Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A historical find...Dorothy comes home

I'm pretty excited about my latest salvage find, although this would probably be classified more on the unnecessary side of things, I couldn't resist! I loved her as soon as I saw her (she's over 3 feet tall) and then when I got home and started researching who she was I love her even more.

First, what is it? Apparently up until the 1960s the English churches allowed people to rub the brass tomb plates in order to create wax impressions which they then mounted.

Second, who was she? Dorothy Wadham (1534-1618). When her husband, Nicholas Wadham died he left everything  to her (despite her being a, gasp, woman). His sole wishes were to found a college in Oxford, England. Dorothy, being the strong independent woman I'm sure she was, did just that. "She fought all the claims of Nicholas's relations, lobbied at court, negotiated the purchase of a site and drew up the college statutes" (History of Wadham). Within four years of his death Dorothy had started a college from scratch, even hiring the cook herself. 2010 marks Wadham College's 400th Anniversary.

Now this is obviously not a situation I want to duplicate entirely (I'd rather have a "Notebook" style death where Nick and I pass peacefully in each others arms at the ripe old age of 100 or more) I think it's so important for women to continually find inspiration in the strength of other women.

I'm lucky enough to have married a man who values me as an equal team-member, able to pull my own weight, while still making me feel beautiful and loved. Hopefully I'll never be in Dorothy's shoes, fighting to fulfill my husband's wishes, but I like to think that if I was, my Nick would definitely trust I was up for the challenge.
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  1. So what do you plan to do with Dorthy? PS ... an amazing find.

  2. I think I'm going to frame her and then lean her on top of the fireplace mantel...most likely in the library.


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