real things, happening to real people…

UBL BPL 198

photo by medievalfragments
Flickr/Creative Commons

The photo above in no way implies I’m reading ancient texts. On the other hand, I do consult translations of works from the end of the 12th century! Those works make the history so real. It’s not just the boring dates, name, and places we had to memorize in school. It’s real things, happening to real people. And, on this day, 24 June 1190 (in other sources it’s 1 July), King Richard met with King Philip of France in Vézelay to confirm their alliance and decide how the spoils of war would be split. Of the gathering of the 2 armies, the chronicler of the Itinerarium writes:

“…The mountains and valleys were filled with pitched pavilions, and all around far and wide the face of the earth was covered with tents….There you would have a martial band of youth…fit and ready for war…no rough terrain, no fierce enemy could defeat them, and that they would never give way before any injury – as long as they supported each other in one mind with united strength and mutual assistance…but when the common bond is broken it is…torn to pieces by its own members.”

Hmm…do you think the chronicler knew of the strife that lay ahead between the 2 kings and their armies?

Speaking of armies… Last week I’d posted some information about Richard’s army at Tours because I’d been working on revisions to that part of the novel. I’d gone back to my sources to verify the numbers I quoted. Double check, cross check, add more notes to my spreadsheet. (Just yesterday, I found another source indicating that 7,000 had gathered at Tours. Sigh.) Anyway, digging into my reference materials prompted me to write last week’s post and to get my act together to publish my list of references. I’ve been cobbling it together for more than a year. Of course, I hadn’t updated it with recent articles and other publications I’d stumbled on. But, I knew I wanted to create a page to link from the blog. It’s a work in progress, and now available from the menu!

Revisions to Battle Scars are humming along! I’m just past the 50% mark on my 1st draft. I’ve added more text though I have cut a few sentences here and there. Word count is 82,276.

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