Colonial Lake Books

Reference Books

A Brief History of Medieval Warfare: The Rise and Fall of English Supremacy at Arms 1314 - 1485 - $21.00
Peter Reid. For over 150 years, from 1314 to 1485, England fought an almost continuous war with its neighbors. This period saw an unprecedented supremacy of the English army over those of its enemies. Reid proposes that the key to English success lay in its preparations and in its style of warfare, interweaving his analysis with a dramatic telling of the main events on land and at sea. 620pp. Pb.

A History of the Vikings - $32.00
T D Kendrick. Enthralling, well-documented, and vivid account by a leading authority on the subject chronicles the activities of those bold sea raiders of the North who terrorized Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Abundantly illustrated, the volume will be invaluable to scholars and students of Nordic history. 464pp. Pb.

A Short History of Technology - $46.00
T.K.Derry & Trevor I Williams. Highly readable survey relates technology to historical epochs from earliest times to the onset of Industrial Revolution, and from mid-18th century to beginning of the 20th. Food production, metalworking, building construction, early sources of power, development of steam engine, mining, internal combustion machines, electricity, more. 782pp. Pb.

Anne of France: Lessons For My Daughter - $42.00
Sharon L Jansen (trans). Anne of France (1461-1522), daughter of Louis XI and sister of Charles VIII, was one of the most powerful women of her time. As the fifteenth century drew to a close, Anne composed a series of enseignements, "lessons", for her daughter Suzanne of Bourbon. These instructions represent a distillation of a lifetime's experience, and are presented through the portrait of an ideal princess to help her negotiate the difficult passage of a woman in the world of politics. The lessons are here translated into English for the first time and accompanied by full introduction, commentary and notes. 120pp. Pb.

The Bayeux Tapestry: The Life Story of a Masterpiece - $30.00
Carola Hicks. One of Europe’s greatest artistic treasures, the Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. For all its fame, its origins and story are complex and somewhat cloudy. Though many assume it was commissioned by Bishop Odo — William’s ruthless half-brother — it may also have been financed by Harold’s dynamic sister Edith, who was juggling for a place in the new court. In this intriguing study, medieval art historian Carola Hicks investigates the miracle of the tapestry’s making — including the unique stitches, dyes, and strange details in the margins — as well as its complicated past. For centuries it lay ignored in Bayeux cathedral until its discovery in the 18th century. It quickly became a symbol of power: townsfolk saved it during the French Revolution, Napoleon displayed it to promote his own conquest, and the Nazis strove to make it their own. Packed with thrilling stories, this history shows how every great work of art has a life of its own. 368pp. Pb.

Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language - $17.00
David Crystal. "Let there be light," "A fly in the ointment," "New wine in old bottles," "How are the mighty fallen," "The salt of the earth." All these everyday phrases owe their popularity to the King James Bible. Indeed, it is said that this astonishing Bible has contributed more to the color and grace of the English language than almost any other literary source. This book offers a stimulating tour of the verbal richness and incredible reach of the King James Bible. How can a work published in 1611 have had such a lasting influence on the language? To answer this question, Crystal offers fascinating discussions of phrases such as "The skin of one's teeth" or "Out of the mouth of babes," tracing how these memorable lines have found independent life in the work of poets, playwrights, novelists, politicians, and journalists, and how more recently they have been taken up with enthusiasm by advertisers, Hollywood, and hip-hop. He shows, for instance, how "Let there be light" has resurfaced as "Let there be lite," the title of a diet cookbook, and "Let there be flight," the title of an article about airport delays. Along the way, Crystal reminds us that the King James Bible owes much to earlier translations, notably those by Wycliffe in the fourteenth century and Tyndale in the sixteenth. But he also underscores crucial revisions made by King James's team of translators, contrasting the memorable "Am I my brother's keeper" with Wycliffe's "Am I the keeper of my brother." 320pp. Pb.

Celtic Ornament in the British Isles - $15.00
E T Leeds. This well-documented study, focusing on less familiar or less accessible relics from the pagan past, traces the history and evolution of pre-Christian ornamentation from the earliest beginnings to A.D. 700. Great value to students of design and archaeology and anyone interested in Celtic ornamentation. 224pp. Pb.

