Thursday, 28 August 2008


Firstly, I have had a lot of enjoyment perusing the novels from the lists on the site, and had a hard time choosing. So I decided that if I could get the books from my local library and select from my own bookshelves, it would solve the problem.

Here are my chosen books and I will elect for the ROYALTY

Timeline by Michael Crichton
Credo - Melvyn Bragg
The Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart
The Lantern Bearers - Rosemary Sutcliff
Daughter of Tintgel Series - Wise Woman Telling
White Nun's Telling
Black Smith's Telling
Taliesin's Telling
The Tainted Relic - Simon Beaufort, Bernard Knight etc.

I have had Credo on my bookshelf for sometime, so this has given me the impetus to read the story.

No doubt when I finish reading all of the above, I may be tempted to try some more.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Challenge update

Taking on board some comments by readers ...I've changed the Challenge criteria to make it more accessible to more people.

You can now choose whether to read 3 (Serf), 5 (Gentry) or 6 (Royalty) texts for the challenge, choosing your own combination of modern novels, plays, classic texts, non-fiction ...or just choosing one type. You can even include watching a Medieval based film as one of your choices.

Hope this encourages more readers to particpate...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Nuns: A History of Convent Life by Silvia Evangelisti

Nuns: A History of Convent Life by Silvia Evangelisti

Interesting book about convent life between 1450 -1700.
The book investigates why women chose to become nuns, their lives in convents before and after they were secluded, as well as opportunities for nuns within the convents.
There are chapters on nun's writing (very interesting), music, theatre and art.

Nectar from A Stone by Jane Guill

Nectar from A Stone by Jane Guill

Set in Medieval times, this story takes place in North Wales.

It has all the elements of a good tale: murder, a bad marriage, political intrigue, romance, etc.

I found the book enjoyable as I live near the the area in which the novel is set - The Conwy Valley. A lot of local legends and local history are interwoven in the story , and you get a picture of live in Medieval Wales.
Ultimately a nice easy read and romantic tale.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Lynda's List

I'm going for Royalty

* My 6 Medieval texts are:
1 The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
2. Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton,
3. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
4. Nectar from a Stone by Jane Guill 15/8/08
5. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (in Old English)
6. Dantes' Divine Comedy

I'm also going to read
Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500 (Women In History) by Henrietta Leyser.
Nuns: A history of convent life 1450-1700

Friday, 1 August 2008

Medieval Challenge


The challenge runs between 8th August 2008 and 8th February 2009.

You therefore have 6 months to complete this challenge.
You can join anytime.

There are three levels to choose from for the challenge
You choose which level you want to do.
Crossovers with other challenges allowed / encouraged.
Choose from modern Medieval novels, classic texts, plays or non-fiction books ... you can even watch a Medieval based film as one of your choices!

1: Serf
* 'Read' 3 Medieval texts

2. Gentry

* 'Read' 5 Medieval texts

3. Royalty
* 'Read' 6 Medieval texts

Of course you can read as much as you like during the challenge!

To join the challenge
Email me and leave your name and blog address (if you have one) and email address (will not be published) at: holisticknitter (at) uk2 (dot) net
You will then receive an email inviting you to join the challenge and post your aims / reviews here on this blog.

What is Medieval
In the UK the Medieval period is generally thought of between the succession of the English king Edward the Confessor in 1042 to the end of Edward III reign in 1377. However for the purpose of this challenge the European historical period from the 5th to the 16th century (400–1500) can be used - commonly known as the Middle Ages.

Books and Films

Classic Medieval Literature
These could include: Chaucer's Canterbury tales, Medieval Mystery Plays, The Mabinogion, Beowulf, Le Morte d'Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Dante's Divine Comedy, etc.
More information here and here

Modern Medieval Novels
These include novels by Ellis Peters, Sharon Kay Penman, Anita Mills, Thomas B. Costain, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose and many more.
A good link to a list of novels set in Medieval times is here
Arthurian novel list here
Medieval mystery novel list here

Non-fiction books on Medieval times / authors
These can be biographies of authors such as Chaucer, or books about the Medieval period.
Some examples include:
Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500 (Women In History) by Henrietta Leyser Women's Lives in Medieval Europe by Emilie Amt
Women and Writing in Early Europe by Carolyne Larrington
Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction by John Gillingham and Ralph A. Griffiths
Castle: A History of Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain by Marc Morris
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir
Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England by Alison Weir
Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England (Paperback) by Alison Weir
Life in a Medieval Village by Frances Gies and Joseph Gies
The Oxford History of Medieval Europe by George Holmes
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira

Films set in Medieval Times
There are lots of films set in Medieval times.
Just a few of my favourite are: Beoulf and Grendle; 13th Warrior; A Knight's Tale; Monty Python an the Holy Grail; the Name of The Rose; Timeline;

Here are a few links to Medieval Times
Inside the Medieval Mind (BBC series).
Take the BBC Medieval quiz here
Guide To Medieval Britain (Channel 4 series)
Medieval Women Rulers
Medieval English Kings