Sunday, 10 June 2012

Back from Derbyshire

Yesterday I dove head first into the kelidh to celebrate my good friend Nick's birthday. As the Dutch team failed to score against the Danes, this proved the superior choice. Much fun was had by all and the weekend was lovely, despite the parsimony of English weather: dry but not enough blue in the sky to make shorts.

For some reason, Nick felt it was necessary to give me a copy of Garmonsway's Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. I've had much fun looking at the differences between the versions and sifting through the kind of stuff that would interest the monks that wrote it: the death and installation of popes, bishops and abbots. Never forget that most of our impressions of medieval monarchs are based on the opinion of ecclesiastics, who had their own axes to grind.

On the way back I dipped into the bookstore at the airport and couldn't resist a 3 for 2 Sonderangebot. The main inspiration was David Edgerton's book on the mobilisation of the Empire in Britain's War Machine. I got excited by the tables of British and overseas production as well as the maps of oil pipelines and major centres of war production. Topping that is the list of highest awards from the Royal Commission of Awards for Inventions! Edgerton weaves contemporary and newly made graphics very well and I look forward to reading it some day.

The Sonderangebot formed a pretext to buy two more books on Anglo-Saxons (my present minor project). On the one hand A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons by Geoffrey Hindley and on the other Simon Young's A.D. 500. A Journey Through The Dark Isles of Britain and Ireland. The former is a rather conventional history, while the latter is set up as a sort of fictional travel guide, written from the perspective of a Byzantine. That makes it a perfect background for a campaign set during the first Anglo-Saxon invasions. I hope to have more elaborate reviews of these books in the coming months.


  1. Thanks for coming. I am so grateful to have such a good friend especially one who is willing to have his labour exploited so mercilessly.

    "I got excited by the tables of British and overseas production"

    Though sometimes I do wonder about you!

  2. I was glad to help making it happen. Didn't feel like work at all.


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