A Fantasy Tip from History: Book Shrines

In a recent post, I described the many ways Medieval scribes and readers would transport their treasured books. There was one kind of book in particular that demanded its own post. Enter the Irish cumdach or ‘book shrine’. As Erik Kwakkel of Leiden University...

A Fantasy Tip from History: Travelling Books

My Kindle has a couple of thousand books in it. Yes, thousand. Its size? smaller than most of my books and small enough to fit my jacket’s inside pocket. Nowadays, we barely spare a thought for the amazing fact that we can carry with us more books than an entire...

A Fantasy Tip from History: A Pox On You!

Two days ago, thieves broke into a chapel in my local parish. They left with a chalice, two candlesticks, and a Bible. When I heard about it, I wondered if the Bible’s publishers still followed the Medieval tradition of protecting books with curses. Which makes...

Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds

If you are in London until November 27th, you have a great opportunity to visit “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds” at the British Museum. The exhibition contains treasures excavated from the Mediterranean and, as the Economist points out, explains how the ancient...

The Art of Making a Book

Two lovely videos that explain first the traditional book-making process, then the modern one. I hope you find them as fascinating as I did! The Art of Making a BookPowered By the Tweet This PluginTweet...

Lady Margaret Cavendish, Sci-Fi Author of the 1600s

Born in 1623, Lady Margaret Cavendish was an outspoken aristocrat who traveled in circles of scientific thinkers and broke ground on proto-feminism, natural philosophy (the 17th-century term for science), and social politics. As far as I am concerned, however, she...

Jerusalem’s Medieval Pilgrim’s Tattoo Shop

Aleppo, Syria, has recently been in the news for all the wrong kinds of reasons. Back in 1697, however, on the day before Easter, Reverend Henry Maundrell, a chaplain for the English Levant Company’s office in Aleppo, witnessed the tattooing process in Jerusalem on a...