Some of My Obsessions
Weekend Novelist

I have been writing since first grade, though never in cursive. I love reading historical fiction and no period captivates me more than the Wars of the Roses.

Backyard Daredevil

I first started riding about the age of eight or nine, and the dreams of knighthood began soon after. I have commissioned a suit of tournament armor for use in jousting competitions.

International Paintball Arms Dealer

Although I rarely find the time to play paintball anymore, my (masked) face still sometimes appears in magazine ads and on the side of the Tippmann trailer.

I currently wear a pair of tailored mail sleeves created by Nick Checksfield. Nick has been making and restoring mail since 1992. He is currently an educator at Windsor Castle but has worked in the past as a mail restorer at the Wallace Collection. Nick has also been seen as a mail subject expert in documentaries such as "Going Medieval" with Mike Loades. Nick has handled the originals in the Royal Armouries Collection at the Tower of London. They originals are constructed of 7mm riveted rings and have broad gussets ...

For a member of the knightly class in the fifteenth century, hunting was far more than a simple hobby or pleasurable pastime--it was the very essence of life. Gaston III, compte de Foix, wrote in his treatise Livre de Chasse, or Book of the Hunt:tout mon temps me suis delite par especial en trois choses, l'une est en armes, l'autre est en amours, et l'autre si est en chasce..., or in "all my time I am delighted in three things, the one is in arms, the other is in love, and the other is in hunting." He would only claim to be an expert in the last.

Regardless to how the crossbow was viewed on the battlefield, it was ever a high-status hunting weapon. Unlike the longbow, a crossbow could be kept fully spanned for a considerable amount of time. The crossbows of noblemen sometimes had a veneer of intricately-carved stag horn and/or elaborate patterned inlays. I recently commissioned a fifteenth-century hunting crossbow from Danilo "Tod" Todeschini of Tod's Workshop. Tod's expert craftmanship is featured extensively in Mike Loades's bookThe Crossbow.

Whether judicial trial by combat, a chivalric duel, or a deed of arms, the pollaxe was the primary weapon of choice between armoured men. By the fifteen century, the sword and dagger were considered secondary weapons, only capable of causing harm to an opponent by exploiting the small gaps in his plate armour. The pollaxe was essentially an axe, hammer, and spear affixed atop a sturdy shaft about the height of its wielder. Near the beginning of the fifteenth century, an anonymous Milanese fencing master in service to Philip II "the Bold" ...

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