Review

An editorial review of a published work such as a book, film, or musical album

Excerpt available from "American Nerds"

Recently SCAtoday.net reported about the the book American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent. Now a full excerpt about the author's adventures to a Caidan Coronation in the Barony of Dun Or and Estrella War in the Kingdom of Atenveldt are available online.

Trevor-Roper says kilts are not period

In his book The Invention of Scotland, the late historian Hugh Trevor-Roper takes on established Scottish traditions such as the tartan and the kilt, calling them "about as authentic as Disneyland." Adam Kirsch of the New York Sun reviews the book.

"Forbidden Pennsic" charms lords and ladies at Pennsic 37

The Known World Players brought Pennsic 37 to a humorous end with the premier performance of "Forbidden Pennsic", an original musical comedy based on the annual "Forbidden Broadway" from the modern world.

A tour of "remarkable Viking sites"

Jeff Lukovich takes visitors on a unique tour of Newfoundland's Viking sites in an article for Canada.com.

New book claims China started the Renaissance

“A sophisticated Chinese delegation visited Italy in 1434, sparked the Renaissance and forever changed the course of Western civilization." This is the premise of a controversial new book by Gavin Menzies 1421: The Year China Discovered the World.

Ann Hathaway steps out of the shadows

Best known for her quaint house and her inheritance of the “second-best bed,” Shakespeare's wife, Ann Hathaway, has been mostly a mystery figure. Now a new book, Shakespeare's Wife by Germaine Greer, sheds some light on a little-understood woman. Katie Roiphe as the New York Times Sunday Review.

The Other Boleyn Girl "more slog than romp"

"According to this oddly plotted and frantically paced pastiche — written by Peter Morgan, directed by Justin Chadwick — the girls were more or less the Paris and Nicky Hilton of the Tudor court," writes reviewer Manohla Dargis for the New York Times.

New Judith Herrin book offers "Byzantine surprise!"

A jaded den of deceit and treachery is the common perception of the medieval Byzantine Empire, but a new book by Judith Herrin offers a different interpretation, one that includes a rich cultural and religious life. M.M. Bennetts has the review for the Christian Science Monitor.

Medieval scandals in three new books

Medieval scandals are the hot reads of the day according to London Times reviwer Nicholas Vincent who reviews three new books dealing with powerful men - and women - of the Middle Ages.

Patrick Stewart stars in modern Macbeth

A "good and nasty interpretation of Macbeth" starring Patrick Stewart is being performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through March 22, 2008. Ben Brantley of the New York Times has a review.

"Copernicus' Secret" brings scientist to life

Up until now, little has been known about the personal life of medieval astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, but author Jack Repcheck brings life to the man in his new book Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began. Owen Gingerich reviews the book for the Sunday New York Times.

“People of the Book" filled with "danger, oppression and high drama"

In a review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin discusses People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a novel about book preservation that revolves around the discovery of a medieval Haggadah, an illuminated manuscript which describes the Jewish Passover Seder.

Nicola Barker's "Darkmans" reviewed

Nick Owchar of the Vancouver Sun offers a review of the new novel by Nicola Barker, Darkmans, which tells the story of "a long-dead king's jester, a precocious child and the debris of history that keeps floating to the surface."

"Far Traveler" on NPR's not-to-miss list

On the Christmas Eve 2007 All Things Considered radio program, reviewer Lynn Neary spoke with Laura Miller of Salon.com and blogger Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation about which books from 2007 should not be missed. Included was The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown.

“Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” called "giggle-worthy"

"I itch in the cathedral; When I pray upon my knees: God, You saved us from damnation; Now save us from the fleas!" writes Laura Amy Schlitz in Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices From a Medieval Village, a new children's book reviewed by John Schwartz for the Sunday New York Times.

A Wodwo in Camelot

According to reviewer Edward Hirsch, a Wodwo is a "raw, spooky, elemental," a Middle English word meaning “half-man, half-animal spirit of the forests” which appeared in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Hirsch reviews a new translation by Simon Armitage.

An academic reviews "Beowulf"

Tim Machan, professor of English at Marquette University, offers his thoughts on the latest version (2007) of Beowulf. He finds it "consistent to the original atmosphere that produced it."

Report of the Roman invasion of Upper Meridies

Fl. Galerius Aurelianus, aka Padruig the Uncle in the SCA, reports on his recent attendance at the Legio V Alaudae Roman Festivus in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he took part in the encampment and gladiatorial combat.

SCA author to sign books at Chapters

Author Lorina Stephens (Leonora), the author of Shadow Song and Recipes of a Dumb Housewife, will be signing books at Chapters book store in Ontario throughout the month of November 2007.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age - An SCA review

THL Charles de Bourbon recently attended a showing of the new film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. He shares his review.

Crossroads at Canterbury: Basking in the Glow

Peregrine recounts a wonderful day spent with members of the Shire of Quintavia in the Eastrealm at Crossroads at Canterbury, an event "inspired by those famous tales of Chaucer's."

A new "Paradiso"

Robert and Jean Hollander have produced a new translation of Dante's masterpiece Paradiso, the third book of the Divine Comedy. Jean Hollander, a poet, was in charge of writing the verse, while Robert Hollander, a Dante scholar, preserved the accuracy of the original. Joan Acocella of The New Yorker has a review.

Sir Ian McKellen stars in "King Lear"

Sir Ian McKellen, known for his role of Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, will take on a new role when he appears as the title character in Shakespeare's King Lear.

Renaissance Store newsletter offers new articles

The editors of the Renaissance Store newsletters have added new titles to their Articles Archive, including an interview with the Tudor Tailers and suggestions for dressing for a Ren Faire.

Damsels in Distress

THL Francesca di Onorati reviews Damsels in Distress by Joan Hess, the latest book in the Claire Malloy series. This one deals with ARSE (the Association for Renaissance Scholarship and Enlightenment), a fictional reenactment group.

The story of a flea

In a review for The Guardian, Ian Pindar discusses a new book about bubonic plague: Justinian's Flea by William Rosen, an "impressive study of the bubonic plague and its impact on history."

Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe

Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe, is a nonfiction history book set in 13th-century medieval Europe and follows the story of the four daughters of Count Raymond Berenger V and Beatrice of Savoy.

Scholar Examines Muhammed, Islam

"When the prophet Muhammad died in 632, a tempest of political intrigue and deceit blew over Islam, transforming it forever. In this fast-paced and compelling tale, travel writer Rogerson (author of The Prophet Mohammad) conducts us on a fascinating journey back to seventh-century Medina and the various schemes that led to the division of Islam into Shia and Sunni factions."

Historical Novel Set During Reign of Henry II

Mistress of the Art of Death, a new novel by Ariana Franklin, has been released from Putnam. The story is set in 1171, during the reign of England's King Henry II, based around murders taking place in Cambridge.

Gulf Wars: A 'Review' by a first time attendee

Siegfried Sebastian Faust, a first-time attendee at Gulf Wars XVI, has posted a review of the event on the Atlantia list, touching especially on how the war compares to Pennsic.