Steinbeck Searched For Arthur’s Grail

Last night I concluded my daughter was given a poisoned apple by her aunt, and she succumbed to the propensity to be an alcoholic that is in her – and my – DNA! It is…

Our Bad Blood To Bare

This tragedy, that appears irreversible, is not consumed by my search for a cure, or remedy, but, the search for…..The Truth that will set you free!

Around high noon, I got a call from my old friend Argyle Smyth, who is a cousin of that rascal, Paul Smith, who made so much trouble on the egroups we belonged to, that yahoogroups – disappeared. What a great trafedy. We were – so close!

“It’s on!” Argyle said, excitedly.

“What’s on?”

“The hunt for the Holy Grail, and the Rose Line! Google Steinbeck and King Arthur! She there! She had brown eyes. There is a claim -she does not descend from the Erls of Orkney. Like hell! This is to throw us off the trail. She had – brown eyes! And – red hair! She is covered with roses. her father is named after…..a snake!”

“Oh my God! My kin illustrated Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ a story influenced by the Bible!”

“Check it out, and get back to me!”

“Did you read they have traced the descendants of Leornardo Da Vinci thru his DNA?”

“Are you kidding me! We suspected Brown was part of a real ruse to throw us off. I wonder how much the Catholic church paid him?”


“Ulf Snakenborg! For sure he knew the Sinclairs!”

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Helena Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton – Wikipedia

Contrary to claims presented in some genealogies, Marchioness Helena’s ancestry has not been proven to include medieval Viking Earls of Orkney. And also contrary to claims in some genealogies, she seems not to have descended from the sister of St Bridget of Sweden.

Haakon V of Norway – Wikipedia

Ulf (Snakenborg) Henriksson (1525-1582) | WikiTree FREE Family Tree

Riksråd Ulf Henriksson Snakenborg (1500 – c.1583) – Genealogy (

The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976) is John Steinbeck‘s retelling of the Arthurian legend, based on the Winchester Manuscript text of Sir Thomas Malory‘s Le Morte d’Arthur.[1] He began his adaptation in November 1956. Steinbeck had long been a lover of the Arthurian legends. The introduction to his translation contains an anecdote about him reading them as a young boy.[2] His enthusiasm for Arthur is apparent in the work. The book was left unfinished at his death, and ends with the death of chivalry in Arthur’s purest knight, Lancelot of the Lake.[3]

Steinbeck took a “living approach” to the retelling of Malory’s work. He followed Malory’s structure and retained the original chapter titles, but he explored the psychological underpinning of the events, and tuned the use of language to sound natural and accessible to a Modern English speaker:[4]

Malory wrote the stories for and to his time. Any man hearing him knew every word and every reference. There was nothing obscure, he wrote the clear and common speech of his time and country. But that has changed—the words and references are no longer common property, for a new language has come into being. Malory did not write the stories. He simply wrote them for his time and his time understood them… And with that, almost by enchantment the words began to flow.[5]

Based on Steinbeck’s letters collected in the Appendix at the end of the volume, he appears to have worked on the book intensely from about November 1956 through late 1959, but after that never returned to the work.[6]

From March to October 1959, Steinbeck and his wife Elaine rented a cottage in the hamlet of Discove, Redlynch, near Bruton in Somerset, England, while Steinbeck researched his retelling of the Arthurian legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round TableGlastonbury Tor was visible from the cottage, and Steinbeck also visited the nearby hillfort of Cadbury Castle, the supposed site of King Arthur’s court of Camelot. The unfinished manuscript was published after his death in 1976, as The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. The Steinbecks recounted the time spent in Somerset as the happiest of their life together.[7][8]

Family and lineage[edit]

She was born in Sweden, as Elin Ulfsdotter of Fyllingarum in the province of Ostrogothia, in either 1548 or 1549, as a younger daughter of Ulf Henriksson, lord of Fyllingarum (d. c. 1565), of the Bååt family, Senator of Sweden, and his wife Agneta Knutsdotter, heiress of Norrnes. Her father was a supporter of Gustav I, king of Sweden. By all accounts, Helena was a beautiful woman, with large brown eyes, red hair, and a pink and white complexion. She was described as having a strong will and independent mind.

Helena had two brothers and three sisters who survived childhood and had children of their own. Helena was baptized and given the name of her paternal grandmother, Elin Ulfsdotter of the Norwegian house of Sudreim, and her paternal grandfather’s grandmother, another Elin Snakenborg. The name Snakenborg was taken from Helena’s paternal grandfather’s paternal grandmother, the said Elin Henriksdotter Snakenborg, whose patrilineal ancestors were originally from Mecklenburg in Germany. Also Helena’s mother seems to have been a descendant of Agnes of Borgarsyssel, natural daughter of Haakon V of Norway.[citation needed]

Contrary to claims presented in some genealogies, Marchioness Helena’s ancestry has not been proven to include medieval Viking Earls of Orkney. And also contrary to claims in some genealogies, she seems not to have descended from the sister of St Bridget of Sweden.

