I’m currently playing Assassin’s Creed II and really loving the setting of late Medieval/early Renaissance Florence. I think I came to the game quite late though as there’s already a new one called Assassin’s Creed Revelations coming out in November! Looks amazing though. This time the action switches to Constantinople.
Here’s the awesome trailer:
If you have sort of half-decent computer, then I’d recommend Assassin’s Creed II to you as well as the above game. There’s even an educational element to it – with items in the game database that fill you in on the history of different locations and characters that you meet.
I have started a new series of articles about Medieval warfare off in the Medieval (Middle Ages) History and Literature section of the site. It’s a subject which has always fascinated me, and which I think is often misunderstood – we tend to either think of glorious knightly cavalry charges or heroic yeoman archers and maybe that’s it. What I hope to do is get behind some of the myths that circle about war in the Middle Ages.
I came across this medieval adventure story for children over Twitter. It’s by a UK author and seems to be doing very well. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m planning to soon. I would recommend that you take a look at the video – Marc’s tour of Framlingham Castle, one of the locations used in the book, gives a great introduction to the setting of the story.
Here’s some more information about the book from the official press release:
Travel back in time to 14th Century England and to an adventure with dragons, castles, intrigue and murder.
Robert and his twin brothers Timothy and Michael accidentally find themselves transported into medieval England. They arrive in a forest cottage, where they are expected to recover the missing crown of England. Has it been lost, or stolen? With the help of the clumsy but loyal dragon, Zio, their quest takes the boys across the centuries, where they make new friends, and enemies. Will they return home triumphant? Or die trying? The only way to know is to read Zio The Hero.
Marc Grimston has delivered a children’s adventure story which is already enthralling children, ages 7 to 107. In an age where many children lack stories with a moral battle between good and evil, Marc is reversing this trend with this exciting story. Marc takes you to Framlingham and Orford castles; both in the 14th and 21st centuries, where the children learn loyalty and honour can overcome all adversities that life can throw at them. Together with new friends, they experience the power of forgiveness, true friendship and sacrifice. Their father’s words of wisdom also being at the forefront of their minds, helping them to make the right, but not always the easiest of decisions.
Zio the Hero is a book which encourages children to stand up for truth and respect, even when all around them appears darkness and gloom.
Quotes from reviews:
“Amazing…. What a revelation.” “This gets kids reading!” “This is a wonderful book”
Marc Grimston has always been a story teller, writing poetry and short stories throughout his adult life. When challenged to write a children’s novel, Marc reluctantly agreed. Although comfortable making-up stories for his children at bed time, creating an adventure for them to read for themselves, seemed a big step. However, drawing on his experiences as a father and medieval re-enactor, Marc rose to the task of bringing his love of history, and his sense of fun and excitement together in an adventure story all children love to read.
Marc believes in the value of self-worth. With dedication and determination, you can achieve anything. Through his writing, Marc wants to empower and encourage all children to reach and achieve their goals.
Marc is in contact with several UK schools to work with them to encourage literacy, story-telling and the belief that all things are possible.
Marc takes walks along the beach, when not writing more thrilling adventures in his home town of Southend-on-Sea in Essex.
I have been reading The Scourging Angel by Benedict Gummer, which is an account of the Black Death in Britain. The books is well worth a look if you are interested in this period of history during the Middle Ages. One thing I came across that I didn’t know is what happened to Jewish populations in Europe when the Black Death began to sweep across the Continent.
Medieval Europeans didn’t know why the plague was upon them. Many Churchmen put the blame on man’s sin – it was God’s divine punishment. But lay people however had more down to earth suspicions and decided that there were being maliciously attacked. Rumours spread that wells were being poisoned by enemies. And enemies in Medieval Europe usually meant the Jews, who were seen as outsiders and subject to myths such as the blood libel (the murder of children), the murder of Christ and well poisoning. The stresses of the Black Death turned people’s attentions to people who were seen as outsiders living amongst them and as the plague spread so did the attacks on Jews.
The Church did try to stop this – indeed Jews were protected by Papal order, but these orders were ignored (the Church was not all powerful in the Middle Ages).
In scenes chillingly similar to what would happen under the Nazis whole populations of Jews were slaughtered. For example in Strasbourg the burning of Jews lasted for six days. This was not just people attacking Jews opportunistically where they found them, but an organized slaughter of every Jew that the city authorities could get hold of.
Despite the fact that many commentators have been quite negative about the new iPhone 4S announcement, I’m actually quite excited! I’ve had my old iPhone 3 for what seems like a century now, the case is battered and scarred, and the innards are as sluggish as my brain on a dark morning! I’m not usually one to get caught up in the hype of Apple’s new launches, but this time I am – but more out of necessity than anything else!
So I’m looking forward to it!
And that Infinity Blade II game looks pretty cool as well – might just be tempted.
Mr Jobs and co., looks like I’ll be first in line come October 14th (virtually on my PC that is I think – never did like Mac computers).
Well now you can. I came across this amazing site the other day, Dragoart.com that shows you how to simply draw with step-by-step instructions a whole variety of different things, from cartoon characters to celebrities to fantastical creatures, such as a dragon!
If you have kids I heartily recommend this site, and also if you have a hankering to start drawing, but feel that you don’t have any skill or are put off by leaning drawing the proper way. The simple instructions on this site really get you drawing quite complex pictures quite fast.
Here’s an example of the sort of thing you could learn to draw:
At University I studied Medieval History, Language and Literature, which I loved, and I guess it has influenced some of my interests later in life! I went on to do a Masters in Medieval Literature, choosing The Court in English Alliterative Poetry, 1350-1450 as my thesis topic. Why did I choose this subject and what is it for starters? Well if you know anything about Medieval English literature you will no doubt have heard of Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales. Chaucer was from London and wrote in English that was heavily influence by French and Italian poetic styles. His main verse form was called rhyme royal using five stresses per line arranged in rhyming couplets. Chaucer was probably writing for an audience associated with the Royal Court, one linked more to the culture of continental Europe perhaps. In contrast English poetry going back to Anglo-Saxon was traditionally based on an alliterative line with up to four alliterating stressed words per line and not really using rhyme at all. This tradition did survive the Norman Conquest and lived on through poems such as the Twelfth Century Layamon’s Brut. By the late Fourteenth Century, you might think that it would be fading away, but this was not the case. There were poets, mostly located in the North West of England and North Midlands who kept the art alive and indeed produced wonderful works of art like Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which combines the descriptive power of alliterative verse with a finely honed courtly sensibility.
Despite it being a Guy Ritchie film and despite it being a bit over the top, I actually enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes move. I thought Robert Downey put in a good performance. The new film is out in December and involves Sherlock and co. chasing Moriarty across Europe and also Noomi Rapace in her first major post-Lisbeth role.
I guess the publishers of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim didn’t want to miss out on this cool release date: 11/11/11. Who can blame them! I’ve played Elder Scrolls IV and thoroughly enjoyed it, so it’s great to hear that there is a new sequel on the way.
Here’s some footage from the demo featuring Dragon gameplay: