Sunday, November 28, 2010

Remaking the Middle Ages--New from McFarland

Here's another recent book from McFarland. My apologies for not posting on it sooner. (I'm usually the most current when it comes to movie medievalism, and I'm not sure when it first appeared in their online catalog, as it is not linked to their "Medieval Studies" list.) Its author, Andrew Elliott, was a presenter at our medieval TV panels in 2007 and does interesting work on filmic and televisual medievalisms, and, besides the book, he also has an essay on medieval themes in the Monk television series in the collection Monk and Philosophy (Open Court, 2010) and reviewed Martha Driver and Sid Ray's collection Shakespeare and the Middle Ages: Essays on the Performance and Adaptation of the Plays with Medieval Sources or Settings for the next number of Arthuriana. In addition, Elliott has an essay on Asterix and the Vikings in Kevin J. Harty's forthcoming collection  Reel Vikings: Cinematic Depictions of Medieval Scandinavia.


Remaking the Middle Ages: The Methods of Cinema and History in Portraying the Medieval World
Andrew B.R. Elliott

ISBN 978-0-7864-4624-7
glossary, notes, bibliography, filmography, index
286pp. softcover 2011
Price: $38.00


Proposing a fresh theoretical approach to the study of cinematic portrayals of the Middle Ages, this book uses both semiotics and historiography to demonstrate how contemporary filmmakers have attempted to recreate the past in a way that, while largely imagined, is also logical, meaningful, and as truthful as possible. Carrying out this critical approach, the author analyzes a wide range of films depicting the Middle Ages, arguing that most of these films either reflect the past through a series of visual signs (a concept he has called "iconic recreation") or by comparing the past to a modern equivalent (called "paradigmatic representation").

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1

1. History, Historiography and Film      9
2. “One Big Medieval Mess”: Accessing the Middle Ages      35

3. When Knights Were Bold: Those Who Fight      53
4. The Power and the Glory: Those Who Rule      83
5. Clergy and Saints: Those Who Pray      113
6. …Everybody Not Sitting on a Cushion: Those Who Work      146

7. Constructing Medieval Worlds: Conventions, Inventions and Images      177
8. Guides to the Medieval Worlds      192
9. Authenticity and Accuracy in Medieval Worlds      206

Glossary      223
Notes      229
Bibliography      257
Filmography      269
Index      273

About the Author
Andrew B.R. Elliott is a senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at the University of Lincoln in the UK. He has published articles and essays on a wide range of topics and is a contributor to a television documentary on the "real" King Arthur.

More from McFarland: The Westford Knight and Henry Sinclair

The Westford Knight and Henry Sinclair: Evidence of a 14th Century Scottish Voyage to North America 
David Goudsward
Foreword by Robert E. Stone

ISBN 978-0-7864-4649-0
29 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
260pp. softcover 2010
Price: $35.00

The Westford Knight is a mysterious, controversial stone carving in Massachusetts. Some believe it is an effigy of a 14th century knight, evidence of an early European visit to the New World by Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney and Lord of Roslin. In 1954, an archaeologist encountered the carving, long known to locals and ascribed a variety of origin stories, and proposed it to be a remnant of the Sinclair expedition. The story of the Westford Knight is a mix of history, archaeology, sociology, and Knights Templar lore. This work unravels the threads of the Knight’s history, separating fact from fantasy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Foreword by Robert E. Stone      1
Preface      3

1. The Indian on the Ledge      7
2. The Sword and the Cross      14
3. A Knight Is Found      24
4. A Knight in Armor      33
5. Jarl Henry and the Sinclairs      43
6. A Knight Gunn      52
7. The Zeno Narrative      59
8. A Knight Under Siege      75
9. The Sinclair Expedition      86
10. Glooscap      95
11. The Knight Tower      101
12. The Boat Stone      108
13. The Knights Templar      117
14. Rosslyn Chapel      128
15. A Knight Mythologized      143

Epilogue      157
Appendix 1: Pohl’s Similarities between Glooscap and Henry Sinclair      165
Appendix 2: The Zeno Narrative, R. H. Major Translation (1873)      167
Appendix 3: The Zeno Narrative, Fred W. Lucas Translation (1898)      180
Appendix 4: James P. Whittall’s Twenty Tenets on the Newport Tower      195
Chapter Notes      199
Bibliography      231
Index      249

About the Author
David Goudsward is the author of numerous articles and publications on genealogy and New England megalithic sites. He is a frequent lecturer on genealogical and historical topics. He lives in Lake Worth, Florida.

