The temperatures are rising and Spring is here. Unfortunately for us, the waning of winter saw the waning of essential bits of technology. This technological hiccup slowed the promised entry of new books and categories to the database, for which we apologise but be assured, they will be appearing very soon along with a plethora of new titles!
While the issues are being resolved we have had the time to muse a little on the future of books and book publishing; paper versus the much vaunted electronic form. There is no doubt that e-books will continue to grow in popularity. Thousands of titles can be held in a single palm sized unit saving space in the travellers luggage and on bookshelves at home. New titles can be downloaded from anywhere on the globe in moments and old titles rediscovered with ease at the readers convenience. Removal of favourite titles by publishers due to space constraints will be gone; the environment will benefit as the book industry becomes virtual and authors will have greater freedom to experiment.
And yet, we wonder. A book, once bought, does not require batteries for it to be used. It does not suffer from compatibility issues over time or when passed to another reader, nor require maintenance such as software upgrades. It does not disappear off the shelf nor its content undergo strange changes due to a virus or other bugs. And while a book doesn’t recover totally from an immersion in the bath, at least all the other books are not affected when it does.
There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for the whole of the book industry and we look forward to presenting the very latest works in whatever format is then current. Yet, while Publishers and Retailers continue to hail the advent of the paperless library, we believe there will always be a place for the handsomely bound book with brilliant prose and beautiful images, and we will always endeavour to find and present them don’t make plans for those bookshelves just yet!
First, the new. This month will see the addition of more titles from amongst a host, Stuart Press and Bootleg Press. These booklets are very well researched and excellent starting points for anyone wishing to explore a new area. Included within the ranges are facsimiles of some of the more esoteric texts such as Needleworkes, and a number of transcriptions including “A Delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen”.
While not coffee table books, we find they quickly become part of the travelling kit and a fieldwork reference source.
ShireBooks, now a part of Osprey, has reprinted titles that had been removed previously due to publishing constraints. There are some absolute gems and as always, the standard of research is solid and the presentation excellent.
To the Old; As they say, all good things must come to an end but it is with great sadness that we relay the decision by the Mary Rose Trust to not reprint Before the Mastin the foreseeable future. There had been a possibility that this amazing book might be re-printed as a soft cover however, it is not to be. New titles in the series will be forthcoming shortly although as far as is known, they will not be covering the domestic paraphernalia of everyday life on board ship.
This month will see the introduction of our designation system. We are starting with the new titles and will gradually work our way through the back catalogue. Our aim is provide the reader with more information regarding the type of content; It is most definitely not meant as a reflection or a commentary on the quality of the content.
Last but not least, we will also be introducing a new category Re-enactor article care. This will contain the manufacturers instruction protocols and care instructions for many of the various re-enactor items sold on this site. Please be assured that full instructions will always be included with every item sold; this is merely a spare copy.
We are a little later this month as we have just returned from our first visit to Abbey Medieval Festival in Queensland. The new festival site is excellent and the infrastructure and support supplied by the Abbey organisers was amazing. They provided an excellent backdrop of structures for the re-enactors and vendors and we were particularly impressed with the attention given to disguising those essential services that a modern festival must have, while maintaining the medieval ambiance.
Thank you to everyone who dropped through our stall; It was great to meet and chat with so many of you. We have come back enthused, full of new ideas and already looking forward to attending next year’s festival. Meanwhile life returns to its normal rhythms. Please note that the new category T-shirts that has just appeared, is only a temporary category. For a variety of reasons, we only offer the T-shirts as an Event special and will be taking additional orders only for the next few days as a favour before removing this section.
New stock is being added to the website and in the near future we will also be introducing a grading system in the Further Details?section. This is to help qualify the books as regards being a primary, secondary and tertiary source. We have modified the standard definitions slightly to meet our own needs and a full description will be available when this system is in place.
Its May already and CanCon and Rowany Festival are over; Where has the year gone! We’d like to thank all those who dropped into say hello and browse at our stall. We had a great time and look forward to being back at both events next year. The only low spot to date has been the transport issues due to the Icelandic volcano eruption, which are slowly but surely resolving. For those still waiting for their orders, I sincerely apologise and can only assure you we are doing everything we can to speed the process.
Plenty of new stock has arrived including new titles from the University of Toronto as well as the latest of the Boydell offerings and some tasty additions to our range of re-enactment goods. All of this and more will be appearing on the site in the not too distant future, we promise!
Well as you have no doubt seen the weekly update all went more than a little pear shaped! So I’m going to hit you with a ton of information and then spend the rest of my time cleaning up as best I can!
Here is a quick list of titles that have been awaiting their introduction for quite some time but have been available on the site.
