Lady Godiva by John Collier, c. 1897
Lady Godiva's Ride
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Then she rode forth, clothed on with chastity: The deep air listen'd round her as she rode ..." ~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Godiva, 1840
The saying 'in the buff', originated from the buff coloured coats worn by English soldiers up until the 17th century. The later meaning of the saying, a metaphor for "in the nude" alludes to the buff color of skin tones. And speaking of the unclothed, July 10th marks the alleged day of Lady Godiva's historic ride through Coventry, England, in 1040. Lady Godiva is said to have ridden naked, covered only in her long hair, through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. Although historians have not deemed the story plausible, Lady Godiva, Countess of Mercia and her husband were real personages of the 11th century, and by the 13th century, the story, with many embellishments, had entered regional folklore. The name "Peeping Tom" for a voyeur also originates from later versions of this legend in which a tailor named Thomas watches her ride and was struck blind or dead. Since the 17th century, a pageant has been held annually in Coventry to re-enact Lady Godiva's original route through the town. This tradition has transformed today into a three day music festival.
In the Buff
The saying 'In The Buff', originated from the buff coloured coats which were worn by English soldiers up until the 17th century. The later meaning of the saying, to mean naked, is an allusion to the colour of the skin, which is somewhat like the colour buff.
July 10th marks the day of Lady Godiva's historic ride in Coventry, England, 1040.
Lady Godiva, an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend dating back at least to the 13th century, rode naked, covered only in her long hair, through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants.
The name "Peeping Tom" to refer to a voyeur originates from later versions of the legend in which a man named Tom watches her ride, against a proclamation for all townspeople to stay indoors and close their shutters, and was struck blind or dead.
Godiva Chocolatier is named after Lady Godiva, and features a stylised rendition of her ride as its logo.
For a companion recipe, the "Naked Lady" cocktail is made from rum, sweet vermouth, brandy, and grenadine.
And for more Lady Godiva art, click the painting of Lady Godiva entreating her husband, Leofric of Mercia to lower the taxes by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1892.