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Polling Recommendations for Golden Lance Sought

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-05-05 17:15

Their serene Majesties, Edward and Thyra passed the Order of the Golden Lance at their last curia at Mudthaw. The Golden Lance will be an order of high merit for those who have excelled in the Equestrian Arts. As a former rider myself, we are excited to bring this new level of recognition to our Eastern riders.

We will accept recommendations for the Premiers of this new order until June 1st. It is our intent to poll all authorized riders for the selection of the first members of this new order. As there is no formal polling system set up, we will use a more informal method. If you are an authorized rider and wish to participate in this polling, please ensure the Kingdom Equestrian Marshall, Baroness Doucette de Verdun has an up to date email address.

In Service to the East,
King Omega and Queen Etheldreda

Filed under: Announcements, Equestrian

Rapier Marshal Information Requested

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-05-05 16:44

Greetings, East Kingdom Rapier Marshals.

We are in the process of compiling information for the fencing community and ask that every active marshal please email the following information to your regional marshal:

-Name (SCA and Mundane)
-Membership number and expiration date
-Who warranted you and when.

Local Marshals, please obtain this information from your area Marshals at Large.

Emails for each region are listed below:.

West Tir Mara Deputy Doña Borujin Acilaldai  Email: rapier@tirmara.eastkingdom.org

East Tir Mara Deputy Lord Guthfrith Yrlingson Email: rapier@tirmara.eastkingdom.org

Northern Region Deputy Dona Camille des Jardins Email: kmof.north@eastkingdom.org

Central Region Deputy Don Lotieri Malocchio Email: kmof.central@eastkingdom.org

Southern Region Deputy Baroness Engracia de Madrigal Email kmof.south@eastkingdom.org

In Service,

Master Frasier MacLeod
KRM, East

Filed under: Fencing Tagged: fencing, marshal

Aside or Astride?

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-05-05 16:40

The debate goes on – Did women in period ride astride? Or did they ride aside? The answer, unequivocally, is yes. Sort of. Here’s why:

Wife of Bath from the Ellesmere manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, c. 1410.

In some illustrations, such as Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath, the woman is shown riding astride. For practicality’s sake, this was likely the most common way for a woman to ride. Her skirts, long and full as they were, would drape gracefully down to cover her legs, thereby protecting her modesty. She was seated firmly in the saddle, facing forward, and fully capable of controlling her mount. It is also likely that women rode astride for centuries, although it may not have been considered entirely proper or genteel.

Many other period illustrations show women sitting aside, or sideways on the horse, with both legs to one side. This is, of course, technically, riding sidesaddle, since you are sitting sideways on the saddle. But the period definition of sidesaddle does not match today’s definition of sidesaddle. Here is where the “sort of”, above, comes into play.

Anne of Bohemia is generally thought to be the person who brought the period version of sidesaddle to England. This meant that instead of sitting the horse with a leg on each side, women sat sideways, on a pad, or in a man’s saddle, or, more usually, on the horse’s croup (rump) behind a man, with both feet hanging to one side. Sitting sideways behind a man is known as riding pillion. Somewhere along the way, a woman who was riding by herself, sideways in the saddle, may have realized that it would be a bit more comfortable if she put her foot in the stirrup.

Sidesaddle – Hermes Museum

Thus came the invention of the planchette (plank). The planchette was a board, suspended from straps, on which a lady sitting sidesaddle could rest her feet.

The period sidesaddle also began to be fitted with a side rail, running along the off side of the saddle seat to give a bit of security. There is also evidence of a “seat belt” type of strap, fastening over the thighs to help keep her in the saddle.

A woman using this type of saddle was more or less sitting in a moving chair, facing to the side of her horse. If she was not being led by a groom, she had to twist her upper body around to face forward so that she could control her horse properly. There was also a very real danger of the rider toppling over backwards if the horse acted up or took a misstep.

Catherine de Medici, (1519-1589), being an avid rider, and, apparently, none too happy with the restrictions that the period sidesaddle placed on her, is popularly credited with being the first woman to drape one of her legs over the pommel (or horn) of a man’s saddle, thereby giving herself something to grip for balance, as well as the ability to face forward and control her own horse properly – the early beginning of what we think of today as a sidesaddle rider.

