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Renaissance Magazine

There are about 40 Renaissance Faires and Festivals throughout the US, and probably dozens or hundreds of rather more authentic ones in Europe, such as the Landshuter Wedding. nibowl is always bragging about the size of the Festival in Texas. I have fond memories of King Richard's Faire in Wisconsin. The damn things have established themselves in every viable habitat.

Anyway, a smart publisher noticed this and realized there might be an audience for the SCA-goes-mainstream crowd, an audience interested in Medieval and Renaissance history, customs, clothes, art, and sex. So, he founded Renaissance magazine a few years back, and I'm delighted.

My second issue arrived just yesterday, and it's great. The features include an article on courtesan Veronica Franco, plus material on swan upping, jousting as the state sport of Maryland, a lost city in Wales, a biography of courtier Pietro Arentino, a recently discovered portrait of King Henry VIII, a notice of the 30th anniversary of D&D with pictures of Dave and Gary, and so on. I could go on. I'm holding back, really.

Oh, and their site's historical dates function is great: on February 11th in 1531, Henry VIII was recognized as the supreme head of the Church of England. You can feel edumacated without actually learning anything.

The advertisers are almost as amusing. They lean heavily to costuming and bad replica swords (is there any other kind?), but more interesting to me are places like Gaelsong (a fine Celtic jewelry place just down the street from me in Seattle) and a modern castle builder called Castle Magic. The builder seems like quite a character, and he has completed a few solid stone ski chalets complete with battlements and turrets — in the Rockies. I really want to read an article on the castle-builders. They're just one state over in Sandpoint, Idaho. If only I had $1.5 million to spare.
The magazine is sort of the non-fiction version of Dragon; I'm amazed they don't poach each other's advertisers more. To paraphrase frabjousdave, if you don't think Renaissance is worthwhile, I don't know you.


( 2 sutras — Your wisdom )
Feb. 12th, 2005 01:17 am (UTC)
apparently you know me much better than M&C does. i'm adding the castle to my lottery winnings list.
Feb. 13th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
I've been reading Renaissance on a single-issue basis (i.e. I buy only the issues containing articles that interest me) for years, and it's proved a treasure trove of mineable ideas for various rpg campaigns and chronicles. I suppose I ought to send in a submission one of these days.
( 2 sutras — Your wisdom )

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