The Cloisters is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art given over to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. With a collection of over 2,000 medieval pieces, the museum's structure is itself part of the exhibit.
I spent two weeks in June wandering around Prague and Budapest, seeing the sights and looking for folk and folk-inspired music. I came back with a satchel of CDs, some of which I'll share here in a series of posts.
If, and only if, education becomes common for all and not only restricted for the middle and upper strata of the society can this hideous ill of fake faith healers, who simply fool the people by playing with their psyche, be eradicated.
For readers of medieval and Middle Ages historical fiction, winter may conjure images of castles, animal trophies hung above the blazing hearth, never-ending banquets with bottomless casks of wine and mead. But what of the peasants and their winter's tales?
California native Dario Sattui's passion for European architecture of the Middle Ages is only rivaled by his passion for fine wine. he's built a full-scale medieval castle on U.S. soil. It's a wine country wonder, and a magnificently delicious reason to visit California's Napa Valley.
There was a Golden Age to Islam once -- a Muslim Renaissance so magnificent, famous, cosmopolitan and cerebral that it's borders didn't always bleed. This era unequivocally produced some of the most enlightened thinkers throughout the Islamic Diaspora.
The mythos of the assassin fascinates even as it horrifies. It fascinates because it allows for the actions of one to bring down a corrupt or tyrannical regime that has no avenue of redress for those not in power.
Set in the same universe as that of her novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke's "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" stands on its own as a series of glittering dark tales that draw on the legends of northern Europe.