Reading & research round-up

Nottingham Castle
Nottingham Castle

HISTORICAL RESEARCH
Every week I discover another article or book to add to my research on the Middle Ages. Elizabeth Chadwick’s blog posts at Living the History are fantastic. She covers a wide range of medieval topics including money, bedchambers, food, William Marshal, and sexual sins! (I wrote a mini-review of her book, The Greatest Knight, a couple of weeks ago.)

Sharon Kay Penman has almost daily posts on “today in medieval history.” While I’m most interested in her wonderful descriptions of the Plantagenet’s and her own current research for her sequel to Lionheart, I’m learning about many other British monarchs.

Beyond the blogs, I’m reading Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire by Graham Platts. Did you know that – at least as of this writing – my main character, Henry de Grey, is from Lincolnshire? His family manor is near the southern edge of the Lincolnshire Edge (apparently also known as the Lincoln Edge or Lincoln Cliff). It’s about halfway between Nottingham and Lincoln. Hence, my current explorations of medieval Lincolnshire history and geography. The sequel to Battle Scars will, for the most part, take place in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire during 1193 and 1194, ending shortly after the siege of Nottingham Castle. Count John (who becomes King John of Magna Carta fame) will be a major nemesis, as will a certain evil Sheriff of Nottingham. But friends and family feature in the sequel, also. Who is friend and who is foe?

I’m also reading Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century, by John Boswell. The book, published in 1981, was considered groundbreaking. There are some scholars who dispute Boswell’s interpretations that homosexuality was tolerated and recognized in many cultures and was not widely condemned until the 13th and 14th centuries. I find myself amongst his supporters, confirming my own treatment of the subject in Battle Scars, which features a gay main character and a bond of friendship that turns into something much deeper.

And look at this cool Google map showing sites in medieval Lincoln:  http://bit.ly/13e0D7B. This might come in handy!

BLOG READING
All over the blogosphere, authors are offering their tips,  observations, and words of wisdom. Here are a few of my favorites from the last couple of weeks:

Words to write by: How To Maximize Your Word Count And Write More Every Day « terribleminds: chuck wendig http://ow.ly/kVsfs

Author beware via John Scalzi: A Contract From Alibi – Whatever http://ow.ly/kVcqk

Advice I must bookmark: 3 problems with writing a sequel and how to avoid them. | Colin F. Barnes http://ow.ly/kOleo

English Historical Fiction Authors: Earl Grey – just my cup of tea! http://ow.ly/kuzcz

Getting Details Right For The Era In Your Historical Novel, by Paul Dowswell http://writinghistoricalnovels.com/2013/04/21/getting-details-right-for-the-era-in-your-historical-novel-by-paul-dowswell/ …

What are you reading?  I’ll catch you again next week.

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4 thoughts on “Reading & research round-up

    1. Marshal served as marshall to King Henry II, his son Young King Henry – whom Marshal essentially tutored and protected, Richard the Lionheart, and King John. He was close to Eleanor of Aquitaine (King Henry’s wife); excellent warrior and statesman. Read The Greatest Knight, or check out his wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Marshal

  1. As Jen says, those blogs look interesting; thanks for the links.

    What am I reading? Book 3 of Game of Thrones and enjoying it immensely.

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