The History Book Club discussion


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message 51: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Great news Andre!!! :)"

To not get you too excited: it's the script writing/rewriting stage with first steps going beyond that (whatever that means).
Michael Mann has several more projects in the planning so there is no further information about a definite production as yet.

message 52: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Damn :(

message 53: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Damn :("

With the current popular wave of vampires and super-heroes it might be a hard sell in Hollywood - thousands of extras, medieval gore beyond the limits - and, oh, I almost forgot, a real plot needing smart acting...(smile)

message 54: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I'm always skeptical of success when someone takes on a historical spectacular like Agincourt, as is does not seem to appeal to the major audience (which appears to be comprised of teen viewers). Remember the film Troy?

Troy by Adèle Geras by Adèle Geras

message 55: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
Jill wrote: "I'm always skeptical of success when someone takes on a historical spectacular like Agincourt..."

Michael Mann has shown more than once he knows what he's doing.
Troy was crap from start to finish. Bad acting, bad script, bad lighting, bad CGI - did I forget something? Oh yeah, I liked the dog in the first scene and my girlfriend liked Brad's butt, which really did look good...

message 56: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) make me laugh once again.

message 57: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
Jill wrote: " make me laugh once again."

That's a good thing. TRoy made me angry. I felt cheated and betrayed. I mean who do they think we are, daring to feed us such trash?

message 58: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Who doesn't love Robin Hood? But who was he or did he even exist? This book clears up the questions about one of the world's most lovable rogues.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood by James Clarke Holt by James Clarke Holt


Professor James Holt presents evidence of crucial importance in identifying the original Robin Hood, as well as showing how the exploits of other outlaws contributed to the legend and giving an entirely new interpretation of Robin Hood's most famous characteristic--that he robbed the rich in order to give to the poor.

message 59: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) A short but concise history of the Magna Carta from the BBC.

message 60: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This is a fantastic British site which provides a wealth of information on life in the Middle Ages in
Britain....from knights to castles to modes of dress. I spent a lot of time browsing it.

message 61: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 36068 comments Mod
Looks good Jill.

message 62: by Gentian (new)

Gentian | 23 comments Hello all. I am relatively new to the group but hope that this is the best place to post. I have The Plantagenets The Warrior Kings Who Invented England. Dan Jones by Dan Jones on my to read list but was wondering if anyone here had read it yet and whether it is any good.

message 63: by Gentian (new)

Gentian | 23 comments Oh and apologies if the book cover and author is not coming out properly - I followed the instructions but this was the best I could find.

message 64: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
Thanks, Gentian. I found the book cover searching the words "inventing England." Don't forget to add the author link:

The Plantagenets The Warrior kings Who Invented England by Dan JonesDan Jones

Keep trying :-)

message 65: by Gentian (new)

Gentian | 23 comments thanks Bryan

message 66: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
Gentian wrote: "thanks Bryan"

Glad to help.

message 67: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) It is a good book Gentian and provides plenty of information about and insight into the house of Plantagenet which sometimes get short shrift when discussing the ruling dynasties of Britain.

The Plantagenets The Warrior kings Who Invented England by Dan Jones by Dan Jones

message 68: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) A battle that is shrouded in myth,which ended the rule of the Plantagenets.

Bosworth 1485: Last Charge of the Plantagenets

Bosworth 1485 Last Charge Of The Plantagenets by Christopher Gravett by Christopher Gravett

The battle of Bosworth effectively put an end to the dynastic struggle known as the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). Guiding the reader from the campaign’s origins to its aftermath, and covering the commanders and forces of King Richard III and Henry Tudor, this is a complete treatment of one of the most important events in English history. Shakespeare was to immortalize the battle and Richard’s death in Richard III, and the life and reign of the last Plantagenet have sparked centuries of debate. Christopher Gravett cuts through myth and propaganda as he clearly details the course of this pivotal campaign

message 69: by Gentian (new)

Gentian | 23 comments Thanks Jill. That sounds interesting, pretty topical too!

message 70: by Jill (last edited Apr 19, 2013 10:34AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Even though Shakespeare lived and wrote after what are usually called the Middle Ages, I don't have a problem with it here since it is timeless and the subject is appropriate. But we do have a Renaissance thread where it would fit as well. You can move it there too. It can be found at:

message 71: by Jan (new)

