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Sansom's Revelation and Fool's Day in England

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Baron
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    Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 16:04
I've been through the novel Revelation by Christopher  Sansom of Matthew Shardlak's series when I came across this passage about Fool's day in 16th century's England under Henry the VIII (see attached) 

This is the 2nd Sansom's novel I've been reading.  At first Sansom with his Phd in History gave me impression of well-equipped author who was knowledgeable in the subject he wrote about. However  once I came to this point of reading I realized that I had some concerns about it.  

Did England actually have the custom of wide spread celebration of Fool's day in 16th century under Henry the 8th? Smile



I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2020 at 23:30
April Fool's Day has existed since the Middle Ages. It's questionable when it actually started, but somewhere between the 14th and 16th century people started playing practical jokes annually.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2020 at 02:18
Did they celebrate the Fool's day on 1st of April in 16th century too?
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2020 at 07:20
I can only confirm the date for the 17th century (1698). The origin of April 1st as the chosen date is just as obscure as the custom itself.

Edited by caldrail - 22 Oct 2020 at 07:21
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2020 at 10:54
The thing about Sansom's writing that makes me doubt is the fact that in 1543, when the events of his novel take place, the 1st of April does fall on Sunday (by Julian calendar) as he mentions it as if it was properly verified by Sansom:


I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2020 at 11:45
I am not quite sure of what you are saying.  Is the problem a matter of pranks occurring on Sunday?  Or are you somehow saying it was not properly verified by Sansom?  Perhaps you feel that he cut corners on his homework?  If so, I would attribute it to artistic license of someone writing fiction.  Again, I am not sure what your difficulty is, maybe if I understood it, it might bother me too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2020 at 18:21
This sort of thing is exactly why I dislike historical fiction. As much as some like yourself allow a certain licence, many will sooner or later pounce on the anomalies.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2020 at 05:44
Well, as I said earlier, Sansom holds a PhD in history, so his view of history of 16th century must be informative.  I have actually screenshotted some pages from his books, which seem to contain some historic data which I find rather interesting. For instance, Sansom mentions that England used to host about 200 monasteries under Henry the 8th. He also mentions that London's population was about 60 thousand people. Surely, I do realize that any facts cited from fiction books need a proper verification Smile 
I teach history to children, and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world. I see my personal historic mission in bringing madness to juvenile masses.
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