This is one of my all time favorite reads. For me, a page turner from the word go.
The turn of phrase can be a bit difficult and I understand that theThis is one of my all time favorite reads. For me, a page turner from the word go.
The turn of phrase can be a bit difficult and I understand that the use of "be" can be annoying, but I think that Penman does a wonderful job of transporting the reader to another time. There are details in setting that made me feel like I was in 15th century England and that I was in the middle of the dynastic struggle of the houses of York and Lancaster. Penman had me laughing one moment and crying the next, occasionally my ire would ignite. I've never read a book that could pull emotions from me like the "Sunne in Splendour".
I think Penman's use of fragments as a device to convey thoughts interrupted and to jar the readers attention to another character's point of view made it more real. Like being engrossed in a book and suddenly someone enters the room and asks you a question and gives you a start; brilliant.
She did a fantastic job of reducing a conflict such as the "war of the roses", which raged for decades and boiled it down to so few pages ripe with political intrigue, love, hate, and war, and it was still tasteful and enjoyable. It re-opened my eyes to history and while I am a fan of Richard III and giving Tudor propagandists a shot in the eye, I don't believe he was a saint, I believe he was a man of his time and shouldn't be looked at through the moral and ethical values of our modern age.
Read it, enjoy it, and then go read A LOT of history books. :)...more
"Pleynly Delitful". This is a quick introduction to Medieval recipes and the food is pretty decent. It's one I call on from time to time when planning"Pleynly Delitful". This is a quick introduction to Medieval recipes and the food is pretty decent. It's one I call on from time to time when planning a themed dinner....more
This is one of my favorite Medieval cookbooks. Whenever I host a medieval themed dinner, this book comes off the shelf. The author provides some menuThis is one of my favorite Medieval cookbooks. Whenever I host a medieval themed dinner, this book comes off the shelf. The author provides some menu ideas for meat and non-meat days, number of guests and time of year.
It contains vegetable, meat, fish, poultry and dessert sections as well as sauces and how to make a hypocras.
This review covers the 1976 Paperback. So unless the content has been updated, the score still stands.
I cook, a lot. I am a historical interpreter andThis review covers the 1976 Paperback. So unless the content has been updated, the score still stands.
I cook, a lot. I am a historical interpreter and a 15th century re-enactor, and I love the taste of really good food. For those who don't care if this book is historically accurate or not, then I think you've missed the point of owning a "medieval cookbook". If you like odd mixes of spices and experimentation, then have at it. For me, I'll pass having sampled several of these recipes that I found totally unpalatable.
So that you don't think it's all wine vinegar, I will offer up a few excellent titles for your consideration. If you're interested in ceremony and how things are done at the table regarding manners and how to serve the high table, read the following:
The Babees Boke of Manners The Boke of Keruynge: The Book of Carving (Wynkyn de Worde)
If you want real medieval cookbooks with the documentation to back up the recipes contained between the covers, then I'd like to suggest the following cook books:
Pleyn Delit, an excellent beginners book (1996) The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy (2000) Early French Cookery (2002)
There are others, but these are the three that I use often, and most new comers to the world of medieval cookery will discover that many of the recipes are very pleasing to the modern palate. ...more
I received this book as part of a trade. I found that it was a fast paced read.
Matt Wicker is an award winning photo journalist. An artist with an eyeI received this book as part of a trade. I found that it was a fast paced read.
Matt Wicker is an award winning photo journalist. An artist with an eye for the perfect shot. He's at the top of the photo journalists world, a denim tumbleweed in the carpeted power hallways of NYC. A man with a secret that releases a demon behind the veils of his eyelids, a demon bent on destroying everything Matt holds dear...every time he goes to sleep.
It's an interesting book, given that it was written in the 80s. it delves into the world of driven people, sleep study, and what sometimes happens when we go too far to achieve that moment of perfection.
Whenever I want a quick, entertaining read, I pick up this book. The author has a way of putting together a few well chosen words to convey a motion or expression. I've read it a few times and it's still fun....more
This is the version I read, Adult HC straight from the UK.
I know that there are Harry Potter fans that can't understand why anyone would rate this booThis is the version I read, Adult HC straight from the UK.
I know that there are Harry Potter fans that can't understand why anyone would rate this book less than a 5+ star rating, well the truth of the matter is that this book just isn't deserving of such a high honor. In all honesty, I don't think it's possible to give this book more than a three star and that's pushing it.
My indoctrination to the world of Harry Potter was admittedly through other more avid fans extolling it's virtues and it's uniqueness in the world of young adult literature. Indeed, I give Kudos to J.K. Rowling for her early work and her idea of how to put a school of witchcraft and wizardry into a context that was both familiar and alien to the readers. It had a point of reality to ground before breaking the rules and bending it into a potentially epic fantasy.
Having read spoilers and having seen the movies (yes I know they're not close to the books and some details have been changed for the sake of brevity), I figured it was the last book of the series, so why not indulge.
