November 22, 2017, 10:45:39 AM

Author Topic: History for Fantasy Writers, 2  (Read 275 times)

Offline Skip

History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« on: October 23, 2017, 12:55:42 AM »
The second in my series, "History for Fantasy Writers" just went up over at Mythic Scribes. It's entitled "How Old Was Old." I invite any and all to have a look and leave a comment.

https://mythicscribes.com/history/how-old-was-old/ 

I realize this is sort of self-promotion, but I genuinely think historical fantasy fans will enjoy reading it.

Offline Peat

Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 05:13:26 PM »
Good article. Shame you didn't touch more on the myths about medieval childhood as well but hey, there's another article, right?
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Offline RobertS

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Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 09:09:14 PM »
Another great article. I also enjoyed the one about crossing rivers. My own favorite historic method for crossing rivers is to look for pseudochorus.
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Offline Skip

Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2017, 02:19:07 AM »
Good article. Shame you didn't touch more on the myths about medieval childhood as well but hey, there's another article, right?

I have a separate article on childhood and another on adolescence. And one on adulthood. And others on transport. And guilds. And all sorts of stuff. That PhD proves to be worth something, at long last!  :)

Srsly, thanks for the compliment.
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2017, 05:09:42 AM »
Great article. And you might enjoy my observation as a 33-year old in the military, where practically no one is over 40: 30 is OLD! I mean, those guys are married have kids and stuff. Ancient! They have money in the bank and a credit score!
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Offline Jmack

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Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2017, 01:18:14 PM »
Excellent articles, and also excellently written. Just enough fact, brain work, and breeziness.

Another interesting topic would be sexuality throughout history. My family historian father likes to point out the high rates of children out of wedlock and common law marriages in the past as an antidote to modern perceptions of the chaste and chastened past.
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Offline Skip

Re: History for Fantasy Writers, 2
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 09:23:10 PM »
@Jmack, the history of sexuality is so large a topic I've never ventured into that territory. I'm aware of some of the literature, though my reading depth is 20+ years old now. Anyway, good topic, but I probably won't go there. As an aside, though, there are so many fantasy books involving half-elves, half-orcs and the like, but I can't think of an exploration of the sexual union that produced that. Not just the physical aspect, but what makes a human fall in love with an orc? For that matter, why is one half always human? Why not half goblin, half dwarf? How about three quarters? There's plenty of material in there for modern fantasy writers to explore.

@The Gem Cutter, you bring up an aspect I didn't address, partly because there's too little material and partly because I didn't think of it. :)  Namely, perceptions of age by people at the time. Were there, in 15th Germany let's say, arrogant teenagers? Did 20-year-old Landesknechten think their 40-year-old commanders were old fogies? I'm inclined to say yes and can provide some very indirect evidence to bolster that, but it sort of doesn't matter for writers. It's good material. It's realistic, provides a source of conflict, and would resonate with the modern reader. The big difference I can see is tech. No youngster sneering because the old guy doesn't know how to use his iSword. ;-)