Sunday, February 14, 2010

Courtly Love – Love in the Middle Ages

When we think of marriage, we first think of love. Two sides of the same coin.

But this was not the same way of thinking back in the Middle Ages.

Women had no choice in who they married. Oftentimes, they married a total stranger, a man they had never met before they walked down the aisle.

The idea of arranged marriages is foreign to some of us today, even though it is still common practice in some parts of the world today.

I already mentioned that women had no choice; however (typical male-dominated society), there were some cases in which the man could decide his bride.

Sometimes, love found the couple after they were married as backward as that sounds to us. Many times, even if they did not grow to love each other, lasting friendships bloomed.

Marriage was done at a young age – the girls as young as 12, the boys 17 – and for financial, practical, or dynastic reasons.

The feudal relationship between a knight and his liege lord was the model for courtly love as well as the code of chivalry. The knight swears the same obedience and loyalty to his courtly lady that he would his liege lord. This ideal is taken from bards’ songs and hardly ever practiced. After all, most knights would not be submissive to their lady! However, his love for her was a source for inspiration, for courage, and power, to do great deeds, in order to win her favor, to be good enough for her.

Oftentimes, the knight fell in love with a married lady. Remember, most marriages were not born out of love. Courtly love was a means for the knights to show their affection despite the marital state of the lady. The most famous instance of this occurrence is Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere.

Now for some of the more defined rules of courtly love.

The Twelve Chief Rules in Love

From The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus, a 12th century Frenchman

1. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
2. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
3. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
4. Thou shalt not chose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
5. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
6. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
7. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
8. In giving and receiving love's solaces let modesty be ever present.
9. Thou shalt speak no evil.
10. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
11. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
12. In practising the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.

The Art of Courtly Love

Also from The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus

1. Marriage is no real excuse for not loving.
2. He who is not jealous cannot love.
3. No one can be bound by a double love.
4. It is well known that love is always increasing or decreasing.
5. That which a lover takes against the will of his beloved has no relish.
6. Boys do not love until they reach the age of maturity.
7. When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor.
8. No one should be deprived of love without the very best of reasons.
9. No one can love unless he is propelled by the persuasion of love.
10. Love is always a stranger in the home of avarice.
11. It is not proper to love any woman whom one would be ashamed to seek to marry.
12. A true lover does not desire to embrace in love anyone except his beloved.
13. When made public love rarely endures.
14. The easy attainment of love makes it of little value: difficulty of attainment makes it prized.
15. Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved.
16. When a lover suddenly catches sight of his beloved his heart palpitates.
17. A new love puts an old one to flight.
18. Good character alone makes any man worthy of love.
19. If love diminishes, it quickly fails and rarely revives.
20. A man in love is always apprehensive.
21. Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love.
22. Jealousy increases when one suspects his beloved.
23. He whom the thought of love vexes eats and sleeps very little.
24. Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved.
25. A true lover considers nothing good except what he thinks will please his beloved.
26. Love can deny nothing to love.
27. A lover can never have enough of the solaces of his beloved.
28. A slight presumption causes a lover to suspect his beloved.
29. A man who is vexed by too much passion usually does not love.
30. A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved.
31. Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women.

Now for some prizes. First, my individual prize: an ARC of Knight of Glory. All you have to do is comment here on this blog. For an extra entry, hop on over to my website, and sign up for the newsletter.

Because this blog post is in conjunction with Classic Romance Revival blog carnival, there is a grand prize - a 5-ARC package from Classic Romance Revival authors – which will be drawn from visitors commenting on the most blogs. To qualify for the grand prize, you need to register for the contest. Please visit the Classic Romance Revival blog to find details of all the blogs and to register:

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference from Terry Kate

Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference - by Terry Kate
March 19-20 - Special Author Day the 21st

Since starting my site Romance in the Backseat I have faced a number of hurdles that closely resembled mountains. I learned and the more I learned, as often happens, I realized the more there was to know. Publishing is a complex business and bloggers, reviewers, and sites like my own are beginning to play a role in that industry. Authors are the face of publishing, as are their books, but blogs are a great resource to get information out to readers.