Unfortunately, de Medici’s concept does not appear to have caught on with the ladies for quite some time, as the “chair” saddle with planchette and back rail seems to have endured until well into the 1700’s. It was, in fact, used in certain areas much later than that.

Queen Victoria’s sidesaddle – Museum of Leathercraft

The sidesaddle continued to evolve, with the center pommel of the man’s saddle eventually migrating to one side of the saddle, usually, though not always, the left side, and a second pommel being added to the other side of the saddle – apparently to give the thigh something to rest against.

A woman in this type of saddle could walk, trot, and canter a well-trained horse safely, and ride long distances in relative comfort and security.

In the late 18th century, there was a third pommel or horn added – the leaping head (or leaping horn). This was below the primary horn, and gave much better “purchase” or grip, since the leg which was crossed in front of the rider could grip around the main horn, and the thigh of the other leg could be pressed up into the leaping head. The pommel on the off side of the saddle, never particularly useful in the first place, began to disappear sometime around the early 1900’s. And the true sidesaddle rider was born – a woman who could ride a less than manageable horse, could gallop and leap fences with her gentleman companions and be safe, stylish, and modest doing so.

Sidesaddles continued to evolve up into the mid 20th century, with the seat becoming flat, rather than dipped, and the pommels becoming wider and flatter than the older saddles.

The pictures below are of a sidesaddle that I built several years ago, using a purchased, 1930’s tree.

Riding a modern sidesaddle is every bit as safe as riding an astride saddle, and, in some instances, even safer. If the saddle fits the rider and the horse properly, it is also quite comfortable, and very elegant.

So, to say that a woman in period was riding sidesaddle would be somewhat inaccurate. She was riding sideways in the saddle, but the true sidesaddle seat, wherein the rider is facing forward, with one leg hooked over a pommel or horn in front of her, did not really evolve until much later.

— THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoighill

Woman shown riding astride in the depiction of Herr Wernher von Teufen (fol. 69r) from the Manesse Codex, c. 1300-1330.

Categories: SCA news sites

Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival -Demo

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-05-05 12:25

Greetings Good Gentles One and All,

Preparations are busily underway for the Second Annual Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival. Fear not, for though the word “Renaissance” may cause pause, last year, this demo successfully introduced approximately 600 of the general public to our dream. Two hundred Scadians from all over the Known World came to the banks of the Susquehanna River to play last year and we trust such will occur again this year. Their Sylvan Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle will be in attendance, making this a Royal Progress. You won’t want to be anywhere else come the 20th of June except in the Heart of Æthelmearc – the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais.

Fighting at last year’s demo. Photo by Jinx.

For additional information go to the Kingdom website for the event which can be found here or like us on Facebook – Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival.

Illumination display at last year’s demo. Photo by Jinx.


Categories: SCA news sites

Neolithic eel fishing spear with bone prong found at Lolland

History Blog - Tue, 2015-05-05 03:09

The archaeological survey in advance of the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Link tunnel on the Danish island of Lolland has discovered another pre-historic treasure in exceptional condition. After the flint dagger with intact bark handle, the 5,000-year-old gillnets and the flint axe with the intact wood handle, now archaeologists have unearthed a Stone Age wooden eel fishing spear with the central bone prong still in place.

Similar spears, known as leisters, are still used to capture eels today, but archaeologists could not confirm whether the design of two lateral prongs that curve outwards with a straight, sharp central prong was used in pre-historic times as well. While individual lateral wooden prongs, bone points and more rarely pairs of prongs have been found before, this is the first time a leister has been found with all three prongs in position. It confirms that Neolithic eel spears had the same configuration as modern ones, which means the craft of eel fishing hasn’t changed much in thousands of years.

“Unfortunately, the string winding and the shaft were missing, but the position of leister prongs and bone point in relation to each other can only be interpreted as the result of a leister that has broken off – the pieces were still sitting at an angle in the old seabed. This means that we can now say with a greater level of certainly that Stone Age fishing leisters had both lateral wooden prongs and a centred bone point, although a tiny amount of uncertainty remains until we find a complete preserved leister,” [Museum Lolland-Falster archaeologist] Søren Anker Sørensen continues.