Jan Williams | 8 comments I have been on a kick of reading biographies of the characters and events mentioned in Shakespeare's history plays. Since he wasn't unbiased and was writing long after the Tudors came to power, I wanted a more balanced view. Currently reading "Queen Isabella:
Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England" by Alison Weir. She was the mother of Edward III. Recently finished "Humphrey Duke of Gloucester: A Biography" by K. H. Vickers (rather dry, but a free download), and "John of Gaunt: King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster" by Sydney Armitage-Smith.

message 72: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Now those sound like interesting books, Jan. But please remember to use the citations explained in the guidelines. The books you mentioned should look like this:

Queen Isabella Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England by Alison Weir by Alison WeirAlison Weir

Humphrey Duke of Gloucester(no cover available) by K.H. Vickers (no author photo available.

John of Gaunt: King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster ...(no cover available) by Sydney Armitage Armitage-Smith (no author photo available)

The book citations may be found at the following link:

message 73: by Gentian (new)

Gentian | 23 comments Jan what was the Gaunt book like? Is it worth a read?
John of GauntSydney Armitage-Smith

message 74: by Jan (new)

Jan Williams | 8 comments I liked it a great deal. He is a very interesting player in the scheme of things. If you are a history geek like me, you will like it. However, my mother always says that everything I read is boring.

message 75: by G (new)

G Hodges (GLH1) | 901 comments Jill wrote: "Even though Shakespeare lived and wrote after what are usually called the Middle Ages, I don't have a problem with it here since it is timeless. But we do have a Renaissance thread where it would f..."

It has been moved! Thanks.

message 76: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
Genthian: don't forget about our citation rules:

More information:

John of Gaunt by Sydney Armitage-SmithSydney Armitage-Smith

message 77: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
The First English Revolution: Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons' War

The First English Revolution Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons' War by Adrian JobsonAdrian Jobson


Simon de Montfort, the leader of the English barons, was the first leader of a political movement to seize power from a reigning monarch. The charismatic de Montfort and his forces had captured most of south-eastern England by 1263 and at the battle of Lewes in 1264 King Henry III was defeated and taken prisoner. De Montfort became de facto ruler of England and the short period which followed was the closest England was to come to complete abolition of the monarchy until Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth. The Parliament of 1265 - known as De Montfort's Parliament - was the first English parliament to have elected representatives. Only fifteen months later de Montfort's gains were reversed when Prince Edward escaped captivity and defeated the rebels at the Battle of Evesham. Simon de Montfort was killed. Following this victory savage retribution was exacted on the rebels and authority was restored to Henry III. Adrian Jobson captures the intensity of de Montfort's radical crusade through these most revolutionary years in English history in this spirited and dramatic narrative.

message 78: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
Fatal Colours: Towton 1461 England's Most Brutal Battle

Fatal Colours by George GoodwinGeorge Goodwin


The battle of Towton in 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses.

Variously described as the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender. Yet, as if too ghastly to contemplate, the battle itself and the turbulent reign of Henry VI were neglected for centuries.

Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin colorfully re-creates the atmosphere of fifteenth-century England. From the death of the great Henry V and his baby son’s inheritance first of England and then of France, Goodwin chronicles the vicious infighting at home in response to the vicissitudes of the Hundred Years War abroad. He vividly describes the pivotal year of 1450 and a decade of breakdown for both king and kingdom, as increasingly embittered factions struggle for a supremacy that could be secured only after the carnage of Towton.

Fatal Colours includes a cast of strong and compelling characters: a warrior queen, a ruthless king-making earl, even a papal legate who excommunicates an entire army. And at its center is the first full explanation for the crippling incapacity of the enduringly childlike Henry VI—founder of Eton and King’s College, Cambridge.

message 79: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
British archeologists have carried out the most detailed analysis ever of the remains of the lost town of Dunwich

message 80: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 36068 comments Mod
That is absolutely amazing - the size of London - they can still see the remains. Folks better take climate change and global warming seriously.

message 81: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2720 comments Mod
Being Dutch I grew up with stories about the Dutch living with and fighting the water trying to find new ways to "contain" and or "regulate" it and even create new land with it.

message 82: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 36068 comments Mod
Yes, and they have done a good job with that too. (Being such a low lying area) - But I guess in the case of Dunwich there was just so much they could deal with.

message 83: by Jill (last edited Jun 02, 2013 05:21PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Relevant to the present day jihad and tying the Crusades to Arabic thinking, this book gives the reader something to think about. Very timely.

