Here's a close up photo of the rivet mail I bring with me when I give talks. Also a brooch based on finds from the late Anglo Saxon/early Norman period. The mail was made for me by Nathan Beal, a fellower re-enactor, who based the piece (a ventail, which is the bit that protects the throat and mouth) on detailed research at the National Armouries, Leeds. It's the most amazing, touchy-feely stuff, and dare I say it, very sexy - a lot more so than plate mail! It also takes hours and hours of painstaking work, so no wonder a mail shirt could cost the equivalent of a four bedroomed house today! In THE GREATEST KNIGHT, I based a scene in Poitou on an afternoon's observation of Nathan crafting this mail at a show Regia Anglorum www.regia.org put on at Castle Rising in Norfolk.
There may be a slight hiatus in my posting to the blog while I get to grips with the copy edits for my second novel on William Marshal - THE SCARLET LION. Plus I'm away this weekend, fetching my youngest son home for Easter from the university of Aberystwyth. However, I hope to be back soon with some more news and topical photos - including an intriguing one of what John Marshal might have looked like - and it's a stunner!
My thanks to Maggie Ingram for the above photo, taken at Folkestone library during my most recent 'show and tell' excursion.