As a history buff, I have lots of reference books on various subjects. These range from uniforms and tactics of the Napoleonic period to World War Two tanks and such. I’ve also always had a fascination with the medieval period. I even have a copy of ‘La Morte D’Arthur’ by Thomas Mallory, sitting on my bookshelf. It’s an interesting read, but a bit dated in its prose, obviously.
Being able to visualize characters in a story is important to the telling of the tale, so anything I can find to help me ‘round out’ the character is useful. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Internet is a great source of information, but it’s almost too good! A simple query can suddenly turn into an hour-long expedition as you follow hyperlink after hyperlink into the endless ends of the web.
As an author, I like to write, so having resources that are easy to use and complete is of paramount importance. For Christmas, my wife gave me a copy of “The Medieval Warrior” by Martin Dougherty. She purchased the book at Chapters (a Canadian book store for those of you outside of the true north), but it’s available online at their website, along with Amazon. (Links included below for your convenience.) Be warned, if you like eBooks, prepare to be disappointed, the book is only available in print form, which, in my opinion, is a good thing. The rich illustrations would not translate well to a kobo or kindle.
It’s an excellent book, broken into sections on Knights, Foot, Archers and Siege Weapons & Specialists. There is a wealth of detail here, including some great illustrations showing armour and weapons, even tactics. If you’ve ever wondered what a knight's training might be like, this book is for you, but don’t think that’s all that’s here. Details and illustrations touch on other types of cavalry as well, including Mamluks and Mongol cavalry.
The information in this book gives you a good understanding of the period without dragging you down into endless explanations and details. Truly a book for anyone who is interested in the subject. You can find it on Amazon.com