Unedited Transcripts

Courtly Love! with Podruly Peccable (Unedited)

Podruly Peccable stays very very still so the horse doesn’t fall off the podium
Wildstar Beaumont: greetings
Podruly Peccable: Hullo Admiral
Minako: A fine steed you have there!
Lady Sumoku blows Wulfi a kiss.
Fauve Aeon: Hello everyone!
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Welcome everyone!
Lady Sumoku waves to everyone she missed the first time through.
Sera Puchkina: Hello, everyone. waves
Jedburgh Dagger: Sera!
Sera Puchkina: Hey Jed!!
Sera Puchkina: Howdy Dee!
Fauve Aeon: It’s always such a nice way to finish out the week(end) to come to relax here at the Salon, I am really quite enjoying it.
Sigmund Sloth: Squeak!
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Greetings to the new arrivals smiles
Sera Puchkina: I agree, Ms Aeon
Fauve Aeon: aha, so the walls still do revolve, \o/
Fauve Aeon: \M/YAY\M/
Fauve Aeon: ((I was wondering))
Sigmund Sloth: Squeak?!?!
Nika Thought-werk claps.
Doctor Lord Halford bows to all guests
Minako: Oh, two of my favorite paintings!
Podruly Peccable smiles
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Good afternoon/evening
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: A bit of a delay, my pardon.
Fauve Aeon teases her kitties with shawl fringe and listens to Radio Riel to amuse herself 😀
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Some of you might have noticed the portrait I have just added to the back of the room. Herr Blackberry Harvey, who built this excellent structure exclusively for the Salon, passed just a few days ago.
Minako: Oh no, how awful!
AlasAndAlack: So sad.
Sigmund Sloth: 😦
William H. Greymoon, MD: Sorry to hear that will pray for him
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: This way, we can remember him in a place that was uniquely his.
Sera Puchkina: I’d forgotten that. The tribute is fitting, sir.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, Fraulein.
Fauve Aeon: A lovely tribute and a very good remembrance, I am glad to see it.
Lady Sumoku nods.
Podruly Peccable nods.. he was a true Gentleman
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Let me thank you all for coming, and issue a few ‘housekeeping’ points of order.
Lady Sumoku: And coming from a man in a can on a horse, that means something!
San Diavolo: Hello and woof
Podruly Peccable laughs
Wulfriðe Blitzen grins and waves
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: This means you, Lady Dawn.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: this ok?
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke laughs
Podruly Peccable: Can you hear me, Lady Starbrook?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: If you can hear Ritter Podruly, then it is fine.
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: yes, thank you
Podruly Peccable: Splendid!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact me in IM. We have a few set out this time as an experiment, feel free to sit there. The director’s chairs are for Tinies.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 3) Please remove all lag-feeding thingamajigs you might be wearing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 4) A tip jar is out for our speaker. Do please show your appreciation!
Fauve Aeon admires the chaise , a bit envious, I admit…
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke admits is is most comfortable
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 5) Any tips to help support the establishment will also be welcome – just click on one of the support signs or this handsome clank floating above us. We are in particular need this month, if your generosity is possible.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: …where is that clank?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 6) If you are not a member of the AEther Salon group, there are signs that will let you join up. You’ll be most heartily welcome.
Fauve Aeon tsks and shakes her head at ill-behaved constructs who run off
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: ) Edited and unedited transcripts of these proceedings will be posted at aethersalon.blogspot.com.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: There we go.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: And lastly:
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 8) Tea and treats are set out – help yourself! Beware of Hatchies guarding the sweet biscuits.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Our speaker today is Podruly Peccable. His repute among the community is such that he has been made a knight of both Caledon and Winterfell. He is the former Lord of Winterfell Illyria, a long-time Caledon-on-Sea resident, and has currently returned to Winterfell.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Bitte, give him your attention and admiration for presenting on a horse.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
Lady Sumoku claps
Podruly Peccable bows
San Diavolo applawds
Sera Puchkina claps
Podruly Peccable: Good evening, gentlefolk of New Babbage, and thank you for inviting me to speak tonight. My subject is the medieval tradition of “Courtly Love”, which seems a suitable topic for the sixty-ninth Aether Salon, falling as it does a week after Valentine’s Day
AlasAndAlack claps enthusiastically. Doubly so for the horsie.
Podruly Peccable: I think it is true to say that when we imagine the medieval period, the first three images that come to mind are the Knight, the Castle and the Lady Fair.
Nika Thought-werk smiles and nods.
Podruly Peccable: These three have starred in a thousand thousand tales told over the last eight centuries or so, and have an enduring appeal to incurable romantics like myself. But have you ever wondered how those tales started?
Lady Sumoku: Marketing!
Podruly Peccable: The first knights arose in the service of the Emperor Charlemagne in the 8th Century, initially simply heavily armoured warriors who could fight effectively on horseback, thanks to the invention of the stirrup.
Podruly Peccable: From that time up until the days of pike and gunpowder, they were the unstoppable tanks of their day, totally dominating the battlefield with ever improving arms and armour
Podruly Peccable hides a grin at Lady Sumoku
Jedburgh Dagger: Cavalry. eyerolls
Podruly Peccable: These knights and their lords soon became a distinct class with their own chivalric culture, often speaking a different language to the people they ruled, and in any case having a totally different way of life from the common folk. They were trained from childhood to war, enjoyed leisure time when not fighting and possessed wealth from taxation and plunder which allowed them to indulge in luxury.
Podruly Peccable: Bravery and loyalty were the virtues most encouraged in this martial culture.
Podruly Peccable: Castles arose soon after knights.
Podruly Peccable: In England, both knights and castles were introduced by William the Conqueror. As a (rather strange) child, I remember looking at a translation of the Domesday Book, the great tax register which William commissioned after the conquest. For each settlement, it shows the value of the land before, during, and after the invasion. With a fascinated horror, I saw that many thriving communities had become “wasteland” following the conquest, and I imagined what that had meant for the poor people living in them.
Blossom Love just sits down while thinking about how happy she would be if Creaky appeared
Podruly Peccable: Any war is brutal to the poor, but in medieval Europe warfare was constant, a way of life, as warlord vied with warlord, continually testing each other and punishing any weakness they found – for they had to keep a band of blooded professional warriors happy, or face revolt.
Podruly Peccable: Bertran de Born, one of Richard the Lionheart’s companions, later summed this up in verse:

“Peace delights me not
War – be thou my lot
Law- I do not know
Save a right good blow”

Podruly Peccable: It is against this background of brutal violence and turmoil that something strange happened around the middle of the twelfth century
Podruly Peccable: A warm wind blew from the south, scented with the wild herbs of the Pyrenees, bringing with it a new ideal of Love, and this is what brought the Lady into our medieval trio.
San Diavolo whispers: drugs?
Podruly Peccable: Scholars have thought long and hard, and quarrelled often about where it came from
Podruly Peccable: Some point to the subtle and elegant Arabic love poetry of the time. Some point to the influence of the heretic Cathars of southern France, who believed that immortal souls had no gender, and scandalously allowed women to be priests. Others point to the rediscovery of classical Latin love poems, in particular those of Ovid.
Podruly Peccable: Yet others give a more prosaic explanation, reasoning that because so many men were frequently away at war, or died young in battle, women gained more authority as regents governing a domain, and were courted as a result.
Podruly Peccable: Whatever the reasons, a tradition of poetry in praise of the lady grew up
Podruly Peccable: It started in the Occitan speaking regions of the south with the troubadours, but soon spread throughout western Europe with the trouveres of northern France and the minnesingers of Germany. This became what is now known as Courtly Love, Amor Courtois, though in the original Occitan it was known as Fin’amor (Pure Love)
Podruly Peccable: The poems and songs were concerned with the love of a knight for a usually un-named lady, who is unattainable because she is married and of higher status.
Podruly Peccable: She is beautiful and talented, and the knight aches for her. Various obstacles lie in the way of their love, such as the jealousy of others, or tests that the lady imposes to prove his worthiness.
Podruly Peccable: There are sometimes hints that the illicit love is consummated, but that usually ends in tragedy if it happens. The love itself brings out the best in both knight and lady, and inspires them to noble deeds.
Podruly Peccable: The cynic in me suspects these were privileged people with too much time on their hands indulging in high school crushes (they were mostly younger than you might expect) … but the romantic in me still swoons.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Podruly Peccable: One of the earliest examples where both words and music are known is the Kalenda Maia of Raimbaut de Vaqueiras. You can listen to a version of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAL4n4aSLuw
Podruly Peccable: (I hope)
Podruly Peccable: A free translation of the first verse might be as follows, (bearing in mind that, like the Japanese haiku, the original has a very strong rhythm and rhyme)

“I have no delight in the First of May,
Nor in fresh leaves of beech,
Nor in the songs of bird, nor lily flowers,
Oh noble and merry lady
Until I have a fleet message
From your beautiful person to tell me
Of new pleasures love and joy will bring
And I come to you, true lady.”

