Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Suburban Knights

SUBURBAN KNIGHTS: A Return to the Middle Ages, E.F. Kitchen, Power House Books, $35, ISBN: 9781576875360, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

This is one of the more unusual coffee table books I’ve seen in years. Several years ago the Society for Creative Anachronism was at the forefront of the Renaissance Faire’s that would pop up once or twice a year. Now they are more common and a tourist attraction during the summer months.

From 2003 to 2005, Kitchen took photographs of the personages in their armor. He also collected memoirs from them so they could use their own words to tell how and why they have adopted new persona's to go along with their armor.

There are many pictures showing the chain-mail, helmets, shields, and swords that go with the other parts of their costumes to make them unique.

Some of the characters shown are Sir Marcus the Merciless, Duke Dick, Sir Gaston Bonneville de la Croix, Lord Dietric von Hessen, the Honorable Lady Bridget Lucia Mackenzie and Sgt Duncan the Monster. The book also has an appendix that shows everyone as they normally appear.

Although this may not be a book for the casual reader, it is a fascinating and once in a lifetime look at a unique group of people who believe that the metal of a man can be worn outside the body for all to see.

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