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 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 05:02 am
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kj3553
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Just curious. Anybody out there interested in the Middle Ages? From King Arthur to the Templars to the Wars of the Roses, any interest?

I'll start thing out by saying that the Middle Ages have long fascinated me, and that after mistakenly reading a book about Richard III when I thought I was getting a book about Richard II got me hooked on the whole Wars of the Roses thing, and turned me into a staunch Ricardian. So much so, that I am a "card carrying" member of the American branch of the Richard III Society (even though I secretly love Shakespeare's play, especially Olivier's film of it!

I also read a lot about research into the search for the "real" King Arthur, whether he was one many or an amalgam of many.

So, anybody else like this era?

 


 



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 06:23 am
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susansweet
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Spent years reading medieval and Renaissance English history.  That was my major field of interest til I made a left turn at a sign that said Pea Ridge next left.  I have read several books on War of the Roses,  Actually Queen Maud is my favorite historical person.  Then Eleanor, then Elizabeth the first. 

Spend years and money on clothing to go to Renaissance Faire here in Southern California where the orginal one started in the 60's .  I just gave my niece some of the clothing as I don't go anymore, too much  time spent going to reenactments now for Civil War. 

I have shelves of books on the period . Love Shakespeare too and love the histories although I know they are written for a Tudor Queen. 

Susan



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 12:57 pm
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Johan Steele
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Did my thesis is on the effect of the Mongol Steppe Peoples upon world civilization.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 06:16 pm
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Dixie Girl
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yeah i am. i think it was kinda cool.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 07:23 pm
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browner
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love this era of history. Henry II has been a main intrest for me for years. did you ever see "The Lion in Winter" ? awesome!



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 07:25 pm
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browner
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I sometimes think Arthur was  a combination.  I do know Alfred the Great was further down the line in history, but some things sound so similar with his history. 



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 07:37 pm
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ole
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ANY history holds me in thrall. But, the USCW has eclipsed any other era. There is no more time to read anything else.

ole



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 07:52 pm
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younglobo
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Would have to say American History holds my interest the most . I know almost nothing about medival history except what I see in movies, Robin Hood , Braveheart, and Knights Tale LOL and you know how hollywood is.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:05 pm
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kj3553
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A Knight's Tale? Ugh. LOL...Not one of my favorites.

Browner, yes, I've seen Lion in Winter many times. One of my all time favorites. Have you seen Becket? Peter O'Toole reprises the role of Henry II, and Richard Burton is Thomas Becket.

I agree that Arthur was, in all likelihood, a combination of mythic/legendary characters as well as a real person (or two...or three). As far as "Hollywood" goes, I think the two best Arthurian films are Excalibur, for the mythic side of things, and King Arthur, for at least an attempt at some historical accuracy, although some events in the movie are just a bit too far-fetched even for me to believe, and I love the movie!

As for King Alfred? Bernard Cornwell's got a great series going about Alfred and his struggles against the Danes. I've read the first three books and expect to get the fourth (latest) in the series for my birthday later this week.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:07 pm
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browner
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Yep, a lot exaggerated in the movies. With my job, I live, breath and eat CW history, so I love to catch the discussions going on. It was nice to hear about my first history love though, however brief it might be. Not too many people I run into day to day like talking English history that far back. It usually stops at the book "Cousins War" for most.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:10 pm
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susansweet
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There are so many mistakes in Bravehart and don't even get me started on Knight's Tale.   lol . 

Henry II was an interesting period in English history.  I have seen the play and the movie verison of Lion in Winter .  Eleanor was an amazing woman. 

Medieval history has been my interest since college.  Most of my history classes were in European history. 

It is a  very interesting period of history .  Violent and Brutral at times.  But amazing people.  One of my favorite books is by Eileen Powers called Medieval People a book about several people who stand out in the time period. 

Alison Weir also has some interesting books on the Little Princes , Eleanor and Elizabeth 1. 

Fast interesting reads are the Uppity Women series Uppy Women in the Middle Ages is one of many.  

Susan



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:12 pm
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browner
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wonderful kj.  Thank you!  Haven't heard of that series.  Will look into that quickly!!!

You are right.  Burton was a great Beckett.  I know even that was some exaggerated because they now think Beckett was actually Norman, but it is a great story anyway.

I am so excited about the series you mentioned.  It is strange that the only English King to be called Great is so little known today!



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:18 pm
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browner
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Hi susansweet. 

yes, Alison Weir has some good books.  I liked Uppity Women too! You make me want to find all my books on England and start reading them again!!

 



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:23 pm
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kj3553
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I've got Weir's book on the Princes in the Tower. Anything Ricardian, I've either got or heard of, even those that are negative towards my guy. *wink*

Anyone interested in the Cornwell series, here's the link to his website with the titles of the books: http://www.bernardcornwell.net/index2.cfm?page=1&seriesid=10



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:36 pm
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susansweet
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Becket is a great movie.  Not totally accurate but still good.  I love the musical Camelot too , I first saw it as a student production some of my friends were in in College then I have seen it several times, plus the movie.  Love Excalibur too.

I have read both fiction and history of the periods.  I read the Brother Cadefel series, and the a mystery series about a medieval nun who is related to Chaucer .  One of my favorite fiction series starts with There Be Dragons by
Sharon Kay Penman.  Actually that was the first in the series when I read it , but she wrote prequels later.  She also wrote two mysteries with Eleanor as a main character .

I mostly read nonfiction about the War of the Roses , and Elizabeth 1. 

Susan



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 08:57 pm
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browner
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Like those books too. I think I have read them all including her mysteries. I have the Brother Cadefel series on hand but have not read them yet. I Like reading books on Elizabeth and the War of the Roses too.
How do you think the recent movies on Elizabeth held up?
2 other movies I wonder if you liked? Anne of the Thousand Days and A Man for all Seasons?



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 09:03 pm
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susansweet
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Actually have not seen any of those three movies . 

Susan



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 09:32 pm
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browner
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Susan,
I know I have met you but it has been a while. I am kept up on and off through my husbands interests and long time association with this site.
Its nice to know we have covered some of the same books, non cw related also.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 10:02 pm
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kj3553
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As much as I am consumed with CW history, I've never been able to have just one interest. Medieval history has long been a passion of mine, as well as Ancient Egyptian history. Akhenaten, Tutankhamen and the Eighteenth Dynasty, anyone?

I love the Brother Cadfael series, as well as the Sister Fidelma books.

Sharon Kay Penman is a favorite author of mine as well. I got introduced to her through her first book, about Richard III, called The Sunne in Splendour. Excellent book, well researched, and very well written. That it gives a sympathetic portrayal of Richard makes it just that much better, IMHO.



 Posted: Mon Mar 3rd, 2008 10:05 pm
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I might have to give the Cornwell books a try as I've only really read Sharpe (I gave up on Nat Starbuck after the first volume). It might be a good entry to the time as the medieval world was so different to ours.

For example, medieval dynastic politics does my head in! I was reading a book on the power struggles during the Wars of the Roses and was having to constantly check back to the extensive family trees to understand quite why marrying so-and-so might have been advantageous.

P.



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