Thursday, August 25, 2011

Medival Links & Refs

A links list -- how retro, right? Well, we all know how much time it can take to filter through the oceans of information out there. This is a collection of links and things I have (re)discovered while revising my fantasy world. Maybe something here will give you that nudge you needed.


A university library is priceless. If you can get borrowing privileges, it's worth it. I did, however, buy some books too and these are some that are on my shelf:

Childhood in the Middle Ages by Shulamith Shahar. ISBN: 0-415-07329-4. This is a tricky subject to research, or at least it was several years ago. I remember this book being dense and dry but the best source I could find about childhood in medieval times.

Medieval Swordsmanship, by John Clements. ISBN: 1-58160-004-6. When I bought this years ago, it was hard to find but came so well recommended that I went to the trouble of ordering it from the publisher. I'm glad to see it's on Amazon now.  

Not only does this describe weapons, shields and armor, it's got lots of diagrams of sword and shield use. He explains the major guard positions and the most common attacks made from them. For both one-handed with shield and two-handed without. There's a little about axes and maces and polearms in hand-to-hand.

Two big thumbs-up for this book. 

Some useful links:

I remember that when I originally wrote this fantasy epic, I spent many happy years researching all things medieval. And one online place in particular was very helpful -- a group called "75years" for serious re-enactors of the 1250-1325 era. Lo and behold, it still exists! This makes me happy.

Are you putting plate armor on women? Read this.

Fordham University still has a wonderful collection of medieval links.

Horses. Holy crap, horses. Tons of information out there, and while some things haven't changed since medieval times (horse personalities, how to ride, basic dangers), many things have (breed definitions, medical care, equipment.) A good place to start is the Big Horse Link Thread on Absolute Write.

You've never heard of the Absolute Write Water Cooler? It's an excellent resource for writers. The Research forum is especially useful.


Bluestocking said...

Some of these are new to me. Thanks for pulling them all together!

Liz said...

Love all things Medieval. Thanks for this!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Accuracy is important!
Joined the Campaign today and stopping by to say hey.

Kathleen said...

Definitely going to use the link for horses=)

Gail Shepherd said...

Hey fellow campaigner. Yeah, I agree, Absolute Write Water Cooler is a terrific resource, for any genre.

Adam Collings said...

Hi. Just found you from the Writer's Platform campaign.

Sounds like some good resources that you're sharing in this post. So far, all of my writing has been either futuristic or present-day, but if I ever delve into the world of fantasy (as I'm sometimes tempted to do) I'll certainly remember what you've shared here.

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