Ars Gratia Artis

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Persona Meme

There are still a few I haven't bothered to answer, mostly because the answer is something I'm not interested in seperating from my personal experiences--I love Pastimes with Good Company and quite a lot of Rennaissance music, love Byrd's music, a bunch of SCA dances like definately post period "Hole in the Wall" and "Sailor's Wife" and "Black Nag" and "Maltese Bransle," and my personal opinions on the causes of criminal behavior are so strong that I'm not sure I can seperate 'em out at this time. But, anyway, this is what I got so far.

1. What is your persona's name? Merouda Pendray

2. What year was your persona born? Varies. My primary focus is 1500-1560, with extentions forward and backwards to go from 1480-1575. My year of birth depends on how old I feel like being in 1554. The thing is, I'm trying to do my persona's whole life span from an adult view point.

3. What is your persona's native country? Born near the Wyle river in Buckinghamshire, grew up in Cornwall. Merouda is Cornish with a good grasp of the English. In this era, Cornwall is effectively a subject country to England, much as Wales was and Scotland would eventually become.

4. What is your persona's current country? At some point in her life, she has lived in Flanders. She also travels a fair bit as her husband is a member of the Spanish Ambassador's household.

5. What are the climates of your persona's native and current countries? Cornwall is temperate and warmish, with a good breeze off the gulf stream. Their winters are not as harsh as ours in WI in the modern era, but may have been worse in period, d/t the Little Ice Age,

6. What are the terrains of your persona's native and current countries? The central areas of Cornwall tend to be uninhabited, as the land is generally not farmable. It is used for cattle grazing. Costal areas have the most settlement and most of the major manors.

7. In what city/town/barn was your persona born? Born near Chepping Wycomb (Now called High Wycombe) in Buckinghamshire.

8. What city does your persona currently claim as "home"? Merouda is an only daughter and heraldic hieress; she owns two small manors, one near ST. Ives, and one near Pendeen.

9. What are/were your persona's parent's names? Mother: Luvday Rhyswall. Merouda's mother is directly related to the mother of Lord Lisle (a woman unknown to history, as Arthur Plantagenet was the illegitimate son of Edward IV--there are at least 3 women who could be his mom), and through this connection, Merouda has the opportunity to serve in greater households than her own, fostering with the Greys and the Lisles, depending on the political situation of the time. Father: Sir John Pendray, a landholder in Cornwall.

10. What are/were your persona's parents' occupation(s)? They held manorial lands, father was a minor courtier and made money off of the tin trade and land use.

11. Does your persona have any siblings, and if so, are any still alive? No.

12. Is your persona married? Yes.

13. What are the marriage customs and typical age of marriage for your persona's culture/time-frame? Marriage is for life; marriage for most people in in their late twenties, although not necessarily for wealthier famlies when politics, social climbing, and other stakes get placed into the marriage game.

14. What type of building does your persona currently live in? Manor House

15. With whom does your persona live? Husband, servants.

16. Are there members of your persona's household that are not related to your persons (servants/retainers, wards/fosterlings, guests, etc.)? Yes.

17. Were pets kept during your persona's culture/time-frame? If so, what kind, if any, does your persona have? Yes; Merouda has a monkey and dogs.

18. What is your persona's occupation? She runs her household; she also does some service as a scribe and has worked as a secretary and lady's maid.

19. How old is your persona? Generally, Middle adulthood.

20. How long do people like your persona tend to live? If she survives childbirth she stands a good chance of living to 45-70.

21. What is your persona's ethnicity? I say again, she is Cornish.

22. Who is your persona's current employer? She works for various nobles higher up the social ladder; she's spent time in the households of the Grey's, the Carew's, the Lisles.

23. Would your persona have been literate in your chosen culture/time-frame? Yes.

24. What level of education does your persona have? She is well-educated.

25. Where was your persona educated? With the children of the households in which she fostered.

26. What languages does your persona speak? Cornish, English, Latin, Spanish.

27. What units of measure were used by your persona's culture/time-frame? I can't write this all out, see

28. What type of money did people of your persona's culture/time-frame use? Standard English system, shillings, pennies, pounds.

