior (in my opinion) to other mystery novels (Doyle, Christie). I'm sure the series is good, I'll have to check them out.
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.

"Am I not here, I who am your mother?" Mary to Juan Diego

"Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer's day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented." G.K. Chesterton

"Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill." Jesus Christ

The Curt Jester

I've seen a few of the episodes.  They were pretty good.  I've read the entire series of books save one (I think) and find them to be more interesting than Christie.  Christie recycled a lot more.
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

Vox Clara

Quote from: Melkor on December 04, 2022, 06:55:40 PM
I read the first book. It was interesting but inferior (in my opinion) to other mystery novels (Doyle, Christie). I'm sure the series is good, I'll have to check them out.

I like it mainly for the medieval setting. The mystery is of secondary interest to me.

clau clau

#6
Derek Jacobi.  Now where have I seen him before?   ;D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Claudius_(TV_series)
Father time has an undefeated record.

But when he's dumb and no more here,
Nineteen hundred years or near,
Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
(https://completeandunabridged.blogspot.com/2009/06/i-claudius.html)

Goldfinch

Quote from: clau clau on December 05, 2022, 04:10:44 AM
Derek Jacobi.  Now where have I seen him before?   ;D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Claudius_(TV_series)

Sadly, Jacobi is another reprobate. Gay and atheist, a deadly combination.
"For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight." - St. Leo the Great

Prayerful

It was an excellent TV series when I saw it.
Padre Pio: Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.

Goldfinch

Here's an interesting interview, back in 1991, with Edith Pargeter, the author of The Cadfael Chronicles. Mrs. Pargeter died just 4 years after this interview.

QuoteMURDER AD-LIB — Interviews by Ellen Nehr: EDITH PARGETER (ELLIS PETERS), Summer 1991.

EN: When you wrote the first Brother Cadfael mystery, did you plan on making it a series?
EP: Not at all. In fact, the first one was written in a slightly different style, a little lighter, and was conceived as a one off. I hadn't intended for it go ahead. Indeed I wrote one modern tale between the first and second Brother Cadfael novels, but that's the last time I've been back from the 12th Century.
EN: Will you ever do another Inspector Felse?
EP: I'd like to in a way, but somehow this series has gotten into a rhythm and keeps flowing, so it carries me from one book to the next, and it would be difficult to break the chain. Maybe some day I will.
EN: When you started the Inspector Felse series, you and Michael Innes were the only two who mentioned the home life and family of the officer. What kind of research into police practice did you have to do?
EP: I had to research into police procedures to some extent, but I must confess I was more interested in the family relations and the police officer's relationships with the people be encounters in the case, which sometimes become personal in a way, and make the whole thing more interesting, I think.
EN: You have used archaeology in some quite unexpected places. Was this deliberate?
EP: Not really. I suppose that I was just interested, and it became a natural thing to make use of it. There's the one about the Roman Site (The City of Gold and Shadows) that isn't a photocopy of but certainly is based on Uriconium. That's very close, about three miles, from Shrewsbury where there was a ford of the river on a Roman road. We have quite a bit of an ancient city there, which suggested the site of the book.
EN: Could the water have come up and been doing the damage to the bank that disclosed the heating pipes?
EP: Yes, it could, because it is right on the Severn River, and in a flood time it certainly could. Even the inn which I've described there is suggested by one just a bit down the river from there.
EN: Have you always lived in that area?
EP: Yes. Within about three miles of where I live now, apart from traveling, of course.
EN: Do you speak Welsh?
EP: No, very little. Quite a lot of Welsh don't speak it, I'm afraid. It is being taught more again, especially in the south, the parts that became industrialized. Welsh is less spoken than it used to be. My grandmother spoke it, but I never learned it properly.
EN: If you had been brought up in another part of Great Britain, how different do you suppose your books would have been?
EP: I think they would have been affected by my surroundings. My writing is extremely visual. It is definitely based on where I am, since I'm describing pictures I can see in my own mind from around me.
EN: Over a period of time have you accumulated an extensive reference library?
EP: Yes, I have quite a big library because if there is a book that I want to use, I like to have it in the house to go back to. Usually, since I was born here, I've accumulated knowledge about the region, being interested in history. A lot of it has been historical and archaeological interest.
EN: Now that you are a well-known resident of Shrewsbury, do you find that people are bringing to your attention things that you might have had to research on your own?
EP: Yes, indeed they are. One expert actually came with his own wife to visit me and taught me to make fire. He brought flint, steel, and all the makings, and he left me flints and tinder, although charred cloth would catch.
EN: In 'The Heretic's Apprentice' you described just how parchment was made. I was fascinated.
EP: Well, I got that out of a history of illuminated manuscripts. Some of the descriptions of the book and the timing of the book came from the same history. There isn't such a gift book as I've described, but that wedding did take place, and the people were real; the Prince from the western empire and Princess from the East did marry that year, and there could have been a present such as that.
EN: I just finished your new book, 'The Summer of the Danes', and wondered why the Danes lived in Ireland.
EP: They had a small kingdom in Dublin, on and off. Sometimes they lost it; sometimes they got it back again. This all happened over a matter of a hundred years or so. They left a lot of their progeny there, and there was quite a bit of intermarriage. It's mentioned in the book that Owain' s grandmother was a Danish princess.
EN: How and when did the war between King Stephen and Queen Maud finally get settled?
EP: I hope the books may even reach that point. Everyone was exhausted with the war and fed up with it, and from the point that I've reached, action actually began to slacken off very much. Each side was just holding on to what it had, and eventually Stephen's eldest son, whom he hoped would succeed him, died. That left the way rather clearer, and a lot of his own supporters began to think, "We've got to settle this somehow." Eventually an agreement was made that Maud's son, who became the young Henry II, should succeed to the throne, but only when Stephen died. From that time on, there was peace, but Henry II had quite a bit clearing up to do. Stephen died in 1154, and that is ten years further on from where we are now.
EN: When you finish the 12th century books that we are reading in the 20th century and know who did it and why, do you, in your mind, interpret justice as it was then in their context of right or wrong, or as the way we perceive it today?
EP: Well, this I think is essentially the difference between secular sense of justice and the law; between the law and justice in fact and justice tempered with mercy. The Church had the privilege of tempering the secular justice, but I don't say they did it often, by any means. Cadfael doesn't take the law's exact point of view. He makes up his own mind on what is for the best, as he did in one case where he let a murderer go away, but having laid on him the penance of remembering life long and acting differently. So he got his own way. It's not secular justice, and it's a theme I've taken up in other books, the conflict between the human sense of justice and what's dictated by the law. It's a big question.
EN: Are you a Roman Catholic?
EP: No, I'm an Anglican, but then we were all Roman Catholics, so I've tried to project myself.
EN: What do the Benedictines think of the books?
EP: I have quite a number of Benedictine correspondents and even a lot of clerics and a lot of historians, and on the whole, they very much approve. And they approve of what you've touched on, this sense of human compassion coming into the question of justice. They've been a great help to me, and they've given me great encouragement.
"For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight." - St. Leo the Great

Lynne

This makes so much sense, that the author is a woman. I read the first 2 books in the series and thought that some of the women in the books were feminists. Now I know why.
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael's Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    "My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you're supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen"

Greg

A lot of the best actors are faggots.  I wonder why?
Contentment is knowing that you're right. Happiness is knowing that someone else is wrong.

Bernadette

Quote from: Greg on December 07, 2022, 04:42:20 AM
A lot of the best actors are faggots.  I wonder why?
I've wondered the same thing. In different language, but still.
My Lord and my God.

Bernadette

I was okay with the series until Brother Cadfael excused mortal sin and sacrilege.
My Lord and my God.

The Curt Jester

Quote from: Bernadette on December 07, 2022, 02:51:31 PM
I was okay with the series until Brother Cadfael excused mortal sin and sacrilege.

That's a running theme with just about any mystery series.  Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot (who is supposed to be Catholic) does the same thing.  So do most of the others to my memory (not Fr. Brown though).  It's irritating to find stuff like that in an otherwise good (or at least decent) series.  A lot of times it is justified because of "feeling" or to prevent suffering.
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"