Category Archive: Middle Ages

Books and Curriculum relating to the Middle Ages, especially the 5th through the 17th century.

Mar 20

Saint Stories and Christian Heroes

St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon, where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness joy.

Jan 29

The Execution of an English King and American Liberties

King Charles I on the Scaffold

Charles refused to plead, except before a lawful authority. “It is not my case alone,” he said; “it is the freedom and liberty of the people of England; and do you pretend what you will, I stand more for their liberties. For if power without law may make laws, and may alter the fundamental laws of the kingdom, I do not know what subject he is in England that can be sure of his life, or anything that he calls his own

Oct 26

A True Hero of Exploration: The Adventures of Magellan

magellan cross

The story of Magellan’s voyage around the world is one of almost uninterrupted adventure and peril. His men faced harrowing hardships, storms, mutiny, disease, starvation, sunstroke, shipwreck, cowardice and desertion, treachery, savage warfare, and vicious national jealousies. Yet at great cost they prevailed over all obstacles and after three year’s one of Magellan’s ships returned to Spain with only 18 of the 250 who set forth. This book follows one of the greatest adventure stories of all time and introduces dozens of fascinating indigenous peoples the Spanish encountered in their voyages.

Oct 09

A Battle Poem for Boys: Lepanto


Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,

Oct 08

October Give-away: Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare


This Book includes twenty romantic stories, each based on one of Shakespeare’s plays. These beautifully illustrated stories are retold in lively prose by an extraordinary storyteller, who makes the Bard’s greatest dramas accessible to young people. Edith Nesbit was a popular children’s writer of the early 20th century and her graceful, vivid retellings are the perfect introduction to Shakespeare’s works. The plays represented in Nesbit’s collection include Shakespeare’s most famous comedies and tragedies but only a few of his historical works.

Sep 24

Young Reader Favorites: Stories from Beowulf

Beowulf is one of the oldest stories written in the English language and a classic of Anglo-Saxon literature. Aside from its scholarly interest, however, it is a wonderful hero story with terrific appeal to grammar school aged students. The story of Beowulf is a thrilling folktale with plenty of swagger, danger, and heroism, delightful to any adventure-loving child.

Sep 24

Poem: Danegeld by Rudyard Kipling


It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
“We invaded you last night—we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

   And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
   And the people who ask it explain
   That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
   And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

Aug 10

Book Review: Three Lives of Cortez

The Boy's Prescott

Cortez and the Conquest of MexicoThe Boys’ Prescott by Helen Banks Mexico by Margaret Coxhead Hernando Cortez by Frederick Ober The Conquest of the Empire of the Aztecs by Cortes and his small band of conquistadors is one of the most dramatic and consequential tales in all history. This book tells the story in fascinating …

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Dec 20

New Book! Stories from the Faerie Queen

The Faerie Queen is one of the best known epic poems in the English language. Written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it is allegorical in nature, but from a child’s point of view is merely an exceptionally romantic collection of fairy stories and a very appropriate choice for a simplified adaptation. Queen Elizabeth is …

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