I love history. All of it. Choosing a favorite era was, well, akin to choosing a favorite child. Impossible to do.
But for the sake of this post, and in tandem with my love of all things Irish, I chose the Medieval Era, which roughly correlates with the history of the land of my ancestors.
The medieval period is also known as the Middle Ages and the Dark Ages. According to Wikipedia, historians don’t know much about this period of time; records of the history of this era have not survived; we are “in the dark” so to speak. Also lending to this particular moniker was the free reign of barbarians, and widespread disease, namely the plague.
Social class was clearly delineated. Called the Three Estates, they were nobles who governed, clergy who tended the religious needs, and the common folk. The Roman Catholic Church was rigid in their standard. Not only were invading barbarians brutal in their actions, but the Europeans themselves thrived on bloodthirst. This, and the seeming disparate passion for their religion fed The Crusades.
Of particular interest to me are the great cathedrals of this era. Gothic architecture that took decades to complete. They, too, point to the emphasis on piety and religion.
And as mentioned at the beginning of this post, all things Ireland. There is much written of Saint Patrick, legend and lore. Most widely accepted is that he arrived in Ireland in the year 432 A.D. Most notable of his writings was the Hymn, or Breastplate. Called the Lorica in Latin, a small excerpt states:
Ah! But this is a writing blog. And oh! the literature of this era. Oft romanticized, knights in shining armor fending off knaves who would carry fair maidens off. Sagas, epics, ballads, spoken tales passed amongst the common folk who could neither read nor write. As to written literature of the era, Dante and Chaucer were among the most prominent writers of the middle ages.
Classics by Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell, Morgan Llywelyn and Mark Twain, Phillippa Gregory and Sharon Kay Penman, and titles such as The White Queen and The Red Queen, When Christ and His Saints Slept and Lionheart, The Last Kingdom and The Mists of Avalon.
But what better than titles by current day author and friend, Melanie Dickerson. I was first introduced to Melanie’s story telling when I read The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and I was hooked. I’ve read three others and am in line to read an advance copy of The Beautiful Pretender. And I know I won’t be disappointed.
As any era, there is much rich history that could be told. I could write an entire post on the Book of Kells alone. Or the life of Saint Patrick. Or the great cathedrals. Or… You get the picture.
“But Father!” I cried. “The Crusades are so dangerous.”
Father’s arms embraced me in a gentle yet firm hug.
“My daughter, it is the call of God.” He kissed me on the forehead and mounted his horse.
Watching him ride off, we didn’t see the approaching…
Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. Besides Tessa, she has Clara Bess, book two in her unsavory heritage series. She is currently working on Cissy, the third and final book in the series. It will be released in June of this year.
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