Friday, April 18, 2008

How on earth do you find these things?

I asked that question of Will McLean, author of A Commonplace Book, when he came up with an obscure trove of information about historic archery. He was kind enough to answer the question in this post.

The essence of the post is here:
In trying to recreate the Middle Ages, the 17th and 18th c. are useful places to look for hints if you can't find the information in a medieval source. It’s not perfect, but a lot better than using your enormous 21st c. brain to attempt to deduce things you don’t know from first principles. Diderot’s Encyclopedie was a great help to me in trying to recreate medieval scabbards, for example.

Will knows whereof he speaks. He has seen many enormous re-enacting brains come a-cropper, some as long ago as the 20th century, and has done lots of good work using, you know, scholarship.

A list of some of his favorite resources is here.

Image: Will, in one fabulous suit of armor.

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