Death And The Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Fate of Amy Robsart - $22.00
Chris Skidmore. The dramatic story of Elizabeth's first ten years on the throne and the unexplained death that scandalised her court. Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 a 25-year-old virgin - the most prized catch in Christendom. For the first ten years of her reign, one matter dominated above all others: the question of who the queen was to marry and when she would produce an heir. Elizabeth's life as England's Virgin Queen is one of the most celebrated in history. Christopher Skidmore takes a fresh look at the familiar story of a queen with the stomach of a man, steadfastly refusing to marry for the sake of her realm, and reveals a very different picture: of a vulnerable young woman, in love with her suitor, Robert Dudley. Had it not been for the mysterious and untimely death of his wife, Amy Robsart, Elizabeth might have one day been able to marry Dudley, since Amy was believed to be dying of breast cancer. Instead, the suspicious circumstances surrounding Amy Robsart's death would cast a long shadow over Elizabeth's life, preventing any hope of a union with Dudley and ultimately shaping the course of Tudor history. Using newly discovered evidence from the archives, Christopher Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of her death. 448pp. Pb.

Demonolatry: An Account of the Historical Practice of Witchcraft - $16.00
Nicholas Remy. Edited by Montague Summers. In an era when the church and its people actually believed in a universal infection of heresy and sorcery, they turned to this book for guidance. Daemonolatreiae, first published in France in 1595, was the leading witchcraft handbook of its day. In addition to defining the black arts and their practitioners - making it possible to "recognize" witches - it offered civil and religious authorities directives for persecution of the accused and punishment of the condemned. This book amplified and updated Malleus Maleficarum, the 1486 opus that established trial procedures for charges of heresy and witchcraft. Its author, Nicolas Remy, was a notorious magistrate who boasted of having personally condemned and burned hundreds of witches. Remy's collection of notes, opinions, and court records features lurid details of satanic pacts and sexual perversity as well as the particulars of numerous trials. A work of tremendous historical significance, this volume is complemented by an introduction and notes by Montague Summers, a celebrated occult historian and expert on witchcraft and supernatural lore. 240pp. Pb.

The Description of England - $38.00
William Harrison, Georges Edelen. This is delightful tour of the English world during the 16th century by someone who was actually there, a quite worldly clergyman named William Harrison, who is opinionated and often comically pedantic. Not much on politics, but lots on the social and cultural life of everyday Englishmen. It has lots of interesting tidbits.

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People - $23.00
Venerable Bede, A M Sellar. This masterpiece of medieval historical literature constitutes the first account of English history. Written in 731 AD by a Northumbrian monk, it chronicles the growth of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England. The Venerable Bede's account starts with the Roman invasion led by Julius Caesar in 55-54 BC and extends to the date of its completion. It profiles the kings, bishops, monks, and nuns involved in the formation of the island nation's religion and government. Known today as The Father of English History, Bede was among the most learned man of his time. His History illuminates a period otherwise obscured by the absence of written evidence and illustrates the Church's use of persuasion to overcome pagan violence. Essential reading for students of history and theology, it ranks among the most important primary sources of Western history. Reprint of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of England, George Bell and Sons, London, 1907. 496pp. Pb.

Edward III and the Triumph of England: The Battle of Crecy and the Company of the Garter - $40.00
Richard Barber. The destruction of the French army at Crécy in 1346 and the subsequent siege and capture of Calais marked a new era in European history. The most powerful, glamorous, and respected of all western monarchies had been completely humiliated by England, a country long viewed either as a chaotic backwater or a mere French satellite. The young Edward III's triumph would launch both countries, as we now know, into a grim cycle of some 90 years of further fighting ending with English defeat, but after Crécy anything seemed possible — Edward's claim to be King of France could be pressed home and, in any event, enormous rewards of land, treasure, and prestige were available both to the king and to the close companions who had made the victory possible. It was to enshrine this moment that Edward created one of the most famous of all knightly orders, the Company of the Garter. Barber writes about both the great campaigns and the individuals who formed the original membership of the Company — and through their biographies makes the period tangible and fascinating. This is a book about knighthood, battle tactics, and grand strategy, but it is also about fashion, literature, and the privates lives of everyone from queens to freebooters. Barber's book is a remarkable achievement — but also an extremely enjoyable one. 672pp. Pb.

Edward III's Round Table at Windsor - $17.00
Julian Munby. The image of King Arthur's Round Table is well-known, both as Thomas Malory's portrayal of a fellowship of knights dedicated to the highest ideals of chivalry, and as the great wooden table at Winchester castle. Now a dramatic archaeological find at Windsor castle sheds new light on the idea of a round table as a gathering: the 'House of the Round Table' which Edward III ordered to be constructed at the conclusion of his Windsor festival of 1344. The discovery of the foundation trench of a great building two hundred feet in diameter in the Upper Ward of Windsor castle, allows the reconstruction of that building's appearance and raises the question of its purpose. Chronicles, building materials inventories from the royal accounts, medieval romances, and earlier descriptions of round table festivals all confirm the archaeological evidence: at a time when secular orders of knighthood were almost unknown, Edward declared his intention to found an Order of the Round Table with three hundred knights. This grand building, and the Arthurian entertainments he planned for it, would bind his nobles to his cause at a crucial point in his progress to claiming the throne of France. His ambitious scheme, however, was overtaken by events. Victory at Crécy in 1346 confirmed Edward's reputation, and the order which he founded in 1348 was the much more exclusive Order of the Garter, rewarding those commanders who had helped him to win the Crécy campaign. His reputation was assured, the omens for his reign were auspicious; he had the loyalty of his knights and magnates. The Round Table building was abandoned, and eventually pulled down in the 1360s. Thus a major plank in the strategic thinking of one of England's greatest kings almost became a footnote in history. 312pp. Hb.

Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World - $33.00
Alison Weir. The life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII’s mother and Elizabeth I’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. This is the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline. Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards. As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort — pious and generous — who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII. Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch — a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts. 624pp. Hb.

English Dialects - $21.00
William Skeat. In this fascinating book Cambridge linguist Walter W. Skeat (1835-1912) offers a short, accessible introduction to the history of English dialects. Beginning in early medieval times, he traces each dialect through over twelve centuries of development, explaining some of the the factors that gradually shaped them. Viking invasions, the Norman Conquest, and linguistic processes such as phonetic decay slowly transformed vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, and grammar. The rise of the midland variety and its eventual acceptance as standard British English is discussed in detail. This reprint is a carefully prepared facsimile of the original edition published by Cambridge University Press in 1911. It includes Skeat’s rare reproduction of the thirteenth-century manuscript known as “The only English Proclamation of Henry III”. 154pp. Pb.

The Family Guide to Medieval Life - $32.00
Pippa Britton. Medieval men and women wanted the same things in life that we do today - to be warm and dry and well fed. They needed education and jobs and in their spare time liked to be entertained. This book shows how very alike people are regardless of what century they were born in and is illustrated with examples of everyday things. The Family Guide to Medieval Life gives the casual reader and older child a broad view of what it was like to live in the Middle Ages. It is a chance to find out how people lived, from the very rich to the very poor and how their lives were not only influenced by the Church and society but how they were enriched by travel, education and entertainment. 369pp. Pb.

Fatal Colours: Towton 1461, England's Most Brutal Battle - $25.00
George Goodwin. The Battle of Towton 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses. Variously described as the largest, longest and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender. Yet, as if too ghastly to contemplate, the battle itself and the turbulent reign of Henry VI were neglected for centuries. Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin expertly creates the backdrop of fifteenth-century England. From the death of Henry V, with his baby son's inheritance first of England, then of France, he chronicles the vicissitudes of the 100 Years War abroad and the vicious in-fighting at home. He brilliantly describes a decade of breakdown of both king and kingdom, as increasingly embittered factions struggle for supremacy that could only be secured after the carnage of Towton. Fatal Colours includes a cast of strong and compelling characters: a warrior Queen, a ruthless king-making Earl, even a Papal Legate who excommunicates an entire army. At its centre is the first full explanation for the crippling incapacity of Henry VI - founder of Eton and King's College, Cambridge - but forever child-like. Fatal Colours masterfully brings to life a vibrant and violent age. 288pp. Hb.

Hastings 1066 - $20.00
Jonathan Trigg. In 1066 a foreign invader won the throne of England in a single battle and changed not only the history of the British Isles but of Christendom, for ever. Harold Godwinson's army, exhausted from their victory against an invading Norwegian Viking army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in the north, and his navy, scattered by storms, could not hold back William of Normandy. But would the invasion have succeeded if the two armies had met on equal terms? Author and ex-Captain in the Royal Anglian Regiment Jonathan Trigg brings a soldier's eye to the story to explain the precise circumstances of the conflict and the reasons for the outcome. The Battle of Hastings is in fact a tactical lesson in the use of all arms: Harold's forces consisted entirely of infantry. William had the best cavalry in Europe, perhaps the world, heavily armoured and armed with lance and shield. He also had crossbowmen, never before seen in England. This been gives a clear, concise account of the Battle of Hastings and the events that influenced it, supported by a timeline of events and orders of battle. Over fifty images illustrate the events during this momentous campaign. 160pp. Pb.

High Fashion In The Church - $40.00
Pauline Johnstone. The decoration of church vestments, which are the ceremonial garments worn by the clergy at the celebration of the Mass, has always been a matter of high fashion. In the first place the crafts of silk weaving and embroidery, which provide the technical means for the decoration of these garments, have held a prominent place in the changing fashions in the arts since the early Middle Ages, and since that time have been used in the service of the church as well as for secular purposes. Secondly in a narrower sense of the term, both these crafts have been at the heart of fashionable dress through the centuries. Many silks intended for this market have also been used by the vestment makers, with the result that the vestments have remained in the forefront of each successive trend. This therefore is a book about the changing aspects of art history: its aim is to show something of the origins and use of the vestments themselves, but principally to trace the development of their decoration in the context of the arts of any one period. High Fashion in the Church is richly-illustrated as its subject matter rightly demands. It also contains an index, glossary and bibliography. 260pp. Pb.