The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land

The Crusades The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land by Thomas Asbridge by Thomas AsbridgeThomas Asbridge


From a renowned historian who writes with "maximum vividness" ("The New Yorker") comes the most authoritative, readable single-volume history of the brutal struggle for the Holy Land.

Nine hundred years ago, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the Pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed, Islam and Christianity--both firm in the belief that they were at God's work--fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars: the Crusades.

For the first time, this book tells the story of that epic struggle from the perspective of both Christians and Muslims. A vivid and fast-paced narrative history, it exposes the full horror, passion, and barbaric grandeur of the Crusading era, leading us into a world of legendary champions--such as Richard the Lionheart and Saladin--shadowy Assassins, poet-warriors, and pious visionaries; across the desert sands of Egypt to the verdant forests of Lebanon; and through the ancient cities of Constantinople, Cairo, and Damascus.

Drawing on painstaking original research and an intimate knowledge of the Near East, Thomas Asbridge uncovers what drove Muslims and Christians alike to embrace the ideals of "jihad" and crusade, revealing how these holy wars reshaped the medieval world and why they continue to influence events today.

message 84: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) You decide if life in the Middle Ages wasn't as bad as we thought. This author says it was not.....interesting.

Daily Life in the Middle Ages

Daily Life in the Middle Ages by Paul B. Newman by Paul B. Newman(no photo)

Although life in the Middle Ages was not as comfortable and safe as it is for most people in industrialized countries today, the term "Dark Ages" is highly misleading. The era was not so primitive and crude as depictions in film and literature would suggest. Even during the worst years of the centuries immediately following the fall of Rome, the legacy of that civilization survived. This book covers diet, cooking, housing, building, clothing, hygiene, games and other pastimes, fighting and healing in medieval times. The reader will find numerous misperceptions corrected. The book also includes a comprehensive bibliography and a listing of collections of medieval art and artifacts and related sites across the United States and Canada so that readers in North America can see for themselves some of the matters discussed in the book.

message 85: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've just finished reading this very interesting book that covered a period of England's history I was not fully aware of. I am sure it will interest a few members here.

Blood Cries Afar The Forgotten Invasion of England 1216 by Sean McGlynn by Sean McGlynn
The first book on the important but overlooked French invasion of England in 1216, which was almost a second Norman Conquest.

History came within a hair's breadth of repeating itself, 150 years after the Norman Conquest. In 1216, taking advantage of the turmoil created in England by King John's inept rule and the war over Magna Carta, Prince Louis of France and his army of mercenaries and French soldiers invaded England and allied with English rebels. The prize was the crown of England.

Within months Louis had seized control of one-third of the country, including London. This is the first book to cover the bloody events of the invasion, one of the most dramatic but most overlooked episodes of British history. The text vividly describes the campaigns, sieges, battles, and atrocities of the invasion and its colorful leaders—Louis the Lion, King John, William Marshal, and the mercenaries Fawkes de Béauté and Eustace the Monk—to offer the first detailed military analysis of this epic struggle for England.

message 86: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 36068 comments Mod
Thank you Jill and AR

message 87: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This is the revised version of this book and would recommend it rather than the first edition since it contains additional information for the scholar of the Middle Ages.

England in the Later Middle Ages

England in the Later Middle Ages by Maurice Keen by Maurice Keen(no photo)


First published to wide critical acclaim in 1973, England in the Later Middle Ages has become a seminal text for students studying this diverse, complex period. This spirited work surveys the period from Edward I to the death of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, which heralded in the Tudor Age.
The second edition of this book, while maintaining the character of the original, brings the study up to date. Each chapter includes a discussion of the historiographical developments of the last decade and the author takes a fresh look at the changing world of the Later Middle Ages, particularly the plague and the economy. Also included is a rewritten introduction.

message 88: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) All good things must come to an end.

