Before I get too far into the story below, I should tell you that my father’s side of the family is British. As in, they emmigrated from England to Canada in 1956 and they all have accents (mostly). And ones I can’t really hear most of the time. I can slip into one at will, too. I’ve found when my half-deaf grandfather can’t make out what I’m saying, I just rephrase it to be more British, with an accent and then suddenly he understands me.
My longish point there is we still have family “over there”, and every Christmas we all exchange cards and our cousins send over a monstously huge 1 kilo bar of English Cadbury’s milk chocolate. It is slightly different than the Canadian Cadbury’s chocolate, is why.
So last Thursday, there I was, out and about doing my shopping. (See? The British phraseology is slipping in there. Between this and the over-indulgence of Jane Austen over the holidays, we should just pack our bags and head back to the Queen.) The children were naturally with me, and we split up when we went to the mall.
Sarah came running up to me as I was once again perusing the scrapbook aisle of the Great Canadian Dollar Store.
“Mom! In Shopper’s they have a big Cadbury bar! And it’s on SALE! And it’s the LAST ONE!”
At this point we had no word about the annual chocolate from England, only that it was somewhere between here and there. Ron had said if ever we saw one of those bars here, we should grab it. We *had* seen it before, but it was elusive. Always when we didn’t have the extra cash, or it was heavily pre-holiday priced.Ã‚Â I hemmed and hawed a bit, waffled some more, and in the end got it. The clerk even thanked me profusely for “getting rid of it”.
On the way home, we stopped at the post office to pick up the mail. Sarah came back to the car grinning, carrying an armload of packages. She tossed one to me. “Guess what Mom? It’s from England!” It was suspiciously chocolate-bar sized. Now, normally the cousins send the whole thing to my aunt, and she divvies it up and sends along our portion. But I suddenly thought, what if it had been done on their end?
I laughed and laughed.
When we got back to the house, I opened up the parcel, and instead of chocolate, there was a book. I gotta tell you, I actually love new books *more* than chocolate. It’s true. Even better, it was a book our cousin had co-authored, AND it was on a portion of British history. Enclosed was a note stating he hoped we liked it.
I think I may have swooned.
The Battle of St Albans tells the story of two epic battles during the War of the Roses. These took place in the city of St Albans, which not only stands today, but that’s where some of my family now lives. The authors help clear up some of the confusion and legend surrounding the War of the Roses, explaining the political landscape of the time. They bring the battlefields to life, thorough series of diagrams, modern-day photographs of actual places and generous descriptions of the time and places. There’s even pictures of reenactments of soldier’s uniforms and fighting techniques, even snippets of text from documents from that time frame, in theÃ‚Â participant’s own words.
As Emma and I flipped through the book, we seriously got lost in the 15th century. We were immersed. And I longed for England once again. Mike did a bang-up job, and I’m sure our family could not have been more proud.
Back to the book – it’s jam-packed at 182 pages, 5.5″ x 8″ bound format and loads of b&w photos. By the time I got to the back cover, I was absolutely delighted to find it was part of a series of books based on all sorts of battles in Britain – all the way up through the Second World War. I immediately though of all our homeschooling and/or history buff friends who would *love* to get their hands on such books.
You can Ã‚Â and visit the publiser’s site, Pen and Sword books for more historic battles. I’ll be over here, curled up with the book, noshing on chocolate.