Relevant To My Interests
Below are some links to websites that I frequently used when writing The King's Man. I like to pretend that every reader will be CAPTIVATED by this stuff, but I acknowledge that it's really just an excuse to clean out some of my most beloved bookmarks without actually losing them.
NOTE: I feel like a dunce - and an ingrateful dunce at that, because I failed to mention Sharon Kay Penman in the acknowledgements for The King's Man. The very idea for using the Welsh wars for independence as a setting came from her novels, and any readers interested in knowing more about this era should not hesitate to dig in to her Welsh Princes trilogy.
Sharon Kay Penman
I read Here Be Dragons years ago, and was Utterly Sucked In to the drama of 13th century England/Wales, so I promptly inhaled Falls The Shadow and The Reckoning. It's a sad ending (spoiler alert: the Welsh lost) but so deeply researched and vividly rendered that I never regretted living in that world for like 2000 pages. She also has a website full of info.
Whatever you're looking for? It's probably here. So awesome. Especially because it has stuff like this.
The Medieval Lifestyle
A contribution from a young researcher named Layla, who generously shared this page filled with general information about a lot of aspects of medieval life - as well as many useful links for everything from cooking spices to architecture to troubadours.
This is the castle on which I based the castle of Morency. The castle's website has some great pictures and info, but the Wikipedia entry is honestly what I came back to most often.
A Modern Herbal
The online version of the book, which was originally published in the 1930's. So "modern" is a relative term, here.
Meddygon Myddveu (The Physicians of Myddfai)
These Welsh physicians were around at least as early as the 12th century and they left behind their brilliant cures, many of which involve chicken anuses. (For realsies.)
Map of 13th Century Wales
You cannot imagine how many hours I spent staring at this thing, and yet no details ever stuck.
I am especially fond of the Parts of a Castle map - and there's a lot of good info all over that site.
In which we learn that maybe I shouldn't have used some of the names I did? This site is compiled by Actual Historians so it's the one I trust the most. Sadly, I found it LONG after I published my first two medievals.
Extremely useful - especially the Foods Never To Use section as a quick reference - but it always leaves me hungry.
Arms and Armor
A good place to start if you're utterly clueless about this sort of thing, as I was. (NOTE: I am only marginally less ignorant now.) But if you're packing for a trip back in time, you should really be consulting large and nearly incomprehensible books, and museum exhibits, and suchlike.
Hardly an exhaustive account but this serves as my cheat-sheet when I can't remember for the life of me who was in charge of what.