New Books In Print: April

The Land between Two Seas: Art on the Move in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea 1300–1700

Editor: Alina Payne

The Land Between Two Seas: Art on the Move in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea 1300-1700 focuses on the strong riverine ties that connect the seas of the Mediterranean system (from the Western Mediterranean through the Sea of Marmara, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov) and their hinterland. Addressing the mediating role of the Balkans between East and West all the way to Poland and Lithuania, as well as this region’s contribution to the larger Mediterranean artistic and cultural melting pot, this innovative volume explores ideas, artworks and stories that moved through these territories linking the cultures of Central Asia with those of western Europe.

$119 hardback


Medieval Arms and Armour: A Sourcebook. Volume I

Edited by Ralph Moffat

Authoritative reference guide, using the documents in which arms and armour first appeared to explain and define them.

“A substantial and impressive piece of scholarship, one that will serve scholars and enthusiasts of medieval arms and armour very well indeed”. Dr Robert W. Jones, Franklin and Marshall College

Medieval arms and armour are intrinsically fascinating. From the smoke and noise of the armourer’s forge to the bloody violence of the battlefield or the silken panoply of the tournament, weapons and armour – and those who made and bore them – are woven into the fabric of medieval society. This sourcebook will aid anyone who seeks to develop a deeper understanding by introducing and presenting the primary sources in which these artefacts are first mentioned. Over a hundred original documents are transcribed and translated, including wills and inventories, craft statutes, chronicle accounts, and challenges to single combat. The book also includes an extensive glossary, lavishly illustrated with fifty-two images of extant armour and weapons from the period, and contemporary artistic depictions from illuminated manuscripts and other sources. This book will therefore be of interest to a wide audience, from the living history practitioner, crafter, and martial artist to students of literature, military history, art, and material culture.

$90 HB, $24.99 ebook


The Soldier Experience in the Fourteenth Century

Edited by Adrian R. Bell and Anne Curry

Essays throwing fresh light on what it was like to be a medieval soldier, drawing on archival research.

The “long” fourteenth century saw England fighting wars on a number of diverse fronts – not just abroad, in the Hundred Years War, but closer to home. But while tactics, battles, and logistics have been frequently discussed, the actual experience of being a soldier has been less often studied. Via a careful re-evaluation of original sources, and the use of innovative methodological techniques such as statistical analysis and the use of relational databases, the essays here bring new insights to bear on soldiers, both as individuals and as groups. Topics addressed include military service and the dynamics of recruitment; the social composition of the armies; the question of whether soldiers saw their role as a “profession”; and the experience of prisoners of war.

$99 HB, $25.95 paperback, $24.99 ebook


Fodder & Drincan: Anglo-Saxon Culinary History

by Emma Kay

A feisty, entertaining, and historical account of Anglo-Saxon cooking and eating, covering several centuries, circa. 400 to 1066 BCE. Emma Kay believes that the modern world has a huge amount to learn from ancient times. As we discover more fascinating pieces of information about our earliest ancestors, resulting from recent historical digs, we are increasingly interested in which species and plants nourished early human beings. Emma Kay’s book gives us evidence-based information from historical artefacts and plants, showing us what our ancestors had at their disposal for survival. However, they were more likely to catch shellfish with their quick fingers, and use rudimentary traps to secure small birds and creatures. They also would have had grasses and early wheat to make simple bread. Her book discusses the nature of culinary transitions in terms of Roman and Scandinavian influences, as well as illuminating us with her knowledge of social and political Anglo Saxon communities.

$30 PB


Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood

Brian A. Pavlac (Editor)

Since it first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones galloped up the ratings to become the most watched show in HBO’s history. It is no secret that creator George R.R. Martin was inspired by late 15th century Europe when writing A Song of Ice and Fire, the sprawling saga on which the show is based. Aside from the fantastical elements, Game of Thrones really does mirror historic events and bloody battles of medieval times—but how closely?

Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood is a collection of thought-provoking essays by medieval historians who explore how the enormously popular HBO series and fantasy literature of George R. R. Martin are both informed by and differ significantly from real historical figures, events, beliefs, and practices of the medieval world. From a variety of perspectives, the authors delve into Martin’s plots, characterizations, and settings, offering insights into whether his creations are historical possibilities or pure flights of fantasy.

Topics include the Wars of the Roses, barbarian colonizers, sieges and the nature of medieval warfare, women and agency, slavery, celibate societies in Westeros, myths and legends of medieval Europe, and many more. While life was certainly not a game during the Middle Ages, Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood reveals how a surprising number of otherworldly elements of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy are rooted deeply in the all-too-real world of medieval Europe.

$18.95 PB, $11 ebook


Sword of Shadows (A Crispin Guest Mystery, 13)

by Jeri Westerson

A quest to find the ancient sword Excalibur quickly turns into a hunt for a determined killer for Crispin Guest.

London, 1396. A trip to the swordsmith shop for Crispin Guest, Tracker of London, and his apprentice Jack Tucker takes an unexpected turn when Crispin crosses paths with Carantok Teague, a Cornish treasure hunter. Carantok has a map he is convinced will lead him to the sword of Excalibur – a magnificent relic dating back to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – and he wants Crispin to help him find it.

Travelling to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall with Carantok and Jack, Crispin is soon reunited with an old flame as he attempts to locate the legendary sword. But does Excalibur really exist, or is he on an impossible quest? When a body is discovered, Crispin’s search for treasure suddenly turns into a hunt for a dangerous killer.

$28.99 HB, $15.63 PB, $4.54 ebook


The Great Revolt (The Brother Athelstan Mysteries Book 16)

by Paul Doherty

The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son.

June, 1381. The rebel armies are massed outside London, determined to overturn both Crown and Church. The Regent, John of Gaunt, has headed north, leaving his nephew, the boy-king Richard II, unprotected.

Brother Athelstan would prefer to be protecting his parishioners at St Erconwald’s. Instead, he finds himself investigating a royal murder that took place fifty-four years earlier whilst the rebel leaders plot the present king’s destruction.

What does the fate of the king’s great-grandfather, Edward II, have to do with the murder of Brother Alberic, a priest stabbed at the monastery in Blackfriars, more than fifty years later? When he finds his own life under threat, Athelstan discovers that exposing past secrets can lead to present danger.

A gripping medieval mystery of rebellion and murder, perfect for fans of Edward Marston, Kate Sedley and David Penny.

$24.98 HB, $2.99 ebook