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BOOK REVIEW: Pilgrim Routes of the British Isles by Emma J. Wells

What was pilgrimage like in the Middle Ages? Do modern day routes faithfully retrace the steps of long ago pilgrims? How has pilgrimage changed over the course of hundreds of years? Tourist? Pilgrim? Or both? What is the meaning of pilgrimage today?

Swan you say? Medieval Feasting!

A guest post on medieval food and feasting in the Middle Ages by author Regan Walker.

Letter Written by Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to His Wife, Bess of Hardwick, 1568

Susan Abernethy’s latest piece looks at a letter from Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to his wife, lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I, Bess Hardwick.

Yolande de Dreux, Queen of Scots

Susan Abernethy brings us back to medieval Scotland once again to look at another Scottish Queen, Yolande de Dreux.

Marie de Coucy, Queen of Scots

Susan Abernethy brings us the story of Alexander II of Scotland’s French Queen, Marie de Coucy.

The Life of Lady Katherine Gordon

This week, Susan Abernethy brings us an article on Lady Katherine Gordon.

A Viking Mess – Northmen: A Viking Saga Movie Review

This week’s medieval movie is Northmen: A Viking Saga.

The Norwegian Attack on Iona in 1209-10: The Last Viking Raid?

A closer look at what happened in and around Iona in the early 1200s, makes the interpretation that this was just another such ‘classic viking raid’ rather unlikely.

Bulls, bere and black oatmeal: Iona’s economy in the later Middle Ages

This paper will take a brief look at some of the landholdings of both the abbey and the nunnery, and at how they were used – and perhaps misused – over this period.

Sweetheart Abbey Breviary acquired by National Library of Scotland

A monastic treasure written in Scotland 700 years ago has been acquired by the National Library of Scotland.

The Law of Treason in the English Border Counties in the Later Middle Ages

The formulation of a general and comprehensive law of treason by the English government in the mid-fourteenth century allowed northerners to impose harsh penalties on those who offended them most grievously.

Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle

Historians have long puzzled over why this missile weapon—clearly superior to its alternative, the crossbow—was monopolized by the English for so long

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

Book Review: Hidden Britain by Alvin Nicholas

Tourism with a twist? Tired of the same old tours and droning guides? Alvin Nicholas’s book on manors, mansions, castles, nooks and crannies, reveals there’s more to Britain than meets the eye.

The Christmas Eve massacre of 986

For the year 986, the Annals of Ulster records, ‘Iona was plundered by Danes on Christmas Eve, and they killed the abbot and fifteen men of the seniors of the church.’ What more can we learn about this attack and why it happened?

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

‘The Worst Disaster Suffered by the People of Scotland in Recorded History’: Climate Change, Dearth and Pathogens in the Long Fourteenth Century

It is not the aim of this essay to provide an environmental history of medieval Scotland or even just of the fourteenth century in Scotland; that is a much larger task than can be addressed here. Rather, the intention is to explore the nature of the evidence that is available within the documentary record and place it alongside the various forms of proxy data for climate history to produce a synthetic narrative.

Macbeth: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in dark, gritty interpretation of Macbeth

Macbeth opened in October in London to critical acclaim. The movie is being released today in Canada and the US.

The Two Wives of Robert II, King of Scotland

Robert II, King of Scots and grandson of Robert the Bruce was a handsome, charming man who had many descendants. He not only had two wives who had numerous children but many mistresses who had babies as well.

Guns in Scotland: the manufacture and use of guns and their influence on warfare from the fourteenth century to c.1625

Guns first came into use in Western Europe in the fourteenth century and the Scots were using them by the 1380s.

Glimpse of medieval trade revealed along the River Forth

Over two weeks in September, the Cambuskenneth Harbours project brought together a wide range of experts and local volunteers to investigate the medieval harbour of Cambuskenneth Abbey, which lies on the River Forth near Stirling.

Rival bishops, rival cathedrals: the election of Cormac, archdeacon of Sodor, as bishop in 1331

In the early fourteenth century, the diocese of Sodor, or Sudreyjar meaning Southern Isles in old Norse, encompassed the Isle of Man and the Hebrides.

Trickery, Mockery and the Scottish Way of War

This article seeks to examine two prominent themes, those of trickery and mockery, in how warfare against England was represented in Scottish historical narratives of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Who Were The Celts? The British Museum Offers Answers with New Exhibition

The British Museum just opened its latest exhibit, Celts: Art and Identity this past Thursday, covering 2,500 years of Celtic history. The exhibit explores Celtic identity and how it eveolved from the time of the Ancient Greeks to the present through art, culture, daily life, religion and politics.

5 Cool Celtic Things at the British Museum

I attended the opening of the British Museum’s, Celts: Art and Identity exhibit on Sept 24th. It showcases stunning art, jewellery, weaponry, daily and religious objects to tell the story of the Celtic people.

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