Posts Tagged ‘Lady Godiva’

Why Lady Godiva Rode!

Real story behind Lady Godiva’s (Godgifu’s) ride through Coventry. In 1000 AD central England was the last place to convert to Christianity. Lady Godiva represented Lady Epona, the British Horse Goddess and Queen of Fertility. Her ride brought good luck to the village. [She rode wearing a shift, not nude—she’s my great…great grandmother!]

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Lady Godiva or Epona?

Epona was a horse goddess. England was officially Christian, but the old gods dwelt in many minds. Lady Godiva rode through Coventry on horseback, bringing memories of Epona to folk. Famous for a nude ride, Lady Godiva wore a linen shift—confusion with Epona altered her story. (I am a descendant of Lady Godiva, but I’m not related to Epona!)

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ACE Warning

American Congress of Elves wishes to remind everyone:

Do not interrupt an Elvan dance—woe to thee.

Do not disturb an Elf Circle in a meadow. Ye may not find thy way home.

Do not woo an Elf Maiden—it will be thy bane.

Queen Aelfgifu, gift of the elves, was my great…great grandmother. Aelfgar, elf-spear, was the son of Lady Godiva and my great…great grandfather. I must have elvan blood—however I shall not harm thee.

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Lady Godiva’s husband

Leofric, Earl of Mercia was born in Staffordshire about 968 AD, died 31 August or 30 September 1057. He was allied with the Danish in Danelaw, the Danish controlled part of England and may have been Danish. Though he fought in wars, he is remembered for being Lady Godiva’s husband when she rode through Coventry. Since she is my great…great grandmother, he is my great…great grandfather. His emblem was the double-headed eagle.


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Lady Godiva (Godgifu) was born near Coventry about 1000 AD and died September 10 after 1066, about 1077AD. Famous for her ride, she was married to Leofric, the Danish Earl of Mercia. She was also my great….grandmother. RIP, grandma.

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Mystery solved

Everyone knows of Lady Godiva’s naked ride. BUT early historians insist she wore a shift, medieval slip. Anglo-Saxon naked “naecad” meant improperly clothed which could mean no clothes or just a shift. Had she ridden bare “baer,” she would indeed have been nude. My picture book manuscript is The True Lady Godiva. Lady Godiva – 1010AD to about 1077AD. After the penance ride, her husband lowered tolls on Coventry. Among her famous descendants are William Shakespeare and Daniel Webster. And me—she is also my great…grandmother.

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Lady Godiva lived in Anglo-Saxon times—around 1050 AD. Anglo-Saxons called bread half, loaf/.

Poor—pea flour/oatmeal mix known as horsebread

Serfs—oatmeal/barley mix known as dredge

Middle class—spelt/rye mix known as maslin

Mix with boiling water to form a dough (no other ingredients). Knead well. Form into a pancake and place on an ungreased griddle, cooking over a fire on both sides until golden brown. Serve warm with butter or cheese. (Anglo-Saxon law allowed barm/yeast or salt to be added)

[Lady Godiva is my great…great grandmother. Alas, she left no recipes.]

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The True Lady Godiva


I just finished a picture book manuscript: The True Lady Godiva. She did NOT ride nude. That was fiction added many years after her death. Lady Godiva – 1010AD to about 1077AD. She did penance wearing a linen shift though she was allowed to ride horseback. After the ride, her husband lowered the taxes on the village of Coventry. Among her famous descendants are William Shakespeare and Daniel Webster. She is also my great…grandmother.


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First: The Lady Godiva who rode naked through Coventry? This was added some 400 years after her death, so not really.

Second: The Lady Godiva who rode through Coventry wearing a linen shift (slip)? Yes, but…..

Third: Epona the Celtic horse goddess? Coventry was in a part of England that was the last to relinquish Paganism. In Britain, she was a goddess of horses and fertility who was hugely popular. So, when Lady Godiva—a high ranking lady—rode bareback, of course she became famous as a reincarnation of Epona.

[Lady Godiva is my great…great grandma, so I have a special interest in her]


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She didn’t actually cook this; she was a proper lady (and also my great…great grandmother). Her medieval cooks made this for her.

1 pound split pease soaked over night

Pepper, salt, parsley and mint to taste

Stick of butter

Simmer pease alone until tender. Strain off water. Add other ingredients, mash together.

Yes, she ate this after her famous ride, don’t you know?

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