Featured Image - Reading List for the Medieval Reenactment and Living History Resource The Turnip of Terror

General Reading

UPDATED 09/01/2023

General History / Material Culture

1381: The Peel Affinity: An English Knight’s Household in the Fourteenth Century
by La Belle Compagnie
“The text draws extensive details from historical accounts, records, chronicles, and literature, as well as modern historical and archaeological research. All this potentially dull and dusty detail is brought to vibrant life with a narrative that follows an English knight and family, his servants, officials and tenants, associates and soldiers through a year in their lives.”

A Cheese-monger’s History of the British Isles
by Ned Palmer
“Every cheese tells a story. Whether it’s a fresh young goat’s cheese or a big, beefy eighteen-month-old Cheddar, each variety holds the history of the people who first made it, from the builders of Stonehenge to medieval monks, from the Stilton-makers of the eighteenth-century to the factory cheesemakers of the Second World War.”

Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England
by Juliet Barker
“Drawing on a wide range of sources, Juliet Barker paints a gripping narrative of the October 1415 clash between the outnumbered English archers and the heavily armored French knights.”

The Art of Medieval Hunting: The Hound and the Hawk
by John Cummins
“In vivid and engrossing detail, here are all the appropriate methods for hunting deer, boar, wolves, foxes, bears, otters, birds, hares…even unicorns! A dazzling diversity of sources … illustrate how hunting and hawking appear throughout medieval art and literature as metaphors and motifs for everything from romance to combat.”

The Book of the Medieval Knight
by Stephen Turnbull
“This book begins with the early history of the Hundred Years War and ends with the ending of the Wars of the Roses. What’s beneficial of this book is that fact that Turnbull covers so many battles that are usually kept out of or overlooked in the history books. He show’s how some tactics were derived by accident in small skirmishes with later on became the tried and true method of battle for the English armies as the War progressed. Not only does he present small skirmishes all the way up to the major battles but this book lists all the major players on the English, France, Burgundian, and minor figures involved in this nearly 200 year history. Written in a very comfortable to read style, but packed with information. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the 100 Years War through the Wars of the Roses. I reference this book more than any in my library.” – as recommended by Todd Eriksen

Daily Life in Chaucer’s England
by Jeffrey L. Singman and William McLean
The first book on medieval England to arise out of the living history movement, it recreates the daily life of ordinary people, not just the aristocracy, by combining a hands-on approach with the best of current research.”

I love this book, and re-read it every few years.

Dress Accessories, c. 1150- c. 1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)
by Geoff Egan and Frances Pritchard
“Over two thousand such items dating from the period 1150-1450 are described and discussed here, all found in recent archaeological excavations in London… These finds constitute the most extensive and varied group of such accessories yet recovered in Britain,”

Froissart Chronicals (Online)
hosted by The Digital Humanities Institute of The University of Sheffield
An online translation. “Jean Froissart’s Chroniques cover the period from around 1326 to around 1400 and are the single most important contemporary prose narrative about the first part of the Hundred Years’ War.”

Life on a Mediaeval Barony
A Picture of a Typical Feudal Community in the Thirteenth Century

by William Stearns Davis
“This book describes the life of the Feudal Ages in terms of the concrete. … No custom is described which does not seem fairly characteristic of the general period.”

The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales
Politics, Idenity and Affinity

by Matthew Ward
From the fifteenth century the collar was regarded as a powerful symbol of royal power, the artefact associating the recipient with the king;”

The Master of Game
by Edward, Second Duke of York; 1413
In this online resource “The text, of which a modern rendering is here given, is taken from the best of the existing nineteen MSS. of the “Master of Game,”

Medieval English Literature
(Oxford Anthology of English Literature)

Edited by J.B. Trapp, Douglas Gray, Julia Boffey
“It provides an authoritative and representative selection from the vast riches of Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature of the period between AD 700 and AD 1500. The texts are presented either in full or in ample selections, helpfully and fully glossed and annotated according to the most recent scholarship.”

The Medieval Household:
Daily Living c.1150-c.1450 (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)

by Geoff Egan
“This book brings together for the first time the astonishing diversity of excavated furnishings and artefacts from medieval London homes.

The Medieval Soldier:
15th Century Campaign Life Recreated in Colour Photographs

by Gary Embleton and John Howe
“In a dazzling series of some 270 specially posed photographs, the authors recreate the fighting men of the High Middle Ages set in their 15th century environment.

Medieval Warfare
A History

Edited by Maurice Keen
“[T]he richly illustrated Medieval Warfare illuminates this era, examining over seven hundred years of European conflict, from the time of Charlemagne to the end of the middle ages (1500).

The New Cambridge Medieval History VI & VII
by Michael Jones and Christopher Allmand respectively
“The publication of The New Cambridge Medieval History is a major landmark in the field of historical publishing. Written by leading international scholars and incorporating the very latest research, the History will become the essential reference tool for anyone interested in the medieval world.”
VI & VII cover the time periods focused on here, previous volumes have progressively earlier time periods.

Soldier’s Lives Throughout History
The Middle Ages

by Clifford J. Rogers
Rogers illuminates the history of medieval soldiers in wartime and in peacetime, describing the lives of those who attacked, and those who defended, the fortified castles, towns, and lands of Europe and beyond in the Middle Age.

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England
A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

by Ian Mortimer
All facets of everyday life in this fascinating period are revealed, from the horrors of the plague and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and medieval haute couture.”

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