How To Be A Medieval Woman: Margery Kempe - $9.00
Barry Windeatt (trans). Margery Kempe, born c.1373, was of a well-to-do middle-class family from King's Lynn in Norfolk. Married at twenty, she had a vision of Christ in her madness following her first childbirth, and after early failures as a businesswoman, felt herself called to the spiritual life. At about the age of forty, after she had born fourteen children, she persuaded her husband to a vow of chastity and began a pilgrimage across England, Europe and the Holy Land. She was a controversial figure and was often nearly burnt at the stake as a heretic. Towards the end of her life she dictated an account of her travels and visions, which was discovered in 1934. Brave, outspoken and guaranteed to annoy people wherever she went - including exasperated fellow pilgrims in Jerusalem and her long-suffering husband - Margery Kempe was one of the most vivid and unforgettable voices of the Middle Ages. Whether travelling alone, getting herself arrested or having visions of marrying Jesus, Margery repeatedly defied feminine convention - and also managed to compose the first autobiography in English, despite being unable to read or write. 125pp. Pb.

How To Be A Tudor - $22.00
Ruth Goodman. The Tudor era encompasses some of the greatest changes in our history. But while we know about the historical dramas of the times - most notably in the court of Henry VIII - what was life really like for a commoner? To answer this question, the renowned "method historian" and historical advisor to the BBC Ruth Goodman has slept, washed and cooked as the Tudors did. She is your expert guide to this fascinating era, drawing on years of practical historical study to show how our ancestors coped with everyday life, from how they slept to how they courted. Using a vast range of sources, she takes you back to the time when soot was used as toothpaste and the "upper crust" of bread was served to the wealthier members of the house. Exploring how the Tudors learnt, danced and even sat and stood according to the latest fashion, she reveals what it all felt, smelt and tasted like, from morning until night. 311pp. Pb.

I Believe in Yesterday - $21.00
Tim Moore. An odyssey through 2,000 years of filth and fury, where men were men, the nights were black, the world was your outside toilet and everything tasted faintly of leeks. In 1989, Tim Moore moved into the last house in Chiswick with an outside toilet. Intrigued by a subsequent encounter with an elderly former resident, and shamed to confess the phobic haste with which he demolished this facility, he finds himself inspired to travel back to the land before now, experiencing the horny-handed hardships and homespun pleasures enjoyed and endured by Moores gone by. The journey that follows takes him through the world of historical re-enactment, sitting at the bare and grubby feet of retromaniacs who have seen their future in the past, and learning their singular ways. Living on bramble leaves, Johnny cake and porridge, Moore travels from the Iron Age to the Steam Age. He shares straw beds and daft hats with period obsessives driven by socio-historical curiosity, disillusionment with the pampered fecklessness of the modern world, or a simple nostalgia for campfires, flatulence and brutality. 320pp. Pb.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Tartan - $17.00
Iain Zaczek & Charles Phillips. This visual guide provides a detailed insight into the origins and history of tartan, and a comprehensive and informative directory of all the major tartans, both ancient and modern. 256pp. Pb.

Life in Celtic Times Coloring Book - $9.00
A J Smith. Fourteen centuries of Celtic life and culture depicted in over 40 well-researched, excellently rendered illustrations. Intriguing scenes of an Iron-Age village, Glastonbury fishermen, farmers harvesting grain, Celtic warriors on horseback, St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland and much more. Descriptive captions. 48pp. Pb.

The Lore of the Unicorn - $36.00
Odell Shepard. Fascinating, delightfully readable book traces development of various aspects of the unicorn legend in mythology, folklore, magic, medicine, literature, art and commerce. 336pp. Pb.

The Magic Arts in Celtic Britain - $19.00
Lewis Spence. Fascinating, painstakingly researched study of occult beliefs and practices in Celtic Britain, with intriguing discussions of the origins of the Druids, Arthurian cults, the mystery of the Holy Grail, Celtic spells and charms, black magic, the Celtic spirit world — with its populations of banshees, leprechauns, brownies and a host of lesser phantoms — and many other topics. A compelling, erudite study that will appeal to anthropologists, folklorists, and anyone interested in the customs and spiritual life of Britain's ancient Celts. 208pp. Pb.