They hype was greater than the delivery. A series that had roared in like a lion whimpered out like a lamb that had been nearly beaten to death. I found this book to be extremely painful to read. The most annoying aspects were the really infantile shouting matches between Harry, Hermione, and Ron. I found myself wondering why I should care about a pack of whining, argumentative brats. All this going on during their overly drawn out camping excursion - I don't need to "feel" every minute of their being on the lam. I found myself more and more annoyed as I read. There are other story crafting techniques other than the monotonous tedium (yes, I'm intentionally being redundant) to convey the passage of time. That was about 400 pages (I'm exaggerating) that we didn't need; the less than spectacular final confrontation between Harry and Vol de Morte - this is his arch enemy, the Dark Lord, He whose name shall not be mentioned - the person who has wanted Harry DEAD since the beginning - I don't think that he'd make simple, nearly moronic mistakes. Vol de Morte was supposed to be evil incarnate and I didn't feel any sense of real threat and he seemed to be defeated rather easily in the context of epic throw downs between hero and villain; and the casualties of that final confrontation at Hogwarts that read off like a check list of who needed to be killed off before the epilogue. I felt no sorrow for these characters, they were just a footnote (not in the actual context of the story) but how their deaths were handled. One reviewer put "A Rock fell, and everyone died"; Pretty much the way I felt about it.
There were plot holes galore. I think this book could have been half the length and could have been tightened up considerably. I think that if J.K. Rowling had said, "I'll write the final chapter when I'm ready", it could have delivered on the hype and so much more.
This book was well written. Feist gives the reader a look into the darker side of Faerie Tales. He blends folklore with the modern world. An entertainThis book was well written. Feist gives the reader a look into the darker side of Faerie Tales. He blends folklore with the modern world. An entertaining read....more
This book was written by the Eduarte (Duarte) I of Portugal in the early 15th century; a text that has long been overlooked by horse masters and scholThis book was written by the Eduarte (Duarte) I of Portugal in the early 15th century; a text that has long been overlooked by horse masters and scholars alike over the centuries. Usually when Duarte's work is mentioned, it is in brief and only covers a singular topic. Due to these limited translated excerpts, there is a common misconception in the community of interest that this book is just about jousting. I assure you, it is not.
Basically "Bem Cavalgar", a short hand term for the work, is a 15th century book of advice on or teaching how to ride in every type of saddle. Duarte speaks from his own experience about having a firm seat and to be well mounted when performing tasks from jousting to hunting and every day riding. He also covers the use of proper equipment for the specific task. Many modern equestrians may see bits of advice that come remarkably close to what they've been taught from their earliest riding lessons.
Duarte, like many rulers of his age, was philosophical, being well versed in mythology of the past and the religion of the day. Duarte covers many of these aspects in his own musing about "The Will" and why sometimes riders fail or succeed because of the types of will and desire employed in riding or other activities.
Amusingly enough, Duarte was very concerned about appearance and looking good while you were in the saddle. If one had an especially difficult horse, he explains how the rider could "disguise" the difficulty by straightening a hat or bit of clothing until the horse was under control so as not to appear unsafe or concerned about falling; style and elegance.
The book contains Duarte's advice and thoughts on weapon handling. His advice is sound regarding work from the ground before trying it from horseback. His belief that if you didn't feel safe and confident working with a weapon on the ground, you wouldn't be safe or confident with it on horseback. This follows the teachings of some of Duarte's contemporaries like Fiore di Liberi (Italian), whose system approaches the basics (wrestling and weapons) from the ground and eventually teaches the student to use the combat techniques from horseback a skill that Duarte laments later in his text that the young noblemen seem to be losing due to their pursuit of the ladies and courtly romance.
Martial techniques that are discussed in whole or briefly: work with the lance, the sword, and wrestling. Probably not as detailed as most students of historical western martial arts would like, but those experienced in equestrian martial sport will probably realize that much of it is common sense and practices that many of us have been doing for years.
In comparison to other works on the horsemanship of antiquity, Duarte is at times sketchy about details and without images for guidance; the reader is left to draw their own conclusions in regard to visualizing how certain movements are performed.
About the translation (adaptation as it is not a literal translation), I've been studying the work by Joseph Piel (he transcribed the manuscript into a more "readable" document) for years and know what a difficult and monumental task "Bem Cavalgar" was to translate. Mr. Preto has done a commendable job in bringing this difficult work to English, in full, for the first time. He has also added a bit of information to the beginning of the book to share a chronicler's description of Duarte and share the history of Portugal with the reader to add a bit of context to Duarte's work. (Obrigado)
While I have the highest regard for the content of the book and the effort it took to bring it to the masses, as a bibliophile and a design professional, I must now share my concerns regarding the presentation of this work.
In comparison to other works on horsemanship that offer a modern translation, I found the work to be missing two key components, a facsimile of the original manuscript or a text version of same and/or contemporary artwork to add visual breaks for the eye. While this may not seem to be an issue with most readers, for a scholar, it doesn't allow for comparison of the translation with the work. Sometimes errors occur and without a source to for comparison, you will never know.