The Waning of the Middle Ages

The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga by Johan HuizingaJohan Huizinga


Brilliant study of art, life and thought in France and the Netherlands during the 14th and 15th centuries explores the period's splendor and simplicity, courtesy and cruelty, its idyllic vision of life, despair and mysticism, religious, artistic, and practical life, and much more. An invaluable reference for anyone interested in medieval life. 14 illustrations.

message 89: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Mccreight | 17 comments The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer by Ian MortimerIan Mortimer

In this book the author asks you to imagine that you could travel back in time, back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guest house? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? And so, on.. This is a great book to give a flavour of just exactly what life would have been like had you been there on the spot in medieval England - fascinating read.

message 90: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) I really like that concept for a book, although I don't think I want too much information about what I would smell!!! I believe I might have to put that on my TBR.

BTW, great job with the book citations.

message 91: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages

Cultural Diversity in the British Middle Ages Archipelago, Island, England by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (no photo)


Through close readings of both familiar and obscure medieval texts, the contributors to this volume attempt to read England as a singularly powerful entity within a vast geopolitical network. This capacious world can be glimpsed in the cultural flows connecting the Normans of Sicily with the rulers of England, or Chaucer with legends arriving from Bohemia. It can also be seen in surprising places in literature, as when green children are discovered in twelfth-century Yorkshire or when Welsh animals begin to speak of the long history of their land’s colonization. The contributors to this volume seek moments of cultural admixture and heterogeneity within texts that have often been assumed to belong to a single, national canon, discovering moments when familiar and bounded space erupt into unexpected diversity and infinite realms

message 92: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11690 comments Mod
Florenceinferno wrote:

The secret passages were present in many buildings during the Middle Ages, have you find them mentioned in other books?

message 93: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) All you ever wanted to know about the controversial Knights Templar who were Crusaders who were either considered "godly" or "evil"........this book may elucidate exactly what and who they were.

The Knights Templar

The Knights Templar  by Stephen Howarth by Stephen Howarth (no photo)


The age of the crusades--complex, battle-torn & fiercely pious--encompassed the rise & fall of an Order of fighting men, equally devoted to God, war & the defense of Palestine. Here's a meticulously researched & absorbing history of that order. The Knights Templar joined together in 1118, shortly after the 1st Crusade had swept thru the Holy Land & stolen Jerusalem from Islam. In the strict hierarchy of the feudal world, where every man owed loyalty & allegiance to his overlords, the Templars obeyed none except the Pope. Acquiring land & castles by gift, conquest & purchase in every part of Europe & the eastern Mediterranean, they became a church within the Church, a state within the State. They were bankers, merchants, diplomats & tax gatherers. They themselves were poor. The wealth of their Order was legendary. Were the Templars, as St Bernard said, "worthy of all the praise given to men of God," or, as Pope Clement V said, "horrible, wicked & detestable"? Drawing on a variety of original source material, Stephen Howarth assesses the faults & fine qualities of the brotherhood, examining the reasons for its initial allure & eventual, ignominious obliteration. Brilliantly elucidating to a wide audience & understanding of the chaotic age that pitched Richard Coeur de Lion against Saladin & Christian against fellow Christian.

message 94: by Jill (last edited Feb 21, 2014 05:59PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) An examination of the Magna Carta and what it meant in the history of Britain.

Magna Carta and the England of King John

Magna Carta and the England of King John by Janet S. Loengard by Janet S. Loengard (no photo)


Magna Carta marked a watershed in the relations between monarch and subject and as such has long been central to English constitutional and political history. This volume uses it as a springboard to focus on social, economic, legal, and religious institutions and attitudes in the early thirteenth century. What was England like between 1199 and 1215? And, no less important, how was King John perceived by those who actually knew him? The essays here analyse earlier Angevin rulers and the effect of their reigns on John's England, the causes and results of the increasing baronial fear of the king, the managerial revolution' of the English church, and the effect of the ius commune on English common law. They also examine the burgeoning economy of the early thirteenth century and its effect on English towns, the background to discontent over the royal forests which eventually led to the Charter of the Forest, the effect of Magna Carta on widows and property, and the course of criminal justice before 1215.

message 95: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) An interesting biography of the last of the Plantagents.