Magna Carta: The Medieval Roots of Modern Politics - $19.00
David Starkey. In this erudite, entertaining book, the author untangles historical and modern misconceptions about one of the founding documents of democracy. Along the way, he shows how the Magna Carta laid the foundation for the British constitution, influenced the American Revolution and the U.S. constitution, and continues to shape jurisprudential thinking about individual rights around the world today. In 1215, King John I of England faced a domestic crisis. He had just lost an expensive campaign to retake his ancestral lands in France, an unfortunate adventure that he had funded by heavily taxing the baronial lords of England. Sick of the unpopular king's heavy-handed rule, and unimpressed by the king's unsuccessful attempt to seize Normandy, the feudal barons united to make demands of their sovereign for certain protections. These demands, the "Articles of the Barons," were submitted to the king in rough draft after the rebels occupied three cities, most significantly London. A few years later, after being edited and amplified by the then-Archbishop of Canterbury, the Articles would come to be known as the Magna Carta. The self-interested barons couldn't have known it at the time, but those demands would one day become the bedrock of democratic political development around the globe -- even though that influence was largely due to mythologizing by later scholars who warped the symbolism of the document to support their arguments in favor of the rights of all citizens. Although the Magna Carta itself made no requests on behalf of the peasantry, in its structure the outlines of modern democratic reform are plainly visible. Among other things, it demanded limits on the ability of the crown to levy taxes; protection of the rights of the church; the guarantee of swift justice; and a ban on unjust imprisonment. Those protections and guarantees were strictly intended for benefit of feudal barons, but the free citizens of today's democratic nations owe an enormous debt to this history-changing document. 288pp. Hb.

The Making of English - $16.00
Henry Bradley. This etymological tour de force was written by a self-taught farmer's son who became a world-famous linguist and senior editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. By the time he was a teenager, Henry Bradley (1845-1923) had immersed himself in several classical languages. His achievements were ultimately recognized with honorary degrees from Oxford and Heidelberg, and fellowships at Magdalen College and the British Academy. This 1904 work represents the culmination of his philological career. Scholarly yet nontechnical, The Making of English explains in simple terms the relationships between English and other tongues - Greek, Latin, German, Spanish, and French. Topics include the similarities and differences between English and German, characteristics of Old English, and the composition, derivation, and root-creation involved in the process of the making of words. The author also discusses changes in meaning that occur over time, and profiles some historical figures who were influential in shaping the English language. 176pp. Pb.

Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Re-enactment - $21.00
Charlie Schroeder. It’s the middle of a heat wave, and Charlie Schroeder is dressed in heavy clothing and struggling to row a replica eighteenth-century bateau down the St. Lawrence River. Why? Months earlier, Schroeder realized he knew almost nothing about history. But he wanted to learn, so the actor — best known for his role as Mr. Pussy on Sex and the City — spent a year reenacting it. Man of War is Schroeder’s hilarious account of the time he spent chasing Celts in Arkansas, raiding a Viet Cong village in Virginia, and flirting with frostbite en route to “Stalingrad” in Colorado. Along the way, he illuminates just how much the past can teach us about the present. 288pp. Pb.

Medieval Celebrations Revised Edition - $32.00
Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly. Medieval historians Diehl and Donnelly provide ideas and instructions for planning an authentic medieval celebration, complete with guidelines on proper table manners, lyrics and music for festive songs and dances, rules for games, plans for decorating the dining hall, food and drink recipes, and period costume patterns. Specific information is offered for holiday celebrations and wedding services and receptions. 224pp. Pb.

Medieval Horse and Its Equipment - $49.00
John Clark. Whether knight's charger or beast of burden, horses played a vital role in medieval life. The wealth of medieval finds excavated in London in recent years has included many objects associated with horses. This book illustrates and discusses over four hundred such objects, among them harness, horseshoes, spurs and curry combs, from the utilitarian to highly decorative pieces. London served by horse traffic comes vividly in view. The introductory chapter draws on historical as well as archaeological sources to consider the role of the horse in medieval London. It looks at the price of horses and the costs of maintaining them, the hiring of 'hackneys' for riding, the use of carts in and around London, and the work of the 'marshal' or farrier. It discusses the evidence for the size of medieval horses and includes a survey of finds of medieval horse skeletons from London. It answers the key questions, how large a 'Great Horse' was, and why it took three horses to pull a cart. 208pp. Hb.

Medieval Messenger - $19.00
Paul Dowswell & Fergus Fleming. This is one in a series of books which presents facts about various periods in history through the use of a fictional tabloid newspaper. The Medieval Messenger depicts in lurid detail the terrors and triumphs of the Middle Ages. An educational and very funny read. The facts are all true, but have been presented in a consistely funny and readable tabloid style. Maps, pictures, and fact boxes (and some very funny ads) support the text. Highly recommended. 32pp. Pb.