The leister has not been radiocarbon dated yet. It was discovered in an area that in the Late Stone Age had two lagoons and a 65-foot-wide belt of stone marking the spot where the coast was in around 3,000 B.C. The spear points could range from the middle to the late Neolithic. An individual lateral prong from a leister was found at another dig site in the ancient lagoon which dates to the late Neolithic.

Another exciting find from the excavation is the end of a hafted arrow. The shaft isn’t complete — the piece is about four inches long and broken in two — but the most important part of the weapon is: the pointy end. The flint arrowhead is attached, and the adhesive and binding used to fix the point to the shaft is still preserved. There was some discussion about how Stone Age peoples attached the flint parts of their weapons to the wood in the comments on the axe article (hi Virginia Burton!). This arrow answers the question neatly. You can see in the photograph how tightly wound the string binding is.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

New draft of SCA Ltd. Social Media Policy for comment

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-05-04 23:15

A new draft for a SCA Ltd Social Media Policy has been approved by the SCA Ltd Board for release for comment. This new draft is a modified version of the SCA Inc (Society) policy that is in effect in the USA, NZ and (until we have our own) Australia.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

ACCEPS Situation Update

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-05-04 18:49

The Society Seneschal of the SCA has posted further commentary about the discontinuation of the ACCEPS event registration system.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

War Practice Meetings

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-05-04 14:19

The following meetings and other activities have been scheduled at War Practice 26 as of 1 May.
Hope to see you all there,
-Aidan ni Leir

The Court of TRM Timothy and Gabrielle will be held on Saturday, starting at 7 pm in the Great Hall.

Artisans’ Challenge

Saturday, 12 pm – 4 pm, Great Hall
Artisans’ Display
Saturday, 12 pm – 4 pm, Great Hall
Artisans’ Playtime
Saturday, 12 pm – 4 pm, Great Hall

Order of the Fleur

Saturday, 11 am – 12 noon, A&S Tent #2
Order of the Gage
Friday evening, after the Meet’n’Beat, on the field
Order of the Laurel
Saturday, 1 pm – 3 pm, A&S Tent #1
Order of the Millrind
Saturday, 9 am – 10 am, A&S Tent #2
Order of the Pelican
Saturday, 4 pm – 5:30 pm, A&S Tent #1

Arts & Sciences Meeting

Friday, 3 pm – 4 pm, Upper Bathhouse
Chatelaines’ Meeting
Saturday, 9 am -10 am, A&S Tent #1

Heralds’ Consult Table

Friday, 3 pm – 8 pm, Great Hall
Tribe Auction Display
Friday, 12 pm – 6 pm, Great Hall
Heralds’ Consult Table
Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, Great Hall
Tribe Auction Display
Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, Great Hall
Equestrians’ Meeting
Saturday, 5 pm – 6 pm, Upper Bathhouse
Royal Guild of Assassins Meeting
Saturday, 5 pm – 6 pm, A&S Tent #3

Sunday, starting at 9:30 am, Great Hall

Brunch will be available to all on both Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 11 am in the Great Hall.

Categories: SCA news sites

Volunteer Position Available: Æthelmearc College of Heralds Exchequer

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-05-04 07:00

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle! It takes a lot of work to keep a College of Heralds running, and not all of it requires heraldic knowledge! Dame Elsbeth and Master Alaric have served the Æthelmearc College of Heralds as College Exchequer and Deputy College Exchequer for many years, and now it is time for them to retire with our thanks and take some much-deserved rest on their estates. However, the College needs an Exchequer to keep running. That’s where you — yes, YOU — can volunteer to help! Have you been interested in learning the ways of the exchequer, but find the idea of serving in that capacity for your local group too daunting? The College provides an excellent introduction to this job, with minimal paperwork and minimal checks to write. Dame Elsbeth and Master Alaric have thoughtfully provided this description of the duties of the position and the approximate time needed:

  • Serve as a member of the financial committee for the College of Heralds.
  • Deposit funds for heraldic submissions in a timely manner (1 to 2 deposits / month)
  • Write reimbursement checks for allowable College of Heralds expenses in a timely manner (1 to 2 checks / month).
  • Complete four financial reports a year, three electronic, one paper (2 to 3 hours a quarter).
  • Be a signatory on the College of Heralds bank account.