Elizabeth I in Film and Television--Coming Soon from McFarland

Elizabeth I in Film and Television: A Study of the Major Portrayals 
Bethany Latham

ISBN 978-0-7864-3718-4
photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
softcover (7 x 10) 2011
Price: $45.00
Not Yet Published, Available Spring/Summer 2011

This analysis of how filmmakers have portrayed England’s Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), and the audience’s perception of Elizabeth based upon these portrayals, examines key representations of the Tudor monarch in various motion pictures and television miniseries. It appraises of the productions themselves and the actresses who have portrayed Elizabeth, among them Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, Judy Dench, Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren, as well as Quentin Crisp’s cross-dressing appearance as the Queen in Orlando (1992). The text focuses on the historical context of the period in which each film or miniseries was made; the extent of the portrayals of Elizabeth; and how these representations have influenced the characterization of Elizabeth on film, as well as popular understanding of the historical Queen.

About the Author
Bethany Latham is an associate professor and electronic resources/documents librarian at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Reference Reviews and Library Journal. She is managing editor of The Historical Novels Review.

New/Recent from Palgrave Macmillan

Medieval and Early Modern Film and Media (NOW IN PAPERBACK) 
Richard Burt

Palgrave Macmillan, 12/21/2010
ISBN: 978-0-230-10560-7, ISBN10: 0-230-10560-2
6 x 9 1/4 inches, 294 pages,
Trade Paperback $28.00
Hardcover $79.00

Medieval and Early Modern Film and Media contextualizes historical films in an innovative way--not only relating them to the history of cinema, but also to premodern and early modern media. This philological approach to the (pre)history of cinema engages both old media such as scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, the Bayeux Tapestry, and new digital media such as DVDs, HD DVDs, and computers. Burt examines the uncanny repetitions that now fragment films into successively released alternate cuts and extras (footnote tracks, audiocommentaries, and documentaries) that (re)structure and reframe historical films, thereby presenting new challenges to historicist criticism and film theory. With a double focus on recursive narrative frames and the cinematic paratexts of medieval and early modern film, this book calls our attention to strange, sometimes opaque phenomena in film and literary theory that have previously gone unrecognized.


Introduction: Film Before and After New Media, Anec-notology, and the Philological Uncanny
The Medieval and Early Modern Cinematographosphere: De-composing Paratexts, Media Analogues, and the Living Dead Hands of Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, and New Historicism
The Passion of El Cid and the Circumfixion of Cinematic History: Stereotypology/Phantomimesis/Cryptomorphoses
Cutting and (Re)Running from the (Medieval) Middle East: The Return of the Film Epic and the Uncanny Mise-hors-scènes of Kingdom of Heaven’s Double DVDs
Le détour de Martin Guerre: “Anec-notes” of Historical Film Advisors, Archival Aberrations, and the Uncanny Subject of the Academic Paratext
Epilegomenon: Anec-Post-It-Note to Self: Freud, Greenblatt, and the New Historicist Uncanny

The Author:

Richard Burt is Professor of English and Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. He is the author of Unspeakable ShaXXXspeares: Queer Theory and American Kiddie Culture; Licensed by Authority: Ben Jonson and the Discourses of Censorship; and the editor of Shakespeare After Shakespeare; Shakespeare After Mass Media; and The Administration of Aesthetics. Burt also co-edited a special issue of Exemplaria on “Movie Medievalism” and held a Fulbright scholarship in Berlin, Germany from 1995–96.

Women Writers and Nineteenth-Century Medievalism: Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters 
Clare Broome Saunders

Palgrave Macmillan, January 2009
ISBN: 978-0-230-60793-4, ISBN10: 0-230-60793-4,
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 244 pages,
 Hardcover $85.00

In a thoughtful and detailed study, Women Writers and Nineteenth-Century Medievalism considers the ways in which women poets, biographers, and historians used medieval motifs and settings to enable them to comment on controversial contemporary issues. Broome Saunders’ illuminating discussion focuses on women working during the socio-political and religious upheaval of the nineteenth century and mines the poetry of Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; portrayals of Joan of Arc and Guinevere in art and literature; and non-fiction sources such as women’s letters and diaries during the Napoleonic and Crimean Wars.


Recasting the Courtly: Translations of Medieval Language and Form in the Nineteenth Century
“Though Females are Forbidden to Interfere in Politics”: War, Medievalism, and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Writer
“It’s Strictly the Woman’s Part and Men Understand it So”: Romance, Gender and the Spectacle of the Crimean
The End of Chivalry?: Joan of Arc and the Nineteenth-Century Woman Writer
Queenship, Chivalry and “Queenly” Women in the Age of Victoria
Guinevere: The Medieval Queen in the Nineteenth Century
Re-reading Guinevere: Women Illustrators, Tennyson and Morris

The Author:

Clare Broome Saunders is Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. She has written on Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Louisa Stuart Costello, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and her work has appeared in Victorian Poetry.

Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain: Nineteenth-Century Major Lives and Letters
Clare A. Simmons

Palgrave Macmillan, 2/1/2011
ISBN: 978-0-230-10374-0, ISBN10: 0-230-10374-X,
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages, Includes: 5 pgs figs,
Hardcover $80.00

Popular Medievalism in Romantic-Era Britain examines ways in which British writers and readers used the idea of the Middle Ages to challenge contemporary political structures and to claim historical national rights at a time when fears that Britain would follow the example of the French Revolution caused the British government to undermine individual and collective rights.  Through the consideration of canonical authors such as Blake, Scott, and Wordsworth and of lesser-studied works such as radical press writings and popular drama, this study suggests that the imaginative appeal to the social structures and literary forms of the Middle Ages served as a powerful means of raising awareness of Britain’s past and the tradition of freedom.


Rites and Rights: The Topography of Ancient British Law
The National Melody
Medievalism Onstage in the French Revolutionary Era
The Radical Bestiary
Buried Alive: Gothic Reading and Medievalist Subjectivity
Scottish Lawyers, Feudal Law

The Author:

Clare A. Simmons is a Professor of English at The Ohio State University.  She is the author of Reversing the Conquest: History and Myth in Nineteenth-Century British Literature; Eyes Across the Channel: French Revolutions, Party History, and British Writing 1830-1882; and numerous essays on nineteenth-century British literature. She is the co-editor of Prose Studies and has edited the essay collection Medievalism and the Quest for the “Real” Middle Ages and Charlotte Mary Yonge’s novel The Clever Woman of the Family.

Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer   
The New Middle Ages
Mary Catherine Davidson

Palgrave Macmillan, December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-230-60297-7, ISBN10: 0-230-60297-5,
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages,
Hardcover $90.00  

Medievalism, Multilingualism, and Chaucer examines multilingual identity in the writing of Gower, Langland, and Chaucer. Mary Catherine Davidson traces monolingual habits of inquiry to nineteenth-century attitudes toward French, which had first influenced popular constructions of medieval English in such historical novels as Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. In re-reading medieval traditions in the origins of English from Geoffrey of Monmouth, this book describes how multilingual practices reflected attitudes toward English in the age of Chaucer.  


Introduction:  Monolingualism and Middle English Traditions of Contact and Conflict in the History of English Medievalism and Monolingualism
Hengist’s Tongue: A Medieval History of Middle English
"And in Latyn . . . a wordes fewe”: Contact and Medieval Conformity
Multilingual Writing and William Langland  Chaucer’s “Diversite”
Afterword: Postcolonialism and Chaucer’s English  

The Author:

Mary Catherine Davidson is Assistant Professor of English at Glendon College, York University.

Finding Saint Francis in Literature and Art
The New Middle Ages
Edited by Cynthia Ho, Beth A. Mulvaney, and John K. Downey

Palgrave Macmillan, July 2009
ISBN: 978-0-230-60286-1, ISBN10: 0-230-60286-X,
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages,
Hardcover $89.95

Finding Saint Francis in Literature and Art demonstrates that remembering Saint Francis of Assisi should take place on many levels. The authors in this collection of essays use the tools of various intellectual disciplines to examine what we now know about Saint Francis in his own era and how the story of Il Poverello has been appropriated in our own times. This critical re-discovery of the artistic and textual narratives of Francis of Assisi contributes to our cultural memory by reflecting on the continuities and changes in the way Francis is understood.  


PART I: Francis in Medieval Text and Painting
Franciscan Spirituality and Narrative at Assisi: The Legend of St. Francis in Text and Painting--Beth Mulvaney
The Miraculous Moment: Expressing the Spiritual Experience in Thirteenth-Century Frescos at Assisi--Janet Snyder
Francis Preaching to the Sultan: Art in the Hagiography of a Saint--Mahmood Ibrahim  

PART II: Franciscan Devotion
The Wolf in the Forest: St. Francis and the Italian Eremitical Tradition--Rodger Payne
What Has Paris to Do with Assisi? The Theological Creation of a Saint--John V. Apczynski  
Franciscans in the World--Felix Heap and Jesus Gonzales
The Visual Piety of the Sacro Monte di Orta--Cynthia Ho  

PART III: Francis Remembered in New Contexts
A Christian Modernist and the Awe of Nature as Presented in Olivier Messiaen’s Opera, Saint François d’Assise--John McClain
Constructing Saint Francis for the Twenty-first Century--Janet McCann
Capturing the Gravity and Grace of St. Francis of Assisi on Stage: A Study of Divine Reciprocity--John Bowers
St. Francis in the Twenty-first Century--John Hart
Canticle of Memory: Political Theology and Francis of Assisi--John Downey  

The Authors:

Cynthia Ho is Professor of Literature and Language and Director of the Humanities Program at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Previously, she served as Chair of the Literature and Language Department and as the National Endowment for the Humanities Chair for the Humanities. She recently edited Crossing the Bridge: Comparative Essays on Heian Japanese and Medieval European Women.