Podruly Peccable: Many such songs and poems were made by rival troubadours (and their female equivalent, the trobaritz), in praise of many ladies, but it was taken to new heights by one of the most famous women of medieval times, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her daughter, Marie, Countess of Champagne.
Podruly Peccable: Eleanor (or Aliénor in her native Occitan) lived from around 1123 to 1204 and was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women of her time. She was also one of the most beautiful and cultured.
Podruly Peccable: She was extraordinary, heiress to the powerful Duchy of Aquitaine (a kingdom in all but name), who had tempestuous marriages with two rival Kings and was mother to another three kings and two queens.
Podruly Peccable: There is no time to do justice to her life, but I will note two things which perhaps give you an idea of her strong character: she personally led her band of Aquitanian knights during the Second Crusade, and she was responsible for the introduction of maritime law in Aquitaine and England. (Which, centuries later, provided a fig leaf of respectability for the rampant piracies of Sir Francis Drake).
Nika Thought-werk smiles at her example.
Podruly Peccable: The other thing she is reputed to have done is raise the Occitan tradition of fin’amor to a high art by creating a “Court of Love” when she resided in Poitiers between 1168 and 1173. Actually very little is known about this time, apart from a study that found that the price of furs and fine fabrics escalated in Poitiers during the period.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Heh.
Podruly Peccable: All that we know about the Court of Love comes from a treatise “De Amore” ( usually translated in English as “the Art of Courtly Love”) by Andreas Capellanus and written at the request of Marie of Champagne (Eleanor’s daughter)around 1186-90
Podruly Peccable: Andreas Capellanus means Andrew the Chaplain, which sounds much less grand :0
Adventure Russ mutters to himself “Don’t dis the big D(rake)”
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Latin always dresses titles up.
Podruly Peccable: his work explores the nature of love, and describes a Court of Love, where Eleanor, Marie, Ermengarde Viscountess of Narbonne, and Isabelle of Flanders would listen to the quarrels of lovers and act as a jury to questions concerning romantic love
Podruly Peccable: One of the decisions of this court was that love was possible within marriage, but highly unlikely!
Lady Sumoku: D’oh!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
AlasAndAlack bursts out laughing and then shushes herself.
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke knows it’s possible…
Podruly Peccable: …most marriages of the time were aranged, of course
Podruly Peccable: The Court probably never existed quite as Andreas described, but you can be sure that Eleanor presided over many playful debates about love during her time at Poitiers, and many knights cast longing glances at her. I must confess that, even over such a great divide of time, I am myself a little in love with Eleanor.
Jade sighs
Podruly Peccable: Marie de Champagne was also patroness to Chretien de Troyes, a poet whose works on Arthurian subjects are some of the greatest pieces of medieval literature, and are considered by some to be the beginnings of the novel.
Podruly Peccable: No-one quite knows the sources for Chretien’s stories, but though the original tales might be older, he imbedded new notions of chivalry and courtly love within them to make something that can be recognised as being about our medieval trio, the Knight, the Castle and the Lady Fair.
Podruly Peccable: In his work “Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart” he made the first known mention of Sir Lancelot and his illicit love for Queen Guinevere.
Podruly Peccable: In it, Queen Guinevere is abducted, and Lancelot, though a number of trials and encounters with beautiful women and tricky dwarfs, eventually fights in a tournament where, to test his love, Guinevere at first orders him to lose, which he begins to do, but then changes her mind and orders him to win, which he of course does.
Podruly Peccable: This plot twist was stolen to rather delightful comic and romantic effect in a popular moving magic lantern show, “A Knight’s Tale” which some of you may have seen.
Nika Thought-werk blinks smiles.
Podruly Peccable: Many other Romance tales were written in medieval times, most of which fall into established groups – The Matter of France (Tales of Charlemagne and Roland), The Matter of England (Tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table) and the Matter of Rome (Mythological tales and Tales of the Trojan War and classical history). They all accept the notion of courtly love and chivalry,
Podruly Peccable: They show the knight not simply as a brutal warrior, but as someone in service, fighting for his lord, for his love, and for justice. Quite a change from the beginning of the period.
Podruly Peccable: It is hard to say how much it was a literary convention and how much it was actually practiced, but courtly love did bring about a change in attitudes to women and has formed the basis for polite manners of our time, where doors are opened for women and a hand (or a cape) offered to help a lady step across a puddle.
Podruly Peccable: This is acting as an attentive servant to a lady. The notion that a woman has to be wooed becomes expected from this time as well.
Podruly Peccable: Courtly Love developed throughout the medieval period, and has influenced culture and literature ever since
Podruly Peccable: It became mixed with the worship of the Virgin Mary, and later versions, no doubt influenced by the Church, emphasised the love as being more spiritual and less playful (or so it seems to me), though it still retained a keen eye for the charms of the beloved.
Jedburgh Dagger: Woo
Podruly Peccable: Guillaume de Machaut’s virelai, “Douce Dame Jolie”, is a later example from the 14th Century of a song of courtly love. It can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZbQQaMuatE
Podruly Peccable: This is the a translation, which encapsulates much of the flavour of fin’amor:

