Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Anniversary

Happy anniversary to my "Life in the Middle Ages" blog!  It's one year ago today since I started it.

So far I've covered a wide range of topics, some on everyday life, such as what people did and didn't eat in medieval times; some on religious history, such as why medievalists avoid calling people "superstitious" just because we in the twenty-first century don't agree with them; and some on political history, such as the Holy Roman Empire.  Posts on medieval women have proven especially popular.

I've also talked some about my books, fantasy set in an alternate version of the Middle Ages, where there was working magic, and where the Middle Ages had persisted without the invention of gunpowder, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, or the Industrial Revolution.


("The Starlight Raven" and other books are available as ebooks on Amazon and other e-tailers.)

Recently I seem to have been discovered by gamers, who want some ideas for role-playing games set in their own version of the Middle Ages, and by students googling for answers to take-home exams.  (I'm fine with the first, not so sure about the second--if you just copy and paste my text, kiddos, the teacher will recognize that you weren't the ones who wrote it.)  I'm probably a big disappointment to re-enactors, because I don't describe exactly how to sew a medieval-style tunic or give recipes for garlic stew (which was actually a big favorite--better than a plate full of under-salted lentils).

As a professor, I get a lot of people signing up for medieval history courses because they've enjoyed "Lord of the Rings" or "Game of Thrones."  I'm not alone--medievalists across the country experience the same thing.  Real medieval history is usually a shock if one comes in expecting lots of sword fights, but fortunately it's extremely interesting in its own right.  And that's what fantasy is for, a half-way house between hard-core medieval history and imagined adventures with knights and castles.

If there are specific topics you'd like to see covered in this blog, let me know!

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