• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Looking for trustworthy Medieval Reference Materials...


I've been looking high and low for medieval information references that I can compile into a single document for quick reference while I'm writing. I've only really managed to get Common Weights & Measures, but I'd like much more than that. Really any information pertaining to the Medieval Era which would be commonly found in many Fantasy novels. Things I can write a quick reference to for later use.

Do I know what I'm specifically looking for? No. Otherwise the search might be over already. I'm looking for ANYTHING useful or semi-useful to Fantasy Writing.

Thanks for your help!

Caged Maiden

Article Team
We've included a number of those in threads the past. I've posted many in the Research section on this site, and the Writing References section.

We've covered food, clothing, and vast amounts of stuff about jobs of common people, what types of jobs people had on a noble estate, things about political structures, noble life, religion, wars, weapons, archery, seafaring. I mean, we've talked about huge amounts of it. Family life, marriage, what people did for fun, what travel was like, horses, terms for armor, how big armies were, populations, diseases, torture methods, and on and on.

If you're looking for general information, