Tag: victorian classicism

The Legend of Lady Godiva, 1897

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The Legend of Lady Godiva, 1897

Some 900 years ago an extraordinary occurrence took place on Market Day in the English midlands town of Coventry. Two monks at St. Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire first recorded this amazing story in Latin. Roger of Wendover wrote of it in the twelfth century and Mathew Paris in the early thirteenth century. As the Abbey stood at an important road junction, it would seem that the monks may have heard the story from travellers who were on their way from the Midlands to London.

The astonishing tale that has come down to us through the centuries, is that sometime in the eleventh-century a proud, pious lady rode through Coventry on Market Day completely naked, covered by nothing but her long hair!

Was this true? Apparently so! Who was this pious medieval streaker?

Lady Godiva was the lady, wife of Leofric, the Earl of Mercia. Earl Leofric was one of the all-powerful lords who ruled England under the Danish King Canute.
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