Name Your Medieval Character: Medieval Christian Names - $22.00
Joyce DiPastena. Medieval author Joyce DiPastena is always on the lookout for authentic medieval names for her characters. Internet searches are helpful, but occasionally they can lead a writer astray. Accurate lists can be found on the internet, but it can take a deal of searching and double-checking of sources. In Name Your Medieval Character: Medieval Christian Names (12th-13th Centuries), Joyce DiPastena has done much of this work for you. Name Your Medieval Character is a compilation of her 30-plus years of research into medieval Christian names. Every name and name variation in this book was borne by a living, breathing medieval man or woman. Name Your Medieval Character includes over 800 female names (including variations) and over 1500 male names (including variations). This book will prove a treasure trove for historical novelists, fantasy writers, gamers, or anyone who just enjoys names! 112pp. Pb.

Of Six Medieval Women, With A Note on Medieval Gardens - $43.00
Alice Kemp-Welch. Illustrated version. Introduction.--A tenth-century dramatist, Roswitha the nun.--A twelfth-century romance-writer, Marie de France.--A thirteenth-century mystic and beguine, Mechthild of Magdeburg.--A fourteenth-century art-patron and philanthropist, Mahaut, Countess of Artois.--A fifteenth-century feministe, Christine de Pisan.--Agnes Sorel.--A note on mediaeval gardens. PB.

Old Stone Monuments - $15.00
James Fergusson. The classic and vast study of megaliths around the world. This important early survey of ancient stone monuments includes examples, many now long gone, from India, Ceylon, North Africa and Europe. Originally titles "Rude Stone Monuments", this highly illustrated text is required reading for any serious student of ancient history and architecture. James Fergusson (1808 - 1886) was a Scottish writer on architecture, born at Ayr. A partner in a mercantile house in Calcutta, he first became attracted by the remains of ancient Indian temples, little known or understood at that time, and many important books followed his later research. 559pp. Pb.

The Rise of the Tudors: The Family that Changed English History - $27.00
Chris Skidmore. On the morning of August 22, 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. It would be the end of the War of the Roses. It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But The Rise Of The Tudors is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England ? a story that began sixty years earlier with Owen Tudor's affair with Henry V's widow, Katherine of Valois. Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, including the recent discovery of Richard III's remains, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world and the reshaping of British history and the monarchy. 464pp. Hb.

Royal Dates With Destiny - $17.00
Robert Easton. This book presents, in calendar form, the oddball ways in which the great and the good have met their maker. For every day of the year, the author has unearthed at least one unusual aristocratic death, from the famous (such as Cleopatra and her asp) to the less well-known (e.g. the Swedish king who ate too much pudding). Based on a number of scholarly sources for each entry, these four hundred or so 'summaries of royal mortality ' give an idiosyncratic and delightfully bizarre historical overview of the surprising ways in which the world's most powerful have perished. An appendix lists how the 'other half has died', including death by underwear, cricket ball and pea soup, while an index - from 'abbot, lecherous' to 'wrestling, with bears' - is of limited referential value but, like the rest of the book, is hugely enjoyable to read. 192pp. Hb.

Silk For The Vikings - $74.00
Marianne Vedeler. The analysis of silk is a fascinating topic for research in itself but here, focusing on the 9th and 10th centuries, Marianne Vedeler takes a closer look at the trade routes and the organization of production, trade and consumption of silk during the Viking Age. Beginning with a presentation of the silk finds in the Oseberg burial, the richest Viking burial find ever discovered, the other silk finds from high status graves in Scandinavia are discussed along with an introduction to the techniques used to produce raw silk and fabrics. Later chapters concentrate on trade and exchange, considering the role of silk items both as trade objects and precious gifts, and in the light of coin finds. The main trade routes of silk to Scandinavia along the Russian rivers, and comparable Russian finds are described and the production and regulation of silk in Persia, early Islamic production areas and the Byzantine Empire discussed. The final chapter considers silk as a social actor in various contexts in Viking societies compared to the Christian west. 120pp. Pb.

St George: Patron Saint of England - $7.00
Christopher Stace. How did a fourth century solider-saint become so famous throughout the east and west and end up as the patron saint of England? This fascinating books begins with the known facts, before moving on to the mass of legends that grew up around George's name. It explores the saint's vast popularity in England through the ages, and the way his cult endures today, looking at his historical and spiritual significance. 99pp. Pb.

Story of the Vikings Coloring Book - $9.00
A G Smith. 38 meticulously rendered illustrations chronicle the exciting saga of the Norsemen — their Viking life in Norway and Iceland; raids into England and France, presence in America and Russia; ship construction, weapons, art, literature, battles, much more. Includes thoroughly researched, descriptive captions. 48pp. Pb.

