Fools Are Everywhere: The Court Jester around the World by Beatrice K. Otto

When I set out to review Danny Kaye’s The Court Jester, I realized that though I could comment thoroughly on clothes, knights, and courtly behavior, I could not comment on whether the depiction of a court jester was truly accurate. … Continue reading

Movie Review: Merlin (Sam Neill)

Of all King Arthur-related movies, Merlin is my favorite. It bears little resemblance to a single familiar Arthurian story, but it has enough references to satisfy me while maintaining a coherent storyline, something few Arthurian movies manage. In this version, … Continue reading

A Medieval Home Companion by Tania Bayard

A Medieval Home Companion: Housekeeping in the Fourteenth Century, is translated and edited by Tania Bayard. Housekeeping manuals get relatively little attention in comparison with romances or histories, so I was surprised to find many copies of this little book … Continue reading

English Weapons and Warfare: 449–1660, by A.V.B. Norman and Don Pottinger

I love this book. A dear friend loaned it to me when I first began researching Arthurian literature. Three years later, when I asked him “Can I borrow your awesome book on English armor? I think it’s brown. Or maybe … Continue reading

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England: Revised and Enlarged Edition

Dress in Anglo-Saxon England by Gale R. Owen-Crocker is a marvelous book. Piecing together a visual history of the Anglo-Saxons is very difficult because Old English texts don’t have the lavish descriptions of clothing common to medieval romances and little … Continue reading

The Pope Who Quit by Jon M. Sweeney

Given the current situation with Pope Benedict XVI (now Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger), I suspect that there will be much renewed interest in The Pope Who Quit by Jon M. Sweeney. When I first saw it in Barnes & Noble, I … Continue reading