Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva
R: J. Stuart Blackton. B: Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem), Eugene Mullin (scenario). D: Julia Swayne Gordon, Robert Gaillard, Kate Price. P: Vitagraph Company of America. USA 1911.

“While most historians consider her nude horseback ride a myth, Lady Godiva — or ‘Godgifu’ as some sources call her — was indeed a real person from the 11th century. The historical Godiva was known for her generosity to the church, and along with Leofric, she helped found a Benedictine monastery in Coventry. Contemporary accounts of her life note that ‘Godgifu’ was one of only a few female landowners in England in the 1000s, but they make no mention of a clothes-free horseback ride. That story appears to have first cropped up some 100 years after her death in a book by the English monk Roger of Wendover, who was known for stretching the truth in his writings. The legend of ‘Peeping Tom’, meanwhile, didn’t become a part of the tale until the 16th century. The Godiva myth was later popularized in songs and in verse by the likes of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who wrote a famous poem called ‘Godiva’ in 1840.”
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