Suburban Knights - $29.00
E F Kitchen. The armor-clad members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) like to get beat up the old-fashioned way. Boasting more than 30,000 members worldwide, and over 16 “Kingdoms” in the United States alone, the eclectic eccentrics of the SCA participate in a variety of rigorous medieval battle simulations. Suburban Knights is a series of portraits of these 21st-century warriors, in costume and in character as their knightly alter egos. From 2003 to 2005, internationally renowned photographer E.F. Kitchen photographed and interviewed the fighters of the SCA on location at their battles. Kitchen’s unique approach dispensed with technologically sophisticated cameras, and she instead used a tripod-mounted, 8x10 bellows camera with exclusively handmade and antique lenses. The results are appropriately hoary, sepia-tone images of these fierce warriors lost in time. Suburban knights willfully escape from the 21st-century and into the realm of the SCA. Warriors are icons for an idealistic code of behavior extolling power and virtue. The men and women of the SCA capture a bit of this past glory for themselves, and while a majority of the portraits obscure the faces of these knights, under their thick armor, their features couldn’t be made clearer. 96pp. Hb.

The Age of Chivalry - $32.00
Hywel Williams. The five hundred years that separate the mid-tenth century from the mid-15th century constitute a critical and formative period in the history of Europe. This was the age of the system of legal and military obligation known as 'feudalism', and of the birth and consolidation of powerful kingdoms in England, France and Spain; it was an era of urbanization and the expansion of trade, of the building of the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, of courtly romance and the art of the troubadour, and of the founding of celebrated seats of learning in Paris, Oxford and Bologna. But it was also an epoch characterised by brutal military adventure in the launching of armed pilgrimages to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim control, of the brutal dynastic conflict of the Hundred Years' War and of the devastating pandemic of the Black Death. In a sequence of scholarly but accessible articles - accompanied by an array of beautiful and authentic images of the era, plus timelines, maps, boxed features and display quotes - distinguished historian Hywel Williams sheds revelatory light on every aspect of a rich and complex period of European history. 224pp. Pb.

The King's Grave: The Search For Richard III - $20.00
Philippa Langley & Michael Jones. The mystery of who Richard III really was has fascinated historians, readers and audiences familiar with Shakespeare's dastardly portrait of a hunchback monster of royalty for centuries. In 2012, the remains of a man with a curving spine, who possible was killed in battle, were discovered underneath the paving of a parking lot in Leicester, England. Phillipa Langley, head of The Richard III Society, spurred on by the work of the historian Michael Jones, led the team of who uncovered the remains, certain that she had found the bones of the monarch. When DNA verification later confirmed that the skeleton was, indeed, that of King Richard III, the discovery ranks among the great stories of passionate intuition and perseverance against the odds. The news of the discovery of Richard's remains has been widely reported by the British as well as worldwide and was front page news for both the New York Times and The Washington Post. Many believe that now, with King Richard III's skeleton in hand, historians will finally begin to understand what happened to him following the Battle of Bosworth Field (twenty miles or so from Leicester) and, ultimately, to know whether he was the hateful, unscrupulous monarch of Shakespeare's drama or a much more benevolent king interested in the common man. Written in alternating chapters, with Richard's 15th century life told by historian Michael Jones (author of the critically acclaimed Bosworth - 1485) contrasting with the 21st century eyewitness account of the search and discovery of the body by Philippa Langley, The King's Grave will be both an extraordinary portrait of the last Plantagenet monarch and the inspiring story of the archaeological dig that finally brings the real King Richard III into the light of day. 310pp. Pb.

The Medieval British Literature Handbook - $25.00
Daniel T Kline. Literature has always proved a powerful force and mirror of history. "The Medieval British Literature Handbook" looks back into history at the literature of thirteenth to sixteenth century Britain and the major works of the period which offer insight into the culture of the period. Daniel T. Kline offers scholarly insight into the literature of the period and how the roots of this era ring true into literature of the years afterwards. A complete and comprehensive study guide, "The Medieval British Literature Handbook" is a treasure trove of information, and a very highly recommended read.

The Medieval Warm Period: How Climate Change Shaped European History - $15.00
Amy Moenning. The Medieval Warm Period had many effects on European history. To name a few examples, climate change played a significant role in the exploration and settlement of the Norse in Greenland, Iceland, and Canada; caused significant changes in medieval farming and husbandry, and allowed the English to compete with the French in producing high quality wine. Climate change also shaped the general health of the medieval population by creating crop surpluses and famines, determining diet and nutrition, and contributing to the spread of many diseases including the infamous bubonic plague.

