Friday, August 25, 2017

Written in Blood

Yesterday my copy of Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood arrived.  This is noteworthy because I wrote chapter 3, "Chivalry in Westeros."  Despite my involvement in this project (which included me being paid real money), I have always been skeptical of these attempts to teach history to the general public -- or at least the general fandom -- by drawing comparisons between the fictional treatment (there are, as you may imagine, more than one about Middle Earth) and  what we pros call "the real stuff." (No, we don't do that, we are too stuffy.)

But in this case, it works.  The "real stuff" is explained and interpreted with respect, as is the fictional environment.   The writing is good and accessible!  The scholars who wrote the various articles are really very good indeed.

I have to wonder what they are like in the classroom,  Actually the editor, Brian Pavlac, in telling how he got involved in the project gives us reason to believe that he at least knows how to enchant undergraduate students.

Must reconsider my earlier attitude.

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