Richard III

Richard III (Revealing History) by Michael Hicks by Michael Hicks (no photo)


Richard III has been written off in history as one of England’s evil kings. His usurpation of the throne from his nephew Edward V and then subsequent generations of pro-Tudor historians ensured his fame as the disfigured murderer portrayed by Shakespeare. In the twentieth century, Richard found his apologists, those who saw him as more sinned against than sinning. This biography—by the leading expert on Richard—strips away the propaganda of the centuries to rescue Richard from his critics and supporters alike, providing a balanced and compelling portrait of this most infamous of kings.

message 96: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) A look at the favorite pastimes of the knights of old.

Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages

Tournaments Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber by Richard Barber (no photo)


"Will appeal to a wide audience. It is beautifully presented...the illustrations add further glory to a thorough historical analysis which is based on extensive research in Europe-wide sources... particularly useful in bringing to our attention lesser-known materials from the Iberian peninsula. The level of discussion, range and thoroughness of treatment and excellence of annotation make this a useful reference work for the academic historian too: it is hard to find any aspect of tournaments that is not covered."HISTORY The first serious study of tournaments throughout Europe reveals their importance - in the training of the medieval knight, the development of arms and armour, as an instrument of political patronage, and as a grand public spectacle.

message 97: by happy (last edited May 20, 2014 12:14AM) (new)

happy (happyone) | 76 comments The mail man just deliverd this one to me

Summer of Blood: The Peasants' Revolt of 1381

Summer of Blood The Peasants' Revolt of 1381 by Dan Jones by Dan Jones (no photo)

By the same author of the recent The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England. This is a look at probably the defining event of Richard II's reign, Wat Tyler revolt. Jones looks at all levels of English society as well as the major characters and how they interacted to cause the revolt.

I really enjoy Jones' writing style and look forward to reading this one.

message 98: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3899 comments Interesting find, happy, I enjoyed Jones' history of the Plantagenet dynasty.

The Plantagenets The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones by Dan Jones (no photo)

message 99: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Good recommendation, Happy.
BTW, don't forget the book citations. Looking at Jerome's example, the book you mentioned should look like this:

The Plantagenets The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones by Dan Jones(no photo)

message 100: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3899 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: January 13, 2015

Medieval Christianity: A New History

Medieval Christianity A New History by Kevin J. Madigan by Kevin J. Madigan


For many, the medieval world seems dark and foreign—a miraculous, brutal, and irrational time of superstition and strange relics. The pursuit of heretics, the Inquisition, the Crusades and the domination of the “Holy Land” come to mind. Yet the medieval world produced much that is part of our world today, including universities, the persistence of Roman architecture and the emergence of the gothic style, pilgrimage, the emergence of capitalism, and female saints.

This new narrative history of medieval Christianity, spanning from A.D. 500 to 1500, attempts to combine both what is unfamiliar and what is familiar to readers. Elements of novelty in the book include a steady focus on the role of women in Christianity; the relationships among Christians, Jews, and Muslims; the experience of ordinary parishioners; the adventure of asceticism, devotion and worship, and instruction through drama, architecture, and art. Madigan expertly integrates these areas of focus with more traditional themes, such as the evolution and decline of papal power, the nature and repression of heresy, sanctity and pilgrimage, the conciliar movement, and the break between the old Western church and its reformers.

Illustrated with more than forty photographs of physical remains, this book promises to become an essential guide to a historical era of profound influence.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Trial by Fire: The Hundred Years War, Volume 2 (other topics)
Trial by Battle: The Hundred Years War, Volume 1 (other topics)
Divided Houses: The Hundred Years War, Volume 3 (other topics)
Lancaster Against York: The Wars of the Roses and the Foundation of Modern Britain (other topics)
The Wars of the Roses (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Jonathan Sumption (other topics)
Robin Neillands (other topics)
Trevor Royle (other topics)
Stephen E. Ambrose (other topics)
Roy C. Strong (other topics)