Our first book in the list is from the Time Team stable and is the first book in the series. I have presented the second book previously and if you missed my post about this companion title go for a little scroll down and you will find it linked in the previous updates. It took it’s time to get here as I had to await it’s reprinting but I feel that it has been worth the wait. This books strength is in it’s illustrations and unfortunately that makes it difficult for me to describe it to you. You can take my word for it or keep an eye out for it next time you catch-up with the store to see this one for yourself; I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Marignano and the Barons War are the next two new titles out of Freezywater Press.
The Battle of Marignano was fought during the War of the League of Cambrai phase of the Italian Wars (1494-1559), that took place on 13 and 14 September 1515, near the town today called Melegnano, 16 km southeast of Milan.
On one side were the French forces of Francis I and some German landsknechts, and, eventually, his Venetian allies and on the other the mercenaries of the Old Swiss Confederacy, since 1512 in control of Milan, where the nominal Sforza duke, Massimiliano – son of Lodovico il Moro, whom the French had previously defeated for possession of Milan, was under Swiss control. The bloody Battle of Marignano was fought to retake control of the Duchy of Milan, the French gate to Italy. This battle really did have the lot. Plots, politics, risky strategy. Click on the picture and read the more in-depth review that is the books description.
The Barons War looks at a much earlier and longer time period of 1264 to 1267. This is actually the 2nd Barons War and England’s 2nd civil war, the first one being caused by the fallout from the signing of the Magna Carter and King John’s refusal to abide by it. One has to remember that England has been no stranger to civil strife over the course of its long history. The 2nd Barons War was like the First, an attempt to curb the Kings power or more realistically to shift some of his power to the Baronial Council. So it was not a civil war in the sense of a popular rising to empower the masses, but still an attempt to change the status quo. Once again and more in-depth summary can be found on the books page, just click on the picture for more information.
Our next title for introduction is Leprosy in Medieval England. Ok how do I approach this book, cause it certainly isn’t easy. Before I read this book if you mentioned Leper in the Medieval context to me my response would have been something along the lines of begging bowl, hand bell, cries of unclean and a fully hooded habit for the wearing of. So while some of this is partially correct a lot of it is pure Victorian and current misconception. It would appear that I have been socialised quite a lot in my views and this book tears down a lot of them and helped me build a more balanced view of the subject. All in all it was and is a horrific disease but the social reaction to it and the manner in which it was dealt with by the Medieval society are all fascinating. One can draw a lot of information about a group from the manner in which they tend and deal with their sick and wounded and this book cast more than a little light on Medieval English Society. I found it utterly fascinating.
Now what would one of our updates be without a cookbook. My final offering for this missive is Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World, which also contains 174 recipes. Now of these 174 only 143 are actually from Medieval Islamic cookbooks and there are 4 cookbooks that are referenced. The book is roughly of two parts, the first section covers the history and sources of the receipts as well as looking at the historical back drop against which these dishes were being prepared. The second half is the recipes, unfortunately it does not offer the original manuscript but the translations do seem to be taken direct from the books complete with asides and off stage references. Each receipt of the first 143 is also referenced to which of the four cookbooks it comes from. The book also contains a fine notes, glossary and index. The last little section is a treatment of contemporary North African cuisine which contains the remaining receipts though these are unreferenced being modern receipts.
This little book makes my mouth water, which I feel is always a good sign in a cookbook. So if you are looking for a little something out of the ordinary or wish to take the taste buds on a Medieval trip but outside of the European experience then I would suggest that you give this book a try. Though I will note that I do think that it will be sometime before I try the Locust Sahna, anything that involves sealing bugs in a jar to ferment doesn’t strike me as a good thing. Guess I’m just not hungry enough… and I hope to never be that hungry!
Ok well that brings us to the end of my literary adventures for today. I’m looking over the piles of new items that have yet to be introduced and I get the feeling that you will be hearing again from me before the weeks is out. I’ll be starting with some music in our next update as this is defiantly one of our underdeveloped areas which we hope to fix. So in the mean time good reading to you and chuck a Locust on the Barbie for me!
Two new books for us passed over my desk today so I have entered them straight away. Both titles are by Mr. Orme, beloved of those with an interest in Medieval children’s activities. The first continuing in the child theme is Medieval Schools, which can be found in the culture and society section. The second which is a bit of a change of pace for him is, The English Hopital1070-1570.?Also to be found in the culture and society section. Both of these titles should help round out some areas that we were a bit lacking in.
New titles on the horizon are the new Wallace collection book from our friends at Hans-Pruner. The Medieval Cook and Medieval Clothing and Textiles 5 (next month), and a couple of different goodies from the British Council of Archaeology.
Ok enough talk back to the titles and pewter index.