An Ode to Castles

Castle 2

Andrea/Cara here, musing today on castles. I just saw a recently-opened exhibit on “The British Castle—A Symbol in Stone” at the Yale Center for British Art, one of my favorite museums, as they always put together exhibits with such interesting themes.

“As physical seats of power, castles were emblems of government; as the residences of aristocratic families, they became images of social continuity and domesticity; as great bastions, they became symbols of resistance in times of peril; as ruins, they became potent bearers of legend and folklore—from tales of princesses and chivalrous knights to the settings of gothic horror novels.”

John_constable_sketch_of_hadleigh_castle_w-1I don’t know if you’re like me, but castles have stirred my imagination since childhood. I love looking at picture books of knight in armor, which always included a hauntingly appealing structure perched high on a hill or craggy cliff. The it was on to reading books like Howard Pyle’s Otto of the Silver Hand,  Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. It’s no surprise to me that fantasy classics, like Lord of the Rings, have castles as part of their magic.

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