29. What kind of legal system exists in your persona's culture/time-frame, and who make the laws? There is a well-developed law system in Tudor England, and laws are made at the local and the royal levels.

30. What is the status of women among your persona's culture/time-frame, and can they own property or conduct business? Women are fairly powerful at this particular time, although women are, ultimately, still under the male rule. Yes, they can own property and conduct business, although usually as unmarried/widowed women.

31. What major events have occurred during your persona's lifetime? (Natural catastrophes, wars, revolutions, discoveries, etc.?) The reformation, exploration of the North American continent, the prayerbook rebellion, Henry Viii's wifely mess.

32. Does your persona fight? If so, where did your persona learn to fight? No.

33 What type of armour and weapons were used by fighters in your persona's culture/time-frame? By now, we have gunpowder. Gonnes were not accurate enough for hunters, but the sure worked for killin' people!
34. List your persona's skills and hobbies. For each, write down where your persona learned them.
Merouda makes money writing and limming. Writing was part of her education, limming she learned from Leveena Terlink. Merouda can also dance, compose sonnets, play a psaltery, embroider, sew, bind books, draw maps, perform simple medicine, sing, hunt, shoot a bow and arrow and a gun, cook, dye, do beadwork, make cord via lucet, bobbins, braiding; play chess and nine-man-morris, other games, garden, understands blacksmithing, understands pottey making, understands some woodworking and practices some few things that are considered "wood embellishment" in the SCA, and knows a great deal about heraldry. Most of this was simply a part of her education, part of growing up noble with the expectation that she would run the family manor in due course of time. Some things she learned via reading; this is the era of print, and she had acess to a variety of period how-to books.

35. What "class" is your persona? (I.e., royalty, nobility, merchant, middle, artisan, slave, etc.) She's a low-end noble.

36. How widely has your persona traveled? All through what woiuld become Great Britan, the Low COuntries, the German states, the edge of the Ottoman Empire, and to the new Kingdoms (The SCA).

37. In what capacity has your persona traveled? (I.e., military, sailor, rich person's hobby, etc.) Generally related to the movements of the houses she was fostered to or as part of her husband's travel. Merouda is married to Miguel de Montoya el Artista, a Spaniard who is a part of Charles'/Phillip's ambassidorial cadre.

38. Who is your persona's current monarch? My focus is the whole life span of Merouda, so she has lived during the reigns of Henry VII through Elizabeth I, and occasionally I decide to be old enough to have been exposed to Richard III.

39. Who is the current Pope during your persona time? Again, it ranges, from Pius III to Pius IV--there were a number of popes during that time.

40. What religion is your persona? She was born Catholic, would convert to Lutheranism willingly and Angelican forcibly.

41. What kind of religious duties would be required of your persona? Attendance, good works.

42. How did people of your persona's culture/time-frame deal with trade? It's a business.

43. With respect to international relations, does your persona favor colonization, isolationism, conquest/conversion, open trade, etc.? Merouda doesn't much care about international relations. She has travelled and traded, she is aware of the New World (and travels in the New Kingdoms thereof to make connections, like a smart noble would), but on the whole, she just wants the world to keep turning. She understands the importance of negotiation and alliances, but tries to keep out of political intruiges, particularly in these dangerous times.

44. How does your persona personally obtain goods (food, drink, clothes, etc.)? Some things she obtains on her own, by arranging for it via letters, et cetera, some things are obtained for her by her servants. Merouda is trying to keep the manors as self sufficient as possible, but things like paper, vellum, better cloth, books, pots and pans, spices, some foods, et cetera, must be purchased. These may be bought from specific businesses/merchants, for instance, paper and books from the stationer, cloth from the mercer, pigments from the apothocary. Jost Amman's The book of trades is a decent indication of businesses to be found in a Western European 16th c city.

45. How did people of your persona's culture/time-frame tell time? Weight driven clocks. Spring clocks appear in Germany in 1510, and would quickly become popular among wealthy people, as they can be portable. Merouda is also familiar with sundials.

