Lady Godiva was
a lady of the early Anglo-Saxon XI famous for its beauty and goodness married to
Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Chester and lord of Coventry. Its Anglo-Saxon name
meaning Godgyfu Godgifu or gift of God ("gift of God"), Godiva is the Latin
version of the name. Godiva myth has persisted in the memory of times for his
daring to walk naked through the village in response to the challenge that
launched her husband to grant a request that benefited his subjects. Although it
is unclear what the origin and source of the story seems to be that everything
goes back to the thirteenth century, the story that a troubadour named Roger de
Wendower it narrates what happened to Lady Godiva.
Lady Godiva and Earl of Chester were two very religious and as such founded the monastery of Coventry, now in ruins. Leofric was an excellent administrator of the region, both came to get the people to be an important hub in the region. But little by little ambition was seizing the count and started robbing abusive taxation of their subjects. Meanwhile the human spirit that Godiva had allowed him to have more contact with people. That was how they were feeling more affection and respect for her. Due to the high sensitivity that Lady Godiva had to those around her, could see that the villagers had no quality of life worthy enough according to the work and efforts they perform. Lady Godiva repeatedly implored her husband to disminuyese as high taxes, and again and again he refused. When it tried to raise them further, farmers sought help from the lady of the castle. Sympathy with his subjects, he tried to intercede for them and pretended to dissuade her husband access to one condition: she had to go through the market square of Coventry, [on horseback and without clothes her hair for all to admire its beauty] ?. Leofric obviously did not expect his wife to accept the challenge and it was ridiculous because at that time women had no voice or vote and was always out of any situation. Lady Godiva had agreed with the villagers who were kept locked in their houses during the day and boarded up the windows to not feel embarrassed. The neighbors respect the desire of his mistress, and thanking the gesture I had with them.
One day in May of 1047, Lady Godiva walked naked
through the village mounted on his white horse covered only by her long hair and
dignity, while all Coventry residents remained in their homes with the windows
closed, except a tailor could not resist the curiosity of watching his wife
naked in a window or to brag about it later. Immediately he went blind,
according to legend. This attitude cost him the total repudiation of all its
neighbors, who since then, he underwent a complete ostracism and he was
christened with the nickname of Peeping Tom (Tom the Myron). The count moved by
the gesture of his wife, kept his word of honor removing unnecessary taxes and
reducing others. Leofric realized that the woman he had lived many years was
able not only to love him, but all that he had never taken into account as
individuals. He realized that as Lady Godiva demonstrated their love, respect,
also showed his people defying him and herself. Lady Godiva is buried in St
Mary's Hall, in Coventry.
Each year, the festivities of Coventry included a naked woman, mounted on horseback, walk through its streets in memory of his heroine who has his statue in the center of the city. Some colleges and military units have adopted it as a pet or patron, and there are songs dedicated to her. One brand Belgian luxury chocolates is called Godiva Chocolatier popular. Godiva's history began more than seventy-five years in Brussels (Belgium), where the master chocolatier Joseph Draps founded a chocolate factory which he named in honor of the Godiva legend of Lady Godiva. Today the chocolate from Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. is one of the most appreciated and valued chocolates in the world thanks to the elegant designs of their creations, the beautiful packaging of their products and their careful selection of raw materials. The company has over 270 stores worldwide. Its gold boxes of chocolates with a picture of the countess naked have become a typical souvenir of Belgium.