Sweet, beautiful lady
For God’s sake, do not think
That anyone rules over me
But you alone

For endlessly, and without falsehood
I have cherished you
And humbly
All the days of my life
I have served you
With no unworthy thought

Alas! and I beg
For hope and aid
For my joy is ended
If you do not take pity

But your sweet mastery
Masters
My heart so harshly
That it torments
And binds it
So much in love

That it desires nothing
But to be in your service
And yet your heart
Grants it no relief

And since my sickness
Will never be healed
Without you, sweet enemy
Who is glad
At my torment

I join my hands and pray
To your heart, since it forgets me
That it should kill me quickly
For I languish too long

Minako leans her cheek on her hand and sighs.
Podruly Peccable smiles
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke Poor boy
Lady Sumoku: So Goth.
Podruly Peccable: Reading the enjoyable anguish of that, as a denizen of Second Life where pretty much anything you desire can be simulated (and often is), it is hard not to agree with some scholars who connect Courtly Love with the sexuality of dominance and submission, but that is not the mainstream view of scholars.
Podruly Peccable: So what, you might be asking, is the relevance of all this to the modern world of 188x?
Podruly Peccable: Well, the more eagle eyed of you might have noticed that all the illustrations for this talk are contemporary paintings from the Victorian age.
Podruly Peccable: It may surprise some here, (as I believe you are mostly stalwart supporters of Progress and Science), but there are many who hearken back to an older, more romantic time, where the air was not so sooty and men worked with their hands and not machines.
Podruly Peccable: It is really a very popular thing, reflected in new tales – such as “Ivanhoe” by Sir Walter Scott, Gothick architecture and paintings and poems by the Pre-raphaelite Brotherhood, amongst others.
Fauve Aeon D yes, there are those of every age who do that (looks around)
Podruly Peccable: But that has always been the nature of the tales of courtly love – they are forever set in the imaginary past and yet, somehow, they resonate with the present.
Podruly Peccable: Is it because the beloved always wants to be the centre of their lover’s world, and wants them to show their worth? I don’t really know.
Podruly Peccable: But what I do know is that even in a work such as Manuel Cervantes’ book, “Don Quixote”, which (quite rightly) lampoons the foolishness and vanity of chivalry, there is something that lifts my heart when the ancient Knight lowers his lance to tilt at windmills, and risks all to prove his love for the damsel Dulcinea, despite all.
Podruly Peccable smiles
Podruly Peccable: That concludes my talk for the evening, thank you for listening. If you can, please contribute to the running costs of this excellent institution using the tip-jars around the salon.
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Minako: Fools we all are when in love. Some simply more than others.
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke applauds
Minako applauds!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
William H. Greymoon, MD applauds
Sera Puchkina applauds
Jade is clapping
San Diavolo applawds
Nika Thought-werk claps.
Lady Sumoku claps.
Sera Puchkina: Excellent talk!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Herr Ritter, might you answer questions from the audience?
AlasAndAlack applauds.
Callidus Waydelich: Applause!!
Podruly Peccable: Certainly, I would be happy to
Adventure Russ claps
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: If the audience has any, of course.
Sigmund Sloth: Squeak!!
Fauve Aeon: thank you, sir, that was delightful
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: very interesting
Minako: Simply wonderful!
Wulfriðe Blitzen applauds!
Nika Thought-werk nods.
Podruly Peccable: I’m gratified you enjoyed it, I hope it was not too dry
Shawn Keats: I lot to take in but delightful
Jade: no it was wonderful!
Sera Puchkina: It was most interesting!
Fauve Aeon: not dry at all, the perfect balance between scholarly and intereating to a lay person (me)
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Thank you, very much so
