Category Archives: essays

Heretics, Witches, Homosexuals and Jews: A history, and a present, of persecution

One of the reasons I started writing my Dark Apostle series was the number of times that this list appeared during my research.  It is the historical equivalent of someone saying, “Round up the usual suspects,” whenever anything goes badly … Continue reading

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Skulls and Cross Bones: the Medieval Ossuary at Hythe

I’d like to introduce you to the beautiful Norman-era church of Saint Leonard’s at Hythe.  This small, seaside town is about midway between Hastings and Dover, just enough off the beaten track to get few visitors.  The church is also … Continue reading

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The Faithful Hound

This week, I had to say goodbye to a dear companion, but this isn’t really a personal blog, so rather than eulogize Jordi directly, I thought I would talk about just a little of the history of the faithful hound … Continue reading

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How Democracy Killed the Mongol Empire

This week-end, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day, and all that it stands for:  freedom, justice, democracy.  Enjoy your cookout and fireworks.  This year, we also celebrate another milestone in self-determination, the signing of the Magna Carta by King John of … Continue reading

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Developing Fictional Worlds: The Nits are All you Have

As you may know, my most popular blog entry (still) is the one entitled Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: A Example of Poor World-building.  Every month or two, someone new discovers this post and feels they must take me to task for … Continue reading

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The Hand-bound Book of Elisha

Some years ago, I did a research project on medieval bookbinding, complete with making my own (rather clumsy) examples. At a street fair in Providence, I found this amazing book offered by a graduate of the Rhode Island School of … Continue reading

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Tribal Rites: Why I joined SFWA

This month, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America with a blog tour–here’s my entry, and you can read more of them (beginning with Robert Silverberg’s comments as a founding member, continuing … Continue reading

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