Rennes-le-Château – Wikipedia

Jesus bloodline – Wikipedia

The Da Vinci Code[edit]

Main article: The Da Vinci Code

The best-known work depicting a bloodline of Jesus is the 2003 best-selling novel and global phenomenon, The Da Vinci Code, joined by its major cinematic release of the same name. In these, Dan Brown incorporated many of the earlier bloodline themes as the background underlying his work of conspiracy fiction. The author attested both in the text and public interviews to the veracity of the bloodline details that served as the novel’s historical context. The work so captured the public imagination that the Catholic Church felt compelled to warn its congregates against accepting its pseudo-historical background as fact, which did not stop it from becoming the highest-selling novel in American history, with tens of millions of copies sold worldwide. Brown mixes facts easily verified by the reader and additional seemingly-authentic details that are not actually factual, with a further layer of outright conjecture that together blurs the relationship between fiction and history. An indication of the degree to which the work captured the public imagination is seen in the cottage industry of works that it inspired, replicating his style and theses or attempting to refute it.[49]

In Brown’s novel, the protagonist discovers that the grail actually referred to Mary Magdalene, and that knowledge of this, as well as of the bloodline descended from Jesus and Mary, has been kept hidden to the present time by a secret conspiracy.[49] This is very similar to the thesis put forward by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln in Holy Blood and the Holy Grail though not associating the hidden knowledge with the Cathars,[4] and Brown also incorporated material from Joyce, Thiering and Starbird, as well as the 1965 The Passover Plot, in which Hugh J. Schonfield claimed that Lazarus and Joseph of Arimathea had faked the resurrection after Jesus was killed by mistake when stabbed by a Roman soldier.[50] Still, Brown relied so heavily on Holy Blood that two of its authors, Baigent and Leigh, sued the book’s publisher, Random House, over what they considered to be plagiarism. Brown had made no secret that the bloodline material in his work drew largely on Holy Blood, directly citing the work in his book and naming the novel’s historical expert after Baigent (in anagram form) and Leigh, but Random House argued that since Baigent and Leigh had presented their ideas as non-fiction, consisting of historical facts, however speculative, then Brown was free to reproduce these concepts just as other works of historical fiction treat underlying historical events. Baigent and Leigh argued that Brown had done more, “appropriat[ing] the architecture” of their work, and thus had “hijacked” and “exploited” it.[51] Though one judge questioned whether the supposedly-factual Holy Blood truly represented fact, or instead bordered on fiction due to its highly conjectural nature,[52] courts ruled in favor of Random House and Brown.[51]

Journey to England[edit]

Helena was one of six young Swedish noble ladies who were Maids of Honour in the retinue of Princess Cecilia of Sweden, Margravine of Baden, second-eldest daughter of King Gustav I. Cecilia and her retinue departed Sweden in Autumn 1564 on a voyage to England, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth I. It was rumoured that Cecilia was journeying to England to press the suit of her half-brother King Eric XIV of Sweden to marry Queen Elizabeth. Because Denmark-Norway was hostile towards Sweden, they were forced to take a roundabout, land route. They travelled through Finland, Livonia, Poland and Germany, which was a lengthy journey, until they reached Calais. The party is also reported to have been hampered by bad weather, and the last leg by seasickness. The voyage lasted almost a year until they reached their destination – they arrived on 8 September 1565 at Dover. Cecilia of Baden was at the time in her ninth month of pregnancy. The welcoming party at Dover was led by Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton (1513–1571), the only surviving son of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, and brother of the late Queen consort Catherine Parr.

Marchioness of Northampton[edit]

In London they settled at Bedford House. On their arrival many prominent members of the English nobility received the party, including Queen Elizabeth. Helena Snakenborg caught the interest of the elderly (then 52 years old) Marquess of Northampton,[1] who soon started to court her.

Margravine Cecilia left England in April 1566 in order to escape her creditors. Helena then became one of the maids of honour to Queen Elizabeth I, and remained in the country for the rest of her life.[2] She was promoted her to gentlewoman of the royal privy chamber. She was subsequently granted many privileges, such as her own lodgings at Hampton Court Palace, servants, and a horse.