If you are interested in this position, or even just in hearing more about the position and what it requires, please contact me via email.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai 高貴国境の王国の治部卿 Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Categories: SCA news sites

Starring Douglas Fairbanks as Coke Ennyday

History Blog - Mon, 2015-05-04 03:36

While frolicking through silent movie history yesterday, I came across a veritable treasure of a comedic short. It’s called The Mystery of the Leaping Fish and it stars Douglas Fairbanks as Coke Ennyday the “scientific detective,” a parody of Sherlock Holmes who was a cocaine aficionado albeit nowhere near as rabid a one as Mr. Ennyday. The character’s name isn’t the only shameless, even joyful, drug reference. Our hero is not only an avowed drug user, he wears a bandolier of syringes filled with liquid cocaine strapped to his chest and injects himself every few minutes. He also has a large round box labelled “COCAINE” in large print that he grabs fistfuls of powder out of that he then buries his face into with Scarface-like gusto. His wall clock eschews hour markers in favor of four words at the cardinal points: eats, sleep, drinks, dope. When the single hand points to drinks, Ennyday’s manservant makes him the beverage of champions: equal parts Gordon’s Gin, laudanum and prussic acid (a solution of hydrogen cyanide).

This is no Reefer Madness. There is no stern moral conclusion about the evils of drugs. Fairbanks is his usual gregarious, athletic self, just sillier than usual. This was filmed in 1916 when drugs like cocaine, cannabis and opiates were readily available from pharmaceutical companies. Many states had laws against the sale and use of coca and opium and in December of 1914 Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act which in theory made it a federal crime. Authorized companies (pharma) and individuals (doctors, patients) could still dispense and use cocaine and opiates, however.

Douglas was still a comparative rookie when he made this wacky picture, having moved to Hollywood in 1915 and signed a contract with the newly formed Triangle Pictures where he worked under the D.W. Griffith point of the triangle (the other two points were Thomas Ince and Mack Sennet). His first film was released in November 1915. The Mystery of the Leaping Fish was released just seven months later in June of 1916. By then, with fewer than 10 films under his belt, he already had above the title billing. It was the second time he worked with husband and wife writing team John Emerson and Anita Loos. Emerson directed the picture — very amusingly, I might add; there are some great comedic beats in there — and Loos wrote the intertitles with tongue firmly in cheek. Fairbanks made his own contributions to the script, something you see reflected in the beginning and closing sequences where he’s playing himself pitching the madcap story of Coke Ennyday to a studio writer who naturally tells him this is a ridiculous idea for a picture that will never be made.

(Loos would later go on to write the novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a huge success in print, on stage and in film, with the most famous movie version starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Emerson would go on to be a huge parasite on his wife, sponging off her success, stealing her money, losing it all and stealing it again when she bounced back, all the while cheating on her and manipulating her with faked illnesses and endless drama.)

When Fairbanks rose to the loftiest heights of Hollywood fame, he reportedly came to hate this wild foray into drugged-out good times and tried to have it destroyed. With all the silent pictures we’ve lost to time and nitrate volatility and studios not giving a crap about their history, it’s remarkable that this bizarre little two-reeler survived even when the greatest star of the era wanted it gone.

Also of historical note is the relatively subdued racist angle. There’s a Chinese laundry guy/opium dealer stereotype, but it’s small potatoes compared to the blatant racism of the debate around the passage of the Harrison Act which was all about cocaine making black men crazy, aggressive, superstrong and driving them to rape white women, while the Chinese used opium to lure innocent white girls into drug addiction, illicit relationships and, inevitably, prostitution.

The movie really doesn’t care about any of that noise. It’s quite remarkable, because studios were consistently cowardly when it came to potentially controversial issues, even before the Fatty Arbuckle scandal and the later implementation of the Production Code. The story was by Tod Browning, best known today for his ground-breaking and still creepy as hell talkie Freaks. He had run away from home to join the circus when he was a teenager, so he was not easily scandalized.