Here is the problem that slowly built the more insight I got from talking to publishers, authors and bloggers - There are only so many readers online and they can be hard to find. How do you know you are reaching them, and if we are how can we do more? So I decided to take on the huge undertaking of organizing a conference that would allow those of us looking to share books, and promote them online to compare notes and get on the same page.

There is a reason for the World Business Forum, the World Social Forum, and other meetings where groups are working in the same area, with the same goals and can benefit from greater understanding. I hate to say it since it is so cliche, but knowledge is power and the publishing industry and book sales need some power behind them right now. So here is the other details and specifics.

Information -
Attending Simon and Schuster, Dorchester, Liquid Silver Books, Lyrical Press, The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Midnight Showcase Fiction, and more. There are industry professionals like literary agent Lori Perkins, Tiffany James the director of the awesomely exciting RomCon Convention

Thank you and I look forward to answering any questions. - Terry Kate


What inspired the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference?

Working online. I got tired of being frustrated and bashing my head against the wall. Being clueless is not as fun as the movie would lead you to believe. There are so many great blogs and talented bloggers and reviewers out there talking about books that I desperately wanted to get everyone together to learn from them.

When I talked to the publishers and house publicists and learned they felt the same way I decided to take control of what I could control, which is learning more and sharing what I have learned with others. A conference seemed the perfect place to do that. And since we are all online folks hosting the conference online just made sense.

What are the benefits of an Online Conference?

There are three main ones. First, I have been able to get the most amazing panelists since they do not need to travel. The Conference is set up that you can listen to panels live or at a more convenient time. I think the addition of audio panels beyond the forum discussion will make the Conference closer to the experience of a live event.

Second comes the information that will be permanently profiled on attendees in the Ning, where the written end of the Conference will take place. Publishers will have access to information about bloggers, bloggers will have the opportunity to meet with publishers that might be new to them, and the authors who come in Sunday will be able to access this information as well. Right now it is very difficult to find bloggers and reviewers, harder still to discover those that may be a great match for what you publish or write. This conference will build a data base by the bloggers attendance.

Number three is cost. Physical Events have travel expenses, often hotel costs, meals, and the price of registration. All together they can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. $20 for 2-3 days of expert information, networking, and having your profile seen by all other visitors. I may be biased but I think it is a bargain, what with all the giveaways and prizes. Grand Prize is an E-Reader.

Who will be there?

We have got an amazing list of publishers - Simon and Schuster, Dorchester, Liquid Silver Books, Lyrical Press, The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Midnight Showcase Fiction, and more. There are industry professionals like literary agent Lori Perkins, Tiffany James the director of the awesomely exciting RomCon Convention, and a few more I can not name yet but I can say it will be an honor to have them there.

What do you hope attendees will walk away with?

I hope everyone leaves motivated to spread the word about books and bring more readers online. They will leave with a better understanding of how the industry works, and where we can all improve our personal sphere online. Last but not least a technical understanding. Without knowing things like site stats, basic design information, and a few other tricks of the trade, it is hard to know whether you are being effective online.

And authors, what will be directed towards them?

Authors are perhaps the most important factor and have the greatest opportunity to reach out to readers. The panels from Friday and Saturday will be available to them, and be an amazing tool in helping them get insight into what publishers and bloggers are doing online to promote books. If we are not organized we can not help authors. That is the whole purpose of the Conference to be better at what we do. After the issues have been laid out the Conference open to authors so they can have access to the Blog and Review site profiles and find bloggers and reviewers that are a good match for them. It may not be the biggest blog on the block that helps you sell books, it is just meeting others who share the same interests and have readers looking for what you write. There will be panels for authors Sunday as well.

All the info and registration can be found on my site here -

And feel free to email me questions or suggestions,
Thank you to Nicole for having me!

Terry Kate
Romance in the Backseat