Lord Northampton hoped to marry Helena but there was a difficulty because his first, though divorced, wife Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier, was still living. They had divorced in 1552, and he had since remarried, his second wife having died in 1565; however, the Church of England did not acknowledge subsequent marriages of divorced persons until the death of the previous spouse. Anne died in 1571, and Northampton married Helena almost immediately, with the queen’s approval.[3]

The wedding took place in May 1571 in Elizabeth’s presence in the queen’s closet at Whitehall Palace, and the couple divided their time between their houses in GuildfordSurrey, and at Stanstead HallEssex. They had no children. The marquess died suddenly on 28 October 1571. The Dowager Marchioness Helena had received a substantial dower and in 1574 she was granted the manor of Hemingford Grey by the Queen.[4]

Second marriage[edit]

Helena’s second husband was Thomas Gorges, of Longford, Wiltshire, a second cousin of the late Anne Boleyn, and descended from the first Howard Duke of Norfolk. The queen was originally in favour of Thomas’ courtship of Helena but changed her mind and refused to consent to a marriage: Helena was a marchioness, and by marriage the Queen’s kinswoman, Gorges yet only a gentleman. Helena married Thomas Gorges secretly in about 1576. When Elizabeth learned of their clandestine act,[3] Helena was exiled from the court, and Thomas was incarcerated in The Tower of London for a brief period. However, Helena was later reinstated, possibly with the help of her influential friend, Lord Chamberlain Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex.

Helena and Thomas had eight (surviving) children. The couple’s first child was born in June 1578 and named Elizabeth (1578–1659) after the queen, who stood as godmother; Elizabeth would marry twice, first Sir Hugh Smyth and second Ferdinando Gorges.[5] Helena’s first son, Francis Gorges (c.1579–1599), was allegedly named after their close friend, Sir Francis Drake. They had two more daughters, Frances Gorges (1580–1649) and Bridget Gorges (1584-c1634), and four more sons, all of whom were later knighted: Edward Gorges, first Baron Gorges of Dundalk (b 1582/3, d in or before 1652), Theobald Gorges (1583–1647), Robert Gorges (1588–1648), and Thomas Gorges (b 1589, d after 1624).

The couple had their town house at Whitefriars. Helena persuaded Thomas Gorges to rebuild his property at Longford. The mansion had been damaged by fire when he acquired it and a replacement was completed at great expense by 1591, under the final supervision of John ThorpeLongford Castle was the model for the ‘Castle of Amphialeus’ in Sir Philip Sidney‘s Arcadia. Thomas Gorges of Longford was knighted in 1586.

Queen Elizabeth granted Helena manors in Huntingdonshire and Wiltshire. The marchioness was still highly regarded by Queen Elizabeth and often acted as her deputy at the baptism of the children of distinguished noblemen, particularly towards the end of the reign, when the queen’s health was deteriorating.

It has been reported that Marchioness Helena did not participate in court intrigues, instead she was devoted to her family.

In 1582 Thomas was sent as English envoy to Sweden and met Helena’s family members. Helena also had continuous correspondence with relatives in Sweden, as well as the Duke Charles of Sudermannia, later king Charles IX, her childhood friend.

In 1584 the queen granted the estate at Sheen to Helena and Thomas for their life. It was a former monastery directly north from the queen’s chief residence, the Richmond Palace near the City of London. This meant that Thomas and Helena were able to live with their children while also serving at the Royal Court.

Later life[edit]

Helena Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton, in coronation robes, 1603.

Queen Elizabeth died in March 1603. Marchioness Helena was the chief mourner in the royal funeral procession as senior peeress because Arbella Stuart refused to undertake the role and King James had not yet arrived in London. In the funeral procession, she walked close behind the Queen’s coffin, supported by the Lord High Treasurer and the Lord High Admiral of England.[6] This is mentioned as apogee of her career. In July 1603, Helena and Thomas took part in the coronation of the new monarch, James I and his wife Anne of Denmark. Shortly afterward, they moved to Longford from plague-ridden London. The accession of James I meant that Helena was demoted from the new queen’s privy chamber. However both occasionally served at the new Court and in other royal tasks. Helena brokered the king’s relations with Sweden; for example the Swedish attempt to have Princess Elizabeth, the king’s eldest daughter, as bride for the Swedish heir, Gustav Adolf, son of Charles IX (which project was prevented by Anne of Denmark, her mother). Sir Thomas Gorges died on 30 March 1610 at the age of seventy-four, after which Marchioness Helena increasingly retreated from public life. She reportedly remained a devoted member of the Church of England. Most of the time she resided at her house of Sheen, near the Court, but in the end retreated to Redlynch in Somerset, the manor of her son Sir Robert Gorges. Letters show that Helena had close contact with her children and grandchildren. Marchioness Helena’s last preserved letter, dated 8 September 1634, to her grandson, is signed with a clearly wavering hand.

Helena died at the age of 86 on 10 April 1635 at Redlynch, and was buried on 14 May in Salisbury Cathedral. It has been claimed that Helena had no fewer than ninety-two direct descendants at the time of her death.[citation needed]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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