If someone asked you how Medieval society was organised, you'd probably tell them it was a feudal system. And you wouldn't be wrong. At its heart, feudalism was a system of relationships where people exchanged labour or service (especially military service) in return for land. This was the stuff that the nobles were mostly preoccupied… Continue reading Everyday Law for a Medieval Peasant
The information used here comes from this post by Dr Ian Mortimer on Edward's death. It's worth noting that I'm not totally convinced by the argument, and that the debate over Edward II's death is still unsettled, with Edward II scholars coming to vastly different conclusions on the same evidence. But the argument is one… Continue reading The Two Deaths of Edward II
I've always enjoyed those 'what was happening on this day xxx years ago?' kinds of posts. I think they give us some insight, because it helps us to imagine those events happening in real time. So I'm talking about Edward II's parliament of September 1313 - 707 years ago exactly, down to the month. (source:… Continue reading The Parliament of September 1313
We often think of Medieval peasants as living utterly terrible lives - and for the most part, they did. From what we know if their diets, however, they probably didn't eat as badly as we tend to think. When peasants are shown in modern media, they're often shown living off of a really meagre diet… Continue reading What Medieval Peasants Ate (With Recipes)
I bought House of Treason in a small bookshop in North Wales. I was drawn to it by the gorgeous cover, which was designed by David Wardle - who has since designed many beautiful covers for both fiction and non-fiction books. (I was also tempted by the reduced price sticker.) What a pretty cover! It… Continue reading Review: House of Treason by Robert Hutchinson
Though it's not as true today, we've traditionally looked to Medieval Europe to inspire our fantasy settings. And our fantasy settings tend to include a lot of war - because otherwise they wouldn't be very interesting, would they? However, we don't put much thought into how war and armies worked in Medieval Europe. So I'm… Continue reading How Did Medieval Civilians Become Soldiers?
If you know a bit of English history, you know Edward II. He was the king who was killed by a red-hot poker being shoved up his behind. (Note: that almost certainly didn't happen.) He was a tyrant, he abused his power and was ultimately punished for it when his wife returned from the continent… Continue reading When Edward II Saved His Wife From A Burning Tent
The Normans, led by King William, conquered England in 1066. They took the south easily, but the north was another matter. William eventually acquiesced and allowed some powerful northern Anglo-Saxon lords to keep their power. For decades after 1066, the Anglo-Saxon northern lords were fair-weather vassals at best, and after several rebellions William acted to… Continue reading Barnard Castle: The Fortress Sold For Parts
Some of you really enjoyed my Conisbrough castle post. I was quite surprised, actually. But then, I suppose it makes sense that folks who love fantasy are also going to be interested in the minutiae of castles. So I'm back, and this time I'm here to tell you about Conwy castle, the French (Savoyard, specifically)… Continue reading Conwy: A French Castle In North Wales
Hey folks and happy saturday! What a month it's been so far, huh? I certainly didn't see this coming on the 1st of March. Which was, by my recollection, about three years ago now. At least it feels that way. Anyway, the longest month in history is officially coming to an end, so you'll see… Continue reading The Grand (Castle) Tour!