Mistress Emma de Fetherstan, of the Kingdom of Ansteorra, offers a review of the new edition of the Known World Handbook, available through the SCA Stock Clerk.
Mistress Emma writes:
I got a chance to look through a copy at Coronation, and I must say that I am fairly impressed, with just the brief glance I took at the various articles. (The only article I skim-read in its entirety was the one on heraldry, go figure!) There's instructions with pictures on easy-to-make garb of a variety of period styles (basic t-tunic, slightly fancier t-tunic, viking apron dress, a few others, hoods, etc). Many articles on different A&S things, including one with sheet music for a few period songs. Stuff on customs and overall basics, but most importantly I think it is very carefully written to not be incorrect for any given kingdom, while still remaining quite useful for both newcomers and long-term people alike.
Most interesting to me was the utter lack of any geography of the SCA. No map of the knowne world, no listing of kingdoms, etc. This will certainly keep the handbook from becoming quickly obsolete as those sorts of things are rather prone to change!
And the artwork throughout is fantastic.
All in all, I think it a significant improvement on the previous version, which still holds a place on my bookshelf, but I will be ordering two copies of the new one for myself, at least. One for me, one to lend to newcomers without having to worry overly that it won't find its way back again.