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: I have a question
Podruly Peccable: Yes, Lady Starbrook?
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: Would the knights normally expect to marry, or would they spend their lives in service to the lord?
Podruly Peccable: Well, they would hope to marry, but that would mean finding favour with their lord and being granted a fief. Many landless knights existed, Knights Errant who traveled from war to war and touranment to tournament, hoping to strike it rich enough to settle down
Thompson Birdsong: Thank you so much for that insightful story of love and knights.
Minako: May I make a recommendation to all gathered?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Bitte.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Let us hear it.
Podruly Peccable: It is possible that eleanor, for example, deliberately used fin’amor to attract the brightest and best to her court
Lady Sumoku: I suddenly have the Moody Blues stuck in my head.
Podruly Peccable laughs
Nika Thought-werk frowns and sighs “So sad to need to strike riches to have love.”
Minako: If you are interested in still more courtly love songs, I highly recommend Sting’s album “Songs from the Labyrinth.” It’s full of songs and letters by Sir Edward Dwyer. They’re all played very simply with one or two lutes or guitars.
Thompson Birdsong: Minako? What is your suggestion?
Podruly Peccable: I have to confess, as a young child I did think that was “Knights in White Satin”
Thompson Birdsong: Ahh
Lady Sumoku: I refuse to think anything else.
Minako: Excuse me, Dyer.
Thompson Birdsong: I was going to suggest make a notecard of the discussion. tale..
Nika Thought-werk smiles.
Podruly Peccable: I will look for that, Lady Minako
Minako: October 1543 – May 1607, so just a lovely time for writing these songs.
Podruly Peccable: It sounds lovely
Lady Starbrook-Yosuke: yes, thank you for the poetry
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: We will have both edited and unedited transcripts at http://aethersalon.blogspot.com within a day or two.
Nika Thought-werk rises from her seat and curtsies.
San Diavolo: That was enlightening, thanks
Podruly Peccable bows
Wulfriðe Blitzen: The photos will be edited and go up tonight in the photo group smiles
San Diavolo: and woof
Sigmund Sloth: Squeak
OldeSoul Eldemar bows: Thank you Sir Pod
Nika Thought-werk whispers before she leaves “Grand talk. Fresh oats for the horse, please, sir?”
AlasAndAlack: Fascinating talk. Thank you.
Ashiko Kuroe: A pleasure listening to you.
Minako: I truly enjoyed it!
Callidus Waydelich: Thank you for this informative time, Mr. Peccable. I must return to various tasks now.
Sera Puchkina: Most enjoyable
Podruly Peccable: Goodevening to you all
Fauve Aeon: A pleasure to see you again, sir and a most enjoyable salon, thank you!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke for your attendance, and gute Nacht, those leaving.
Podruly Peccable: Thank you for coming
Fauve Aeon: Lovely to see everyone and I must be off to finish photographing some things for the deadline today 🙂
Minako waves
Lady Sumoku waves
Wildstar Beaumont: good night all …. great talk Sir Pod !
Wulfriðe Blitzen: Thank you for an excellent talk!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Very well done.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I am picking up the tipjar, for any last-moment donations.
Minako: Thank you for the lovely salon. I must be off. Good to see you all!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, Fraulein, gute Nacht.
Wulfriðe Blitzen waves
Podruly Peccable: Of course, this should go to the salon
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: As you wish, sir. The Salon would appreciate it greatly.
Podruly Peccable: It is a splendid institution
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Vielen dank.
Wulfriðe Blitzen applauds Herr Peccable’s Chivalry
Lady Sumoku: And his fancy hat.
Podruly Peccable: Well, I will take my leave… goodnight to you all bows

Raimbaut de Vaqueiras: Calenda maia (trubadúrének / Troubadour song, 12th c.)

Annwn: douce dame jolie machaut

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