When I was finally able to hold the book in my hands, my first impression was the disappointment I felt with the low quality of the binding and the flimsy paper stock. The faux leather had air bubbles under it where the glue didn't adhere or didn't cover the boards. The gold leaf text was practically illegible (same for the dust jacket). The whole thing would probably have been better served by a cloth cover and a regular serif font for readability rather than trying to mimic a manuscript.
A major issue was that before I had even finished my first reading, the binding had come unglued and the end papers had begun to separate from the cover. I have purchased several books over the years in the same price range and have never had this happen. The watch phrase is "handle with care" when reading to avoid damage to the book.
Advice to the publisher: Quality Control.
Having said that, I am pleased to see the work finally come to light as the information is more important than the binding. So, if you are a medieval horsemanship enthusiast or interested in the knightly arts even if you don't have a horse, I definitely recommend that this book be a part of your equestrian and medieval studies library. I would also make an attempt, if you have any foreign language skills (Latin, Portuguese, Arabic, etc...), that you also acquire a copy of Joseph Piel's transcription:
LIVRO DA ENSINANÇA DE BEM CAVALGAR TODA SELA EL-REY DOM EDUARTE
(it's extremely rare) and/or the French study:
"Étude d'un traité d'équitation portugais du XVème siècle:Livro da ensinança de bem cavalgar toda sela du roi Dom Duarte" by Carlos-Henriques Periera, (2001).
Note: I've edited this review to add the book titles and to add the term adaptation.
This is a tough read. The author has used historical place names (names we wouldn't recognize on a map). When these places are mentioned, one has to tThis is a tough read. The author has used historical place names (names we wouldn't recognize on a map). When these places are mentioned, one has to turn to the map in the book to see where there author is discussing.
Most of the information seems to be centered around the Middle and Far east, so this book is probably not as useful to readers interested in practices in the West....more
Like the book The Moroccan Cookbook: 70 Delicious Easy-to-make Dishes from an Exotic Cuisine, "Cooking Moroccan contains wonderful recipes each accompLike the book The Moroccan Cookbook: 70 Delicious Easy-to-make Dishes from an Exotic Cuisine, "Cooking Moroccan contains wonderful recipes each accompanied by beautiful color photographs; each one whets the appetite.
I found the author's discussion of eating traditions, such as the washing of the hands with rose water and the proper method of eating with ones fingers to be insightful and will surely add to the experience of preparing and serving a proper Moroccan meal for family and friends.
The author also discusses Mint Tea. This is a staple of Moroccan hospitality and filters down from something you sip with friends and visitors to a beverage being served while bartering in the market place.
Cons: 1) No advice for cooking in a tagine over a charcoal brazier 2) No recipes for traditional doughs, again phyllo is used as a substitute instead of allowing the reader to choose how they wish to proceed; old school or substitution.
This book is filled with marvelous dishes from Morocco. The author gives a brief introduction to the history of the food, the must haves for spices anThis book is filled with marvelous dishes from Morocco. The author gives a brief introduction to the history of the food, the must haves for spices and then dives into the recipes. The eyes are treated to a sumptuous banquet of color that leaves the mouth lusting for a taste of these exotic treats.
As the author guides the reader through each recipe, little snippets of vocabulary and custom are introduced. The author also notes substitutions in the event that one cannot make the actual doughs or cannot find that one elusive ingredient.
There are only two cons with this book: 1) For many dishes a tagine (both a cooking/serving utensil and a type of dish) is not really discussed. If I'm going to cook traditional Moroccan cuisine, I want to cook it in the traditional Moroccan method. This includes in a tagine over a charcoal brazier. The book completely omits this and cooking on a stove or grill is substituted.
2) I want to know how to make the pastry dough. I don't care if it's difficult, let me choose to make it or not. I don't always want to resort to a substitution.
Despite these two cons, for anyone interested in trying their hand at a wonderful culinary change, I recommend this book....more
For folks who are into Dungeons & Dragons, the pre 3.0 version, Phil's work has been a graphic staple; The Adventures ofThis book is hysterical!
For folks who are into Dungeons & Dragons, the pre 3.0 version, Phil's work has been a graphic staple; The Adventures of Phil and Dixie. I always loved Phil's panel strips in the Dragon magazines, and when he did the art work for Myth Adventures graphic novel, it was a must have.
His style is humorous and expressive...and his visual sound effects...the *tink tink* of an object in the aftermath of Aahz (no relation) and Skeeve's first meeting just adds to the humor....more
I have the individual graphic releases. The graphic style is well done. The story is predicable and not subtle I expected more intrigue. Darth Maul isI have the individual graphic releases. The graphic style is well done. The story is predicable and not subtle I expected more intrigue. Darth Maul is anything but subtle.
This work is for those folks who really dig the Dark Lords of the Sith. It's dark and destructive and gives a little back story for what I consider, at least from the movie going stand point, to be the ultimate Sith.