Friday, April 27, 2007


Been kind of a busy week and I am so glad it is finally Friday! I don't like to be gone so much or at least I need days at home in between! I certainly have had fun visiting friends and family and doing field trips but I need a couple of days worth of house work before the next week as I am going to make faerie houses next week and get together with Janet R. for a publishing research day next week too. And I want to get to Green Bay and visit my sister again next week.

Had lunch with my mom today and she said that my sister Ann's doctor defiantly does not want her to go to school for three weeks. Especially because kids are germ factories! We will see if she holds to it or not! It will be very hard to keep her away!

I am really doing a lot of reading and listening to lectures about the early middle ages and the Renaissance. I have one of those Teaching Company series called The Early Middle Ages taught by Professor Philip Daileander from the College of William and Mary. It started out that I didn't really like the fellow's voice. It seemed so nasal and well, let's face it, whiny. BUT, the material is so good and his lectures are actually funny in a dry way that he has grown on me and I am 6 hours into the course.

I am also doing the reading for a course from MIT called The Renaissance with Prof. Jeffrey Ravel. Some great reading including The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.

Also started a very interesting book called The Pope's Daughter; The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere By Caroline P. Murphy. The illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II, Felice della Rovere became one of the most powerful and accomplished women of the Italian Renaissance. Now, Caroline Murphy vividly captures the untold story of a rare woman who moved with confidence through a world of popes and princes.Using a wide variety of sources, including Felice's personal correspondence, as well as diaries, account books, and chronicles of Renaissance Rome, Murphy skillfully weaves a compelling portrait of this remarkable woman. Felice della Rovere was to witness Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, watch her father Pope Julius II lay the foundation stone for the new Saint Peter's, and see herself immortalized by Raphael in his Vatican frescoes. With her marriage to Gian Giordano Orsini--arranged, though not attended, by her father the Pope--she came to possess great wealth and power, assets which she turned to her advantage. While her father lived, Felice exercised much influence in the affairs of Rome--even negotiating for peace with the Queen of France--and after his death, Felice persevered, making allies of the cardinals and clerics of St. Peter's and maintaining her control of the Orsini land through tenacity, ingenuity, and carefully cultivated political savvy. She survived the Sack of Rome in 1527, but her greatest enemy proved to be her own stepson Napoleone. The rivalry between him and her son Girolamo had a sudden and violent end, and brought her perilously close to losing everything she had spent her life acquiring. With a marvelous cast of characters, this is a spellbinding biography set against the brilliant backdrop of Renaissance Rome.

Well, enjoy your weekend and remember to take it easy at least part of the time!
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.
Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy

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