Anyway, without further ado, here is The Mystery of the Leaping Fish.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Classes at War Practice

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-05-03 21:33

As of 1 May, these are the classes scheduled for War Practice 26.  Full descriptions of the classes are available in advance from me via e-mailSome classes have age restrictions and other requirements; you may want to check in advance.  Send your request to me off-line at   helen.pinto@comcast.net

Hope to see you all there,
-Aidan ni Leir

Thursday, 14 May
Basics in Blacksmithing • 5pm-8pm, next to the Troll Booth

Friday, 15 May
Basics in Blacksmithing • 8am-11am, next to the Troll Booth
Beginning Naalbinding ($5) • 11am-12pm, Upper Bathhouse
Fun with Filking • 12pm-1pm, A&S Tent #1
20 Songs That Should Be in Your Bard Book • 1pm-3pm, A&S Tent #1
Inspection and Care of Your Archery Equipment • 1pm-2pm, A&S Tent #2
Basic Mead-Making ($15) • 2pm-4pm, Great Hall
Elizabethan Thread Buttons • 2pm-3pm, A&S Tent #2
The Vade Mecum: A Folded Almanac • 3pm-4pm, A&S Tent #3
Heels and Toes: Knitting Period Stockings • 4pm-5pm, A&S Tent #3
How to Make a Bog Chair ($15) • 4pm-6pm, A&S Tent #1
Poisons! Assassins! • 5pm-6pm, A&S Tent #3
Livery Collars • 5pm-6pm, Upper Bathhouse
Æthelmearc History Roundtable Discussion • 5pm-7pm, A&S Tent #2
Consorts’ Roundtable • 6pm-8pm, Battlefield Gallery Pavilion
Judging Beer and Mead in a Historical Context • 6pm-8pm, Great Hall

Saturday, 16 May
Tablet Woven Edges ($1) • 9am-10am, A&S Tent #3
Introduction to Trade Beads • 9am-10am, Upper Bathhouse
Early Cooking Techniques: Pottery Over Coals ($10) • 9am-11am, next to the Lower Bathhouse
Puzzle Letters and Rubrication • 10am-11am, A&S Tent #2
Fabric Dyeing: Simple but Impressive ($10) • 10am-11am, Upper Bathhouse
Teaching in the SCA • 10am-11:30am, A&S Tent #3
Æthelmearc History Roundtable Discussion • 10am-12pm, A&S Tent #1
Consorts’ Gallery • 10am-4pm, Battlefield Gallery Pavilion
Renaissance Dance-Western Europe-Introduction • 11am-12pm, Great Hall
Beginning Naalbinding ($5) • 11am-12pm, Upper Bathhouse
Beginners’ Beginning Class for Illumination ($3) • 11am-1pm, A&S Tent #2
Period Pants You Can Squat In • 2pm-1pm, A&S Tent #3
So You Think You’re Japanese in Court • 12pm-1pm, A&S Tent #1
Renaissance Dance-Western Europe-Intermediate • 12pm-1pm, Great Hall
Iron Oak Ink and How to Make It • 12pm-1pm, Upper Bathhouse
Medieval Food Lab: Open Play • 12pm-4pm, next to the Lower Bathhouse
Losing Loadum • 1pm-2pm, A&S Tent #3
Ebru- The Art of Patience ($2) • 1pm-3pm, Upper Bathhouse
Beyond the Basic T-Style Tunic • 2pm-3pm, A&S Tent #3
Double Reed Musical Instruments: Loud and Soft • 2pm-3pm. Great Hall
Between the Stones: Beginning Pewter Casting ($5) • 2pm-4pm, Great Hall
Hand Sewing Workshop • 2pm-4pm, A&S Tent #2
Pilgrimage Project • 3pm-4pm, A#S Tent #1
Creating the Ya: Japanese Arrows • 3pm-4pm, A&S Tent #3
Advanced Equestrian Activities • 3pm-4pm, Upper Bathhouse
Pas d’Armes Tournaments for Spectators • 3pm-4pm, Battlefield Gallery Pavilion
How to Participate in Your First Pas d’Armes • 3pm-4pm, Battlefield Gallery Pavilion
Marshal Training for Equestrian MIT’s • 4pm-5pm, Upper Bathhouse
Heels and Toes: Knitting Period Stockings • 4pm-5pm, A&S Tent #3
Known World Choir Sneak Peek • 4pm-6pm, A&S Tent #2

