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Thanks for your post, I’ll pick up Zeal and Bayonet one of these days. And thanks for asking, I am a voracious reader.

Recently finished:

Kyle E. Zelner A Rabble in Arms, a study of the Massachusetts militia in King Phillip’s War. A bit dry, worth the trouble if you like 17th century North America. Establishes first that in KPW, most soldiers were pressed from civil life for active duty. Then examines in detail exactly who was pressed from several different towns, how they were selected, how they responded to the call-up, and what the outcome was for the soldiers, their families and their towns. Some surprises.

Simon Armitage The Death of King Arthur. I thought I was buying a new translation of Mallory’s Morte de Arthur, but no, this is a different poem, the so-called Alliterative Death of Arthur. This one is curious on a couple of counts. It was written after the Norman conquest, in the early 1100s, but in Middle English rather than in Norman French, and in the alliterative poetic form rather than in rhyme. Although this is a very Anglo-Saxon poem, the hero is Arthur, King of the Britons and, um, scourge of the Saxons, wasn’t he? Translation is needed, Middle English is a foreign language to me. This is a *very* Anglo-Saxon poem, it seems older than the high middle ages. There is no courtly love at all, women hardly appear. It has nothing to do with the ‘historical’ Arthur, whoever he was. This epic is all about the noble lords, feasting and boozing and boasting and defying, hacking and spearing and spilling each others entrails, about who has the best gold-chased armor, the fanciest twinkly jeweled sword. It’s repetitious and tedious in parts and the alliteration is often contrived, but it read faster than I expected. You’ll like this if you’re an Anglo-Saxon buff.

In progress:

Peter G Tsouras Warlords of Ancient Mexico. Finally! A thorough, well-written popular history of the civilizations of Anahuac (the Valley of Mexico), starting with Teotihuacan and running through the Aztecs, told not in the National Geographic ‘we dug this up’ genre, but as a narrative history of the great conquering kings, their campaigns and the empires they built, and how they fell. Copiously illustrated, lots of color, including a series of paintings commissioned for this book. A+++. I gotta get busy painting my Aztecs and Tlaxcallans.

James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson. I’m reading this one for penance. It’s taking a long time. Thank gawd this edition is abridged. It’s authentically 18th century, interminably 18th century. Recommended only for the hard core philosophe.

Mark F. Seeman Cultural Variability in Context, Woodland Settlements of the Mid-Ohio Valley. A collection of academic papers from 1992, surveying recent archaeological results from my region. *Very* dry, but the individual papers are mercifully short, only 3 to 6 pages. Probably hard to get a copy – I bought mine from the Sunwatch Village gift shop. Recommended only for those who have an abiding interest in prehistoric American Indians, especially in the Ohio valley. This book will help me set up authentic settlements for my Raid the Smurf Village wargames. “Oh no! It’s Gargamelle!”


  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by zippyfusenet.

You'll shoot your eye out, kid!