Monday, February 15, 2010

What is it with England?

I can feel the addiction building, lingering at the edge of my vision and threatening to pounce on me. It's an addiction that seems to take nearly every white American (and many others) who are interested in history - that fascination with England, and particularly medieval/Elizabethan England. (Am I wrong here? Is my addiction already so full-blown that I'm seeing legions of fellow addicts when really we are few?)

Part of this is timing - I am planning, in the future, to set one my my next books in medieval England. (Ack, another book on mud and knights and kings? I can't help myself ...) But part of it is the particular cultural diet I've had recently. First, the Shakespeare Theatre's incredible, stunning, and strangely sexy Henry V. If you're in DC, check it out. Second, I'm reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, and in addition to being among the most unique reading experiences I've had, it's getting me hooked on Henry VIII. (Yes, different time frames, but I think romantically they are all linked.) Next, I bought Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt today. I'm slipping down the hill!

Now, I have not yet sewn a Renaissance Festival dress. I swear I will not go that far! I swear! (Though I would probably cave if I could shoot a recurve bow, or even a longbow. Man, I want one of those.)

A note - I just came upon this wonderful Database of the Soldier in Medieval England. You can search by name! I searched for Bell, my mother's mother's family, and found many Bells. Who were archers. Hmm.
A second, completely tangential note - For anyone else interested in the moral value/role of fiction, something I've written on in the past, D.G. Myers does a much more eloquent job than I in examining some recent thoughts on the topic.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Nice blog!

I have to admit that I love all things Medieval and English. I blame it on getting hooked on the Arthurian Legend when I was in junior high. My English teacher showed us a King Arthur movie, and the actor playing Lancelot was totally hot. That's all it took! :)

Oh, I miss living in the DC area. I want to go to the Shakespeare Theater!

Princess Nijma

Princess Nijma