The Middle Ages Unlocked - $29.00
Gillian Polack & Katrin Kania. To our modern minds, the Middle Ages seem to mix the well-known and familiar with wildly alien concepts and circumstances. The Middle Ages Unlocked provides an invaluable introduction to this complex and dynamic period in England. Exploring a wide range of topics from law, religion and education to landscape, art and magic, between the eleventh and early fourteenth centuries, the structures, institutions and circumstances that formed the basis for daily life and society are revealed. Drawing on their expertise in history and archaeology, Dr Gillian Polack and Dr Katrin Kania look at the tangible aspects of daily life – ranging from the raw materials used for crafts, clothing and jewellery to housing and food – in order to bring the Middle Ages to life. The Middle Ages Unlocked dispels modern assumptions about this period to uncover the complex tapestry of medieval England and the people who lived there. 400pp. Pb.

The Reign of Chivalry - $32.00
Richard Barber. Profusely illustrated and redesigned for a new generation of readers, this classic book presents a broad picture of the chivalric world, and shows how chivalry affected or was affected by great social movements, great writers and great events, and analyses the legacy it passed down to later ages. The opening chapter looks at the central figure of the whole chivalric world, the knight, and asks why he is such a different figure from other fighting men. Following sections deal with chivalry in relation to the main themes of medieval literature, especially the vast cycle of Arthurian romances, and discuss the attitudes towards chivalry of writers such as Jean Froissart, whose pages cast a golden glow over the harsh realities of war. Later sections look at chivalry's influence on the Renaissance and later culture, beginning with the knight's transition to gentleman. The element by which chivalry is now most remembered, its respectful, even adoring, attitude towards women, is the subject of a wide-ranging discussion, covering both medieval reality and modern ideals. Richard Barber, author of Holy Grail: History of a Legend, Myths and Legends of the British Isles and King Arthur: Hero and Legend, has written an engaging and intriguing book on one of the most original concepts of the medieval mind. 232pp. Hb.

Thomas More's Magician: A Novel Account of Utopia in Mexico - $17.00
Toby Green. In September 1532, eleven years after the Spanish conquest, Mexico is in meltdown. As the conquistadors discover an earthly paradise, its peoples and their gods are being destroyed. Despairing at his surroundings, Vasco de Quiroga forges a commune on Mexico City's outskirts. Indigenous peoples flock there, and soon a new society exists, using Thomas More's recently published book "Utopia" as its blueprint. Rich with vivid accounts of 16th Century Spain and Mexico, this is not only the fscinating story of Quiroga, but also asks if utopian dreams are possible. 404pp. Pb.

The Time Travellers Guide to Elizabethan England - $22.00
Ian Mortimer. The past is a foreign country - this is your guide. We think of Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558-1603) as a golden age. But what was it actually like to live in Elizabethan England? If you could travel to the past and walk the streets of London in the 1590s, where would you stay? What would you eat? What would you wear? Would you really have a sense of it being a glorious age? And if so, how would that glory sit alongside the vagrants, diseases, violence, sexism and famine of the time? In this book Ian Mortimer reveals a country in which life expectancy is in the early thirties, people still starve to death and Catholics are persecuted for their faith. Yet it produces some of the finest writing in the English language, some of the most magnificent architecture, and sees Elizabeth's subjects settle in America and circumnavigate the globe. Welcome to a country that is, in all its contradictions, the very crucible of the modern world. 432pp. Pb.

The Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England - $26.00
Ian Mortimer. The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture. Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast - and how safely - can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague? The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear. 368pp. Pb.

Vasari's Lives of the Artists - $16.00
Giorgio Vasari. Vasari's colorful and detailed portraits of the most representative figures of Italian art trace the flowering of the Renaissance across three centuries. This single-volume edition of selections from Vasari's immense work profiles 8 of the book's most noteworthy artists and includes an introduction, notes, and glossary; and woodcut portraits of each artist by Vasari himself. 256pp. Pb.

The Vikings - $45.00
Magnus Magnusson. The history of the Vikings is bloody and eventful, and Viking warriors capture the popular imagination to this day. Viking raids reached from Norway to North Africa, they established the dukedom of Normandy, provided the Byzantine Emperor's bodyguard and landed on the shores of America 500 years before Columbus. The authors provide a detailed examination of the Viking Hersir, the raiding warrior of the Viking world, and the famed Viking longship that transported the Vikings through treacherous waters to their bloody raids. This beautifully illustrated book also includes a fascinating insight into the Vikings in North America and the lives the Viking led at home. 208pp. Pb.

William Marshall: Knight-Errant, Baron, and Regent of England - $41.00
Sidney Painter. For the first forty years of his life Marshal was a landless knight but by his marriage to the daughter of Earl Richard of Pembroke in 1189 he became a great feudal lord. His biography depicts the two extremes of feudal society. This edition was first published in 1933. 305pp. Pb.