Beth A. Mulvaney is Professor of Art at Meredith College where she is Director of the Honors Program. She has written on the frescoes of St. Francis at San Francesco, Assisi and the artists Duccio and Giotto.

John K. Downey is Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University and a former Director of the Coolidge Research Colloquium. He is co-editor of Missing God? Cultural Amnesia and Political Theology.

The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games--New from McFarland

Michael J. Tresca 
ISBN 978-0-7864-5895-0 
10 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
238pp. softcover 2011
Buy Now!
Price: $35.00

Book Launch March 2011

Tracing the evolution of fantasy gaming from its origins in tabletop war and collectible card games to contemporary web-based live action and massive multi-player games, this book examines the archetypes and concepts within the fantasy gaming genre alongside the roles and functions of the game players themselves. Other topics include: how The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings helped shape fantasy gaming through Tolkien’s obsessive attention to detail and virtual world building; the community-based fellowship embraced by players of both play-by-post and persistent browser-based games, despite the fact that these games are fundamentally solo experiences; the origins of gamebooks and interactive fiction; and the evolution of online gaming in terms of technological capabilities, media richness, narrative structure, coding authority, and participant roles.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1
Introduction      5

1. The Lord of the Rings      23
2. Collectible Card Games and Miniature Wargames      47
3. Tabletop Role-Playing Games      59
4. Play-By-Post and Browser-Based Games      92
5. Gamebooks and Interactive Fiction      100
6. Multi-User Dungeons      111
7. Computer Role-Playing Games      134
8. Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games      162
9. Live Action Role-Playing Games      181

Conclusion      200
Glossary      203
Sources      207
Index      217

About the Author
Game designer, author, and artist Michael J. Tresca has authored numerous supplements and adventures for publishers of fantasy role-playing games. An administrator at RetroMUD, he lives in Connecticut.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Help identifying a still

I am trying to identify another still and welcome your help. I know the image is from a version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame but not WHICH one. Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Michael Torregrossa

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New/Recent Arthurian Films

A reminder that updates on Arthurian films, including this week's telefilm Avalon High, can be found on the Are You From Camelot? Blog.

SyFy November 2010

The following represent this month's medieval-themed listings from SyFy. As always, the complete schedule for the month can be found at


06:00 PM
Stargate SG-1
Thor's Chariot


01:00 AM
Merlin's Apprentice - Part One
03:00 AM
Merlin's Apprentice - Part Two


08:00 AM
Movie Marathon
Highlander: The Source


09:00 PM
Movie Marathon


01:00 AM
Movie Marathon: Syfy Original Movie
Fire And Ice
03:00 AM
Movie Marathon: Syfy Original Movie
Dragon Storm

Also airing Highlander.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chiller November 2010

The following represent this month's medieval-themed listings for Chiller. My apologies for the delay in posting, there was a bug on the schedule page.

Complete month's schedule at


08:00 AM
Supernatural Sciences King Arthur
09:00 AM
Special Cracking The Da Vinci Code
11:00 AM
Supernatural Sciences King Arthur
12:00 PM
Special Cracking The Da Vinci Code


09:00 AM
Forever Knight Father's Day
10:00 AM
Forever Knight Undue Process
11:00 AM
Forever Knight Bad Blood
12:00 PM
Forever Knight Can't Run, Can't Hide
01:00 PM
Forever Knight Capital Offense
02:00 PM
Forever Knight Amateur Night


10:00 PM
Vampire Week Dracula's Curse (2006)


02:30 AM
Vampire Week Dracula's Curse (2006)

Also airing this month: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Poltergeist: The Legacy.

Further Calls for Papers

Additional calls for papers have been posted to the SF, Fantasy, & Legend Area Blog including:

CFP: The Return of the Ring (11/11/11; Loughborough University 8/16-20/12)

CFP: "European Traditions of the Fantastic" for Fastitocalon volume II (2011) (No. 2 11/15/10)

CFP: Mythcon 42 (n.d.; Albuquerque, NM 7/15-18/11)

I just posted a call for Mythcon 42 on the SF, Fantasy, & Legend Area Blog. The conference theme, "Monsters, Marvels, and Minstrels: The Rise of Modern Medievalism," is of interest to medievalists as well.