Category Archives: research

Goodreads review: Medieval Ghost Stories by Andrew Joynes

I discovered this book on the recommendation of a scholar who presented a paper about revenants (roaming dead) in Medieval England at this year’s Kalamazoo Medieval Congress. Since this is a topic near to my heart, in more ways than … 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

Posted in essays, fantasy, fiction, history, medieval technology, research, Uncategorized, worldbuilding, writing | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

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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The Year of the (dead) Goat: astrology and inner Asian sports

Chinese Astrology follows a twelve-year cycle of animals who represent the character of the year ahead, and may have an influence over individuals, based on their own astrological animal, (and all kinds of other factors).  The Wall Street Journal welcomed … Continue reading

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The Bones of the Magi

In my Dark Apostle series about medieval medicine and magic, my secret society of witches refers to themselves as “Magi,” (singular:  magus)  from the Persian word for one with knowledge of Oriental magic and astrology (according to my OED).  Interestingly, … Continue reading

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When Astrology and Astronomy were One

One of the areas I did not delve deeply into for the Dark Apostle books was that of astrology. Certainly much of the educated medicine of the 14th century (and for a long time before and after) began with knowing … Continue reading

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Technology in Medieval Fantasy, thanks to Steampunk

I have just returned from the World Fantasy Convention, held this year in Arlington, VA, where I got to hang out with many other authors and readers, sharing our knowledge and celebrating the realm of fantasy writing. One of my … Continue reading

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