April Review

So what occupied my time for the month of April? I’m not really sure, I will need to check. Hey! my day-book is a useless collection of mostly blank pages and short, largely uninformative, to-do-lists! Hmm. Was involved in some ‘incident’ and this is an effort to cover up unauthorized orders?

No. I’m thinking of U-boat commanders and their order logs. I was just crap at keeping track of things for almost the entire month of April.

In a roughly chronological order, here is what I can remember about April:

—Attended a conference here in Oxford (The Oxford Medieval Graduate Conference or OMGC which is a very cute acronym).
—Got an encouraging response from the publisher who is handling my monograph submission. I’m not at the contract stage but I was asked to give them a sample chapter and preface, while they research the market for this particular beast. That’s better than nothing.
—Got a reply on a journal submission I made all the way back in March 2012. They turned it down. Hurro. But I will clean it up and submit it somewhere else. Hurrah! Incidentally I had aimed about as high as it was possible to aim in choosing that particular journal. I think the next one will have the right expectations for the product. Based on what little I could usefully pull from the collection of ’tisk-tisks’ that constituted a reader’s report, originality was one of the issues..
—Finished the book chapter which will be due 22 May, and got it out to the editors on 1 May. Most of April was occupied with this unwieldy beast. I am fairly sure that the introduction (all 1800 words of it) took up about 40% of the total time spent on the project. The injunction against 1st person was only part of the problem. I re-wrote that thing at least 5 times from scratch. Now that one isn’t a sure thing for publication. They did accept the submission based on the abstract but it must please the editors in its complete manifestation. I think they are likely to take a risk on something a little unconventional and this is certainly unconventional.

—Several of my blog entries were twit-blogged on the intersphere by others who obviously have great taste in semi-anonymous history blogging as well as heroic tollerance for sloppy grammar and self-depricating humour. That’s nice.

That’s about all I can recall. I did get an unfortunate amount of books in May. In my defence they were all very good deals, although that doesn’t hold up too well when I’m reminded that I’m not really using my own money. Sorry Z.

Christopher Hitchens, Arguably, (Atlantic: London, 2012).
Think what you want about the man, but you have to admit, he knew how to slap together English words in a readable way. Something worthy of study, if not actual immitation.

M. A. Hicks, Richard III, History press ed. (History Press: Stroud, 2009).
I like Hicks and I know this re-print is a heartless attempt to cash in on the whole King in the car-park nut-fest, but if it gets books like this back into circulation, I’m down.

—— Bastard Feudalism, (Longman: London, 1995)
Hicks again, and while I wasn’t encouraged by the look and feel of this one (and the notes are really light on the ground) it is a fantastic summary of the debate written with considerable care.

John Edwards, Mary I: England’s Catholic Queen, (Yale University Press: New Haven, CT., 2013).
This gives me complete coverage through the relevant monarchs in the period I am studying with the DPhil. It’s also the only book on Mary I will ever need, and one more book on Mary than I really want. But there you are.

John G. Bellamy, Bastard Feudalism and the Law, (Routledge: London, 1989).
Bellamy has managed to write 3 books that get cited by all and sundry even if they are nolonger really part of the current discourse. They work as the short-hand for ‘yadda yadday, see Bellamy.’ The other two are Crime and Public Order and one on treason. I don’t have the treason one. Probably never will. An uncommon occurrence.

Alex Davis, Chivalry and Romance in the English Renaissance, (D.S. Brewer: Cambridge, 2003).
Much more useful than you would expect. This and Bellamy both came from Bennett & Kerr Books.

Roberto Weiss, Humanism in England During the Fifteenth Century, (Basil Blackwell: Oxford, 1967).
Also Bennett & Kerr.

Richard Gorski, The Fourteenth-Century Sheriff: English Local Administration in the Late Middle Ages, (Boydell Press: Woodbridge, 2003).
Yeah, more law. Great.

Richard Almond, Medieval Hunting, (The History Press: Stroud, 2011).
I have no idea why I didn’t already have this one. It was first published in 2003 by Sutton. When Tempus and Sutton turned into The History Press they re-printed this. It’s good enough to be the only book I will probably need on hunting. That’s good because there isn’t much choice anyway.

M. H. Keen, England in the Later Middle Ages: A Political History, (Methuen: London, 1973).
I do know why I didn’t have this already. I wasn’t taught medieval history by textbook. If I were, this would have been one of them (but in the 3rd ed.). This is the 1st ed. but I don’t think the differences are important and I only need it as historical ‘filler-putty’ for what I don’t already know. It’s also very readable and I never gave Keen enough credit for that. I admit, for all the times I have cited Chivalry, I have not actually sat down and read the bugger. I probably should.

J. R Lander, The Wars of the Roses, (Sutton: Stroud, 1992).
Another re-print thanks to the paved potentate. Lander is a little old-fashioned and this book has an odd structure but, as with Keen, Lander (Pollard, Chrimes, and Carpenter) are the foundation of the pedagogy on the 15th century.

Philippe Contamine and Olivier Guyotjeannin (eds.), La Guerre, la violence et les gens au Moyen Age: 1 Guerre et violence, (Editions du CTHS: Paris, 1996).

Philippe Contamine and Olivier Guyotjeannin (eds.), La guerre, la violence et les gens au Moyen Âge: 2 Guerre et gens, (Éditions du CTHS: Paris, 1996).
These two were a complete act of weakness on my part. I can, however, actually read some of it and each of them have neat essays I can actually use.
*Edited on 5 May to correct Bennett & Kerr and to clean up a turn of phrase that I was actually fairly proud of.

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2 thoughts on “April Review

  1. Dan Beaver’s book on hunting is really good, but probably covers too late a period for you. Maybe worth looking at if you can get it from the library as it’s not very long. I was impressed with it even though it didn’t quite do what I was hoping it would do. We still need a study of early-modern hunting from an animal studies perspective. For medieval hunting, have you looked at Karl Steel?

    • I remember seeing the Beaver book, and yes, I suspect it’s too late for me. That Steel book is news for me. I like the sound if it. Reminds me of Baraz and cruelty. Most the my hunting stuff comes out of conduct and pragmatic writing or where it touches masculinity and status (so the articles by Manning and Hanawalt on poaching etc).

      Thanks for telling me about Steel. I will see if they have it at K-zoo (they don’t have it at the Bod’ yet).

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