The Upper Bathhouse faces the Cooper Store and has the public bathrooms.
The Lower Bathhouse is around the back and has the showers.
The Great Hall is the new steel barn structure out by the parking.
The A&S Tents are to the right of the Cooper Store, near the merchants.
The Battlefield Gallery Pavilion is set up by the fighting fields.

Any fee listed is to cover the cost of materials or kits for students; otherwise there is no fee.

If you would still like to teach a class and haven’t volunteered yet, please send the information below to me by Sunday, 10 May.  Space is only available on Friday, from 11am to 8pm.  These classes will only be listed here on this web page and on the information boards on-site.

To book a class, please send the following to  helen.pinto@comcast.net
Name of Teacher
Title of Class
Description of Class (brief, please, 75 words or less)
Class Length
Maximum Number of Students
Age Limit of Students
Fee, if any
Include your legal name and e-mail address, and your preferred time for your class, as well as any special requirements you may have

Categories: SCA news sites

Glassware evidence of East meets West

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-05-03 13:39

The discovery of a glass dish in a burial mound in Japan provides new evidence that contact existed between eastern Asia and the Roman Empire in the 5th century. The clear dark blue dish is believed to have originated in Sassanid Persia. (photo)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Watch Too Much Johnson online

History Blog - Sun, 2015-05-03 06:05

Last night Turner Classic Movies aired the restored work print of Orson Welles’ Too Much Johnson found in Pordenone, Italy, in 2008. It was the second film Welles ever made (the first was a short eight minutes long; the third was Citizen Kane) and had long been thought lost before the silent film experts of Cinemazero discovered the print that had been languishing forgotten in a shipping company warehouse since the 70s.

An adaptation of an 1894 play by William Gillette, Welles made significant changes to the original script of Too Much Johnson for an experimental staging by his Mercury Theatre company. The original plan was for the three reels of the picture to be introductions to each act, the first reel 20 minutes long, the remaining two 10 minutes each. The film was silent slapstick in the style of Mack Sennett’s early comedies and it would set the stage for a performance of the play done as a screwball comedy.

This was Welles’ first full experience of shooting and editing a movie. In 10 days of filming, he shot 25,000 feet of film. He took all 25,000 feet of highly flammable 35mm nitrate to his hotel suite at the St. Regius and edited it himself on a Moviola machine. Producer John Houseman and assistant director John Berry aided him in this slightly insane endeavor, and would later recall that nitrate film covered the floor of the suite reaching knee-high. There was at least one fire. Somehow, the men, the film, the hotel suite and the hotel, for that matter, survived this cockamamie scheme, and Welles managed to narrow down the 10 reels of footage to a rough working print just over an hour in running time.

He never did finish editing the movie. There may have been an issue with royalties — Paramount owned the film rights to the original play — and legend has it the Stony Creek Theatre, the theater near New Haven where the play was to have its trial run, did not have the fireproof projection booth and/or a high enough ceiling to show the film. However, Paramount has no record of sending Welles a letter asserting their rights and the Stony Creek Theatre started out as the Lyric Theater, a nickelodeon, in 1903 (the same year The Great Train Robbery altered the movie-going landscape forever) so even though it was purchased by a community theater group in 1920 and a proper stage and fly gallery added, it seems odd that it would have lost all its original film projection capabilities by August 16th, 1938, when the Too Much Johnson preview began.

Whatever the reason, the movie part of the Mercury staging of the play never did happen. Without it the play, which Welles had modified extensively assuming there would be introductory films, didn’t work and the New Haven trial was a flop. Although Welles made noises that the play would move on to Broadway, the debut kept getting postponed and ultimately dropped. The Mercury Theatre company had begun putting on live hour-long radio dramas in July of 1938, and in October of that year they pulled off the greatest radio drama caper of all time with the broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. The huge reaction got them a sponsor (Campbell’s Soup) and two more years of weekly shows, so Too Much Johnson fell by the wayside.

