Sunday, September 27, 2009

reading and lawyers and history, oh my!

I recently saw Noopur wear this T-shirt on God Made Me Funky. I immediately fell in love with it, and did a search online to see if the store was still selling it. Eureka! It was still available in only one size – my size! So here I am wearing it.

I love to read. I regularly attend 2 book clubs, and occasionally show up at a few more. I visit the Chicago Public Library often. I am thrilled to live a short walk from Borders. Coffee and books and magazines, all in one place – what an awesome idea!

This is my second reading shirt. The first one I purchased was a “reading is sexy” tee from I saw Rory wearing the shirt on Gilmore Girls. I immediately went searching for my own, and found the exact same tee.

I was at Hackney’s a few nights ago. It used to be my regular neighborhood hangout back when I lived in Printer’s Row. The Printer’s Row Book Fair takes place annually on Dearborn Street, right outside of Hackney’s. Our waitress was wearing a Hackney’s T-shirt that said “Get Lit” from one of the past Book Fairs. The "Get Lit" tee was no longer available for purchase. I know, because I asked.

Lakeview Festival of the Arts

T-shirt: Forever XXI
Jacket: vintage (or from the early 1990’s at the latest; it’s been floating around in my family for a while; maybe it was my mom’s??)
Jeans: Delia’s
Scarf: handmade by my mother
Necklace: St. Thomas More pendant from Westminster Cathedral (the Catholic church in London with the beautifully colored marble columns, not Westminster Abbey, the protestant church in London where all the famous and royal people get married and buried)
Peace Sign Earrings: World Market
Purple Faux-Suede Boots: Wet Seal
Cuff: new from a boutique in Wicker Park

Thank you to my boyfriend for taking today's great photos.

History Lesson (with my ode to reading above, today seems like the day to totally nerd out):

St. Thomas More wrote the book Utopia. He was a lawyer and an advisor to Henry XVIII of England, the king with 6 wives. Henry’s first wife was Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had been married to Henry’s older brother, the crown prince, in order to strengthen the alliance between England and Spain. Henry’s older brother died before ascending to the throne and Henry became the new crown prince.

Catherine and Henry were married to each other to continue Spanish-English alliance building. The Catholic Church does not generally allow a woman to marry her brother-in-law after the death of her husband, so the couple had to get a special dispensation from the Pope in Rome. Approximately 20 years into the marriage, Henry XVIII decided to marry Anne Boleyn. But first, he had to get rid of Catherine somehow.

Henry asked the Pope in Rome to annul his marriage to Catherine on the basis of consanguinity, that they were too closely related b/c Catherine had been Henry’s sister-in-law. The Pope refused to grant the annulment, since Rome had granted Henry and Catherine a special dispensation to marry in the first place. Henry declared the Church of England to be separate from Rome, and named himself as the head of the church. He granted himself the annulment, and married his second wife, Anne Boleyn (who he later beheaded, see the recent moview The Other Boleyn Girl).

St. Thomas More never approved of the Church of England's split from Rome, and he refused to swear allegiance to Henry XVIII as the head of the church, over the Pope in Rome. Thomas was imprisoned for this, and eventually executed. A Man for All Seasons, the winner of the 1967 academy award for best picture, is about St. Thomas More. He is the Catholic patron saint of lawyers. I got this pendant while studying abroad in London during law school.

Caveat: The facts in this history lesson come from my memory. If you're interested in the above story, please independently verify the facts before relying upon them.

Small print, part two: With a discussion of religion and lawyers, I really felt that I should put some small print at the bottom of this page. It just seemed fitting.


  1. I loved this top! Very nice.

    I love Tudor history. Its so...juicy!!

    I was reading a book about the history of the skirt the other day, and I just about threw it across the room. They referred to Catherine of MEDICI as the STEPMOTHER of Elizabeth I (as in the red-headed daughter of Henry - the anecdote was about the Medici's makeup choices and how they must have influenced Elizabeth I's styling.)They clearly got several anecdotes mixed up. Maybe confusing Elizabeth of Valois and/or Catherine of Aragon? I was so infuriated, I couldn't even feel good about reading the rest of the book! I felt like gee, what kind of research was done for the book?

  2. This post brings me back to my college years. I went to Thomas More College (so of course read "A Man for all Seasons").

    LOVE those purple boots btw!

  3. Hey!
    Thanks so much for mentioning me. love the way you are wearing the top with the jacket and the scarf. love it. you loook so good.
    BtW..I love going to borders for exactly the same reasons...books, mag n coffee at one place.

  4. This is such a great casual look. I love the boots and t-shirt!

  5. i like the colour of your boots and the scarf...

  6. I LOVE this combo of tshirt, jacket and scarf!!!

  7. That tee is so cute and soft looking. I love me some reading too and I hate how I don't have so much time now (blogging may contribute to the lack of time).

  8. That t-shirt is so sweet! I need to read more...