46. How did people of your persona's culture/time-frame keep track of days? Calendar.

47. What type of clothes does your persona normally wear? shift/shirt/slip, kirtle, overdress, coif, veil/hood at the beginning of the era, adding corsets, farthingales, petticotes and more as the era progresses into the early Elizabethan era.

48. What type of clothes does your persona wear for special occasions? Elaborate versions of daily wear. More rigid undergarments, as needed.

49. Are there any (sumptuary) laws restricting what your persona can wear? Yes. Merouda doesn't generally violate them, and pays her fines if anyone makes a fuss about it if she does.

50. What does your persona eat in a normal day? 3 meals. Middle meal is largest, eaten in mid afternoon.

51. How is food prepared and preserved in your persona's culture/time-frame? There are a variety of cookery and household books describing food preperation and preservation in print across Western Europe. Foods are salted, dried, pickled, smoked, stored in honey or oil.

52. What spices were available to your persona and how expensive were they? Saffron, cloves, ginger, lovage, yada yada yada: see the herbals and cookery books in my library.

53. What were the eating habits of people of your persona's culture/time-frame? They ate food. The repetative nature of some of these questions begins to irritate me, but to give lipservice to this question, I refer to "Dining in Tudor England," a book in my personal library. I also refer to the many, many, many illuminations in my C&I book collection showing people dining.

54. What are the cleaning/bathing habits of your persona's culture/time-frame? They bathed. is a glancing introduction, although I also have a bunch of receipts for "toothpastes," soaps, perfumes, cosmetics, et cetera, in the various books of reciepts in my library.

55. What types of wildlife live in your persona's area? Usual English fauna. Introduction here: Also, nice photo galleries of Cornish wildlife and landscape here:

56. Name your persona's favorite musicians/artists/dances.

57. What political figure/party/movement does your persona support? Dood. She is a Tudor Era Person. She tries to keep out of court intrigues, having been in the households of several great families and having see what happens when you are on the wrong side.

58. Who is the most significant thinker of your persona's time? Among others, Erasmus, Sir Thomas More.

59. What does your persona consider to be the greatest social problem their country? Religious persecution, issues related to the reformation.

60. What is most likely to cause your persona's death? Disease (smallpox, sweating sickness, bloody flux, et cetera), childbirth. However, Merouda dies of old age.

61. What type of medical aid is available in your persona's culture/time-frame, and does your persona have access to it? There are physicians in the Tudor era but they were as likely to kill you as cure you. Merouda's rich, and so can afford

62. List at least three of your persona's goals in life. (Learn to write, become apprenticed to a craftsman, visit the "big city", take over the family business, go to the Holy Land, usurp the crown, etc.) Merouda's goal is to continue to run the mannor successfully and continue to travel with her husband and into the New Kingdoms as an observer for the Tudor court.

63. What does your persona know of history/science/medicine/geography? About as much as a well-educated Rennaissance woman can be expected to know.

64. What's the most striking scientific achievement of which your persona is aware?

65. Does your persona consider the Earth to be flat, round, or hollow? Round

66. Does your persona believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or vice-versa? The earth is revolved by the Sun at the time Merouda is born, but Copernicus will reveal that the sun actually is the center during Merouda's lifetime. It will shock and rock her, but what the hell, she made the jump to Protestantism, too.

67. What does your persona consider to be the causes of criminal behavior?

68. What does your persona consider to be the true measure of a man?

69. Who has most influenced your persona's thoughts on these questions? She thinking about it for herself, and has come to no conclusion.

70. Did your persona's culture/time-frame have heraldry? Yes.


  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger Constanza said…

    Did you find the questions for this somewhere, or decide they were ones you wanted answered about your persona? These are things I should think about answering for mine at some point.

  • At 9:29 PM, Blogger Merouda said…

    I found these questions on Modar's site:

    It's been a while since I have done a questionnaire; I should look around and see what else might be out there, see if anyone has something to supplement this. :-)


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