The footage wound up in storage. Welles himself completely forgot about it until he found a print at his house in Madrid in the 1960s. He refused to show it publicly, saying that it made no sense without the play context, much like the play had made little sense without the companion film. When that print was lost in a fire, scholars thought this important transitional piece that had much to reveal about the development of Welles’ directorial approach was gone forever. That’s why the discovery of the second print in Pordenone was greeted with such joy by film nerds and Welles’ fans.

Too Much Johnson was restored by the geniuses at the George Eastman House with invaluable help from Haghefilm Digitaal in the Netherlands and had its world debut at a silent film festival in Pordenone in October of 2013 before making its US debut later that month at the George Eastman House. That viewing was for members only; the rest of us had to wait to get our eyeballs on it, so I was kicking myself for not realizing ahead of time that the movie would finally air on a widely accessible cable channel. It’s pretty great, too. I didn’t find it all that confusing, even though there are no intertitles and there are repetitive takes included.

The stand-outs for me are Joseph Cotten, who legs it over the rooftops of New York City with impressive gameness, grace and skill, the cinematography and the angled shots, surprising quick-cuts and close-ups that would come to define the Welles of Citizen Kane and after. Cotten makes Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, one of Welles’ inspirations for the picture, look like an accountant at a desk job. This was done with a shoe-string budget. There were no stunts, no carefully arranged shots that made a guy dangling from a clock a few feet above a platform look like he was dangling from a clock many stories in the air. Cotten and the man he has cuckholded, played with moustache-twirling zest by Edgar Barrier, scramble up and down Battery tenements, scooch around ledges and plank over chimneys with the greatest of ease.

Cinematographer Paul Dunbar pulled a rabbit out of a hat, making this two-buck-chuck of a film look way more expensive than it had any right to look. There are great shots capturing the geometry of the city (diagonal criss-cross fire escapes, stacks and stacks of boxes, background skyscrapers, hats covering the ground like confetti). Scenes set in “Cuba” were shot in a quarry over the Hudson River planted with palm trees Welles picked up at a local plant nursery. It’s downright eerie how well it all works.

But you don’t have to take my word for it just because I neglected to alert you to the impending airing. Thankfully the National Film Preservation Foundation has come to the rescue. When I posted about the restoration two years ago, the NFPF was raising money to digitize the movie and make it available for free on its website. Well, they were successful! You can watch the whole restored 66-minute work print online here. Being a particularly awesome organization, they have also uploaded an edited version which is an “educated guess” of how Welles might have pared down the footage for use alongside the play.

The NFPF version (I’ve only seen the work print all the way through) is actually better than the version TCM showed, in my opinion, because the score is so much better. They’ve added a proper silent movie score whereas the TCM version was a very repetitive, sloooooow, minimalist composition that doesn’t match the slapstick action at all. They’ve also provided phenomenal notes explaining the full context of the play, comparing the original to drafts of the Mercury version so it’s much easier to follow the story. So yeah. Two thumbs most enthusiastically up.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

New Heirs to the East! Les nouveaux Héritiers du Royaume de l’Est!

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 16:26

Prince Brennan crowns the new Princess.

En français

The new heirs to the East Kingdom are Count Brennan mac Fearghus and Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain

Long live Prince Brennan mac Fearghus and Princess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain!

En français
Les nouveaux Héritiers du Royaume de l’Est sont maintenant connus Count Brennan mac Fearghus and Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain.

Longue vie au Prince Brennan mac Fearghus et à la Princesse Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain!

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – Finals / Les Finalistes du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 16:12

The final combatants and consorts speak with the Crown before the final bought.
Photo courtesy Lady Sorcha nic Aoidh

En français

The finals of the Spring Tournament for the Crown of the East will be comprised of only one bout and be fought between

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, fighting for Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain


Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius, fighting for Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt

En français

Les finales du Tournoi de la Couronne Printanier du Royaume de l’Est seront composés d’un seul combat et opposerons

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, combattant pour Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain
Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius combattant pour Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown

Crown Tourney – Second Advance to Finals / Deuxième avancée à la finale du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 16:06

Count Brennan mac Fearghus fights Sir Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov.

En français

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, fighting for Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain, advances to the final round of Crown Tourney.

En français

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, combattant pour Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain, accède à la ronde finale du Tournoi de la Couronne.

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tourney

Crown Tourney – First advance to Finals / Première avancée à la finale du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 15:56

En français

Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius, fighting for Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt, advances to the final round of Crown Tourney.

En français

Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius, combattant pour Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt, accède à la ronde finale du Tournoi de la Couronne.

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown

Crown Tourney – Semi Finals / Demi-Finales du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 15:43

En français

The four combatants remaining in the tournament are as follows. Two wins will be required to advance. This means an undefeated fighter will need one win; a fighter who has already lost a bout will need two wins.

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, (fighting for Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain) with one loss will face Sir Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov (fighting for Baroness Mathilde De Cadenet) with no losses.

Duke Kenric aet Essex, (fighting for Duchess Avelina Keyes) with one loss will face Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius (fighting for Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt )with no losses.

Also, the Kingdom of AEthelmearc has new heirs: Prince Magnus Tindal and Princess Etain ingen Dalaig

En français

Les quatre combattants restants dans le tournoi sont listés ci-dessous. Deux victoires seront nécessaires pour avancer à la prochaine étape. Ceci veut dire qu’un combattant n’ayant subi aucune défaite devra obtenir une victoire, tandis qu’un combattant ayant déjà subi une défaite devra obtenir deux victoires pour progresser.

Count Brennan mac Fearghus, (combattant pour Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain) avec une défaite, affrontera Sir Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov for combattant pour Baroness Mathilde De Cadenet) sans aucune défaite.

Duke Kenric aet Essex, (combattant pour Duchess Avelina Keyes), avec une défaite, affrontera Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius for combattant pour Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt, sans aucune défaite.

Aussi, Les nouveaux Héritiers du Royaume de AEthelmearc sont maintenant connus Prince Magnus Tindal and Princess Etain ingen Dalaig.

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown

Tindal and Etain are Crown Prince and Princess of Æthelmearc

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 15:40

Rejoice good populace, for Æthelmearc has Heirs! In a best two out of three final round, Comes Sir Magnus Tindal, fighting for the honor of Countess Etain ingen Dalaig, defeated Sir Murdoch Bayne, who was fighting for the honor of THLady Rioghnach ni Rose.

Tindal and Etain. Photo by Master Alaxandair O’Conchobhair.

The  list was comprised of a perfect 32 combatants, and held on a bright sunny day in the Shire of Hartstone. The other semi-finalists were THLord Blue Star, who received his Gage at Coronation a few weeks ago, and Count Andreas Morgan. THLord Blue Star fought for the honor of Mistress Euriol of Lothian, while Count Andreas fought for the honor of Countess Kallista Morgunova.

The Ladies of the Rose awarded the Æthelmearc Shield of Chivalry, given for exemplary courtesy and chivalry in the list at Crown Tournament, to THLord Blue Star.

THLord Blue Star. Photo by Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann.

In other news, Count Brennan mac Fearghus won East Kingdom Crown Tournament today, fighting for Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain.

Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tourney – Final Eight / Les Huit Finalistes du Tournoi de la Couronne

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-05-02 15:09

En français

The field has been narrowed to the remaining combatants.

– No losses –

Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius vs. Count Brennan mac Fearghus
Sir Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov vs. Duke Kenric aet Essex

– One Loss –

Duke Randal of the Dark vs. Lord Dmitri Stephanovich
Sir Gui Avec Cheval De Guies vs. Lord Sterling De La Rosa

En français

Le champ de bataille a été réduit aux participants suivants.

– n’a pas perdu –

Lord Ionness Aurelius Serpentius vs. Count Brennan mac Fearghus
Sir Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov Vynuk Tzardikov vs. Duke Kenric aet Essex

– Une Défaite –

Duke Randal of the Dark vs. Lord Dmitri Stephanovich
Sir Gui Avec Cheval De Guies vs. Lord Sterling De La Rosa

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown