Sunday, February 17, 2013

Roads Less Travelled


Geraldine Brooks had advice for writers. If you want to set scenes and create characters that draw in your reader, leave the country. Open yourself to discovery. Savor the uniqueness of foreign people—their language, their festivals, and their everyday lives. Experience exotic places, from grass huts to castles.

So off I went to England, and headed straight for Windsor Castle. Well, vicariously. My tour through a souvenir book found at an estate sale cost ten cents. If an airline ticket doesn’t fit your budget either, expand your knowledge on the cheap with The National Geographic, The Smithsonian, or souvenir books instead.

Below is a sampling of my visit to Windsor Castle. To help you pick up on the flavor of it, I left a word out of each sentence. Select the correct word (labeled a through l) from the Word List to replace the blank line in each sentence. Each word is used once. Answers follow.

Word List:
 a. motte, b. audience, c. dado, d. castellated, e. Royal Standard, f. apogee,
g. fulsomely, h. tridents, i. vestibule, k. collegiate church, l. undercroft, m. curtain wall

1.       The Queen is kept closely informed about all aspects of national life and the Prime Minister has a weekly ___________  with her.
2.       The Castle contains, as well as a royal palace, a magnificent ___________ and the homes or workplaces of a large number of people, including the Constable and the Governor of the Castle, the Military Knights of Windsor and the Dean and Canons of St. George’s Chapel.
3.       Whenever the Queen is in residence, the ____________ rather than the Union flag, is flown over the castle.
4.       Henry II also began to replace the timber and outer walls of the Upper Ward with stone. The basic ____________ dates from this from his time as does the Round Tower, built in 1170 on top of William the Conqueror’s original Norman motte.
5.       On the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Charles II determined to reinstate Windsor as his principal non-metropolitan palace. The architect Hugh May was appointed in 1673 to supervise the work which took eleven years to complete. May retained the blocky ____________ appearance of the buildings but regularised their exterior and inserted round-arched Windows, some of which are still visible today.
6.       In many ways Windsor Castle reached its ____________ in the reign of Queen Victoria.
7.       Visitors make their way to the state apartments in the Upper Ward, walking past the round tower on its steep artificial ____________ . The moat protecting the tower has always been dry, and is now the enchanting gardens of the Governor of Windsor Castle…
8.       The visitor now enters of vaulted ____________, originally created by James Wyatt and extended by Jeffrey Wyatville as the principal entrance to the state apartments.
9.       The grand ____________ is dominated by statute of Queen Victoria by Sir Joseph Boehm (1871).
10.   It was one of a series of thirteen painted ceilings that celebrated the Rrestoration of the English monarchy in 1660 all had  ____________ royalist subjects, and were influenced by Charles Lebrun’s work for Louis 14th at Versailles.
11.   The 17th century cornice by Grinling Gibbons with crisply carved acanthus leaves survives as do the waist-height paneled ____________ and 8-paneled doors.
12.   William IV eliminated the old painted ceiling and installed the existing moulded plaster design sporting his own monogram and arms, while the anchors and ____________ recall his career in the Navy before he ascended the throne.

Answers: 1-b, 2-k, 3-e, 4-m, 5-d, 6-f, 7-a, 8-l, 9-I, 10-g, 11-c, 12-h.

The above selections were taken from:
 Windsor Castle: Official Guidebook ©2004 Royal Collection Enterprises, Ltd. London
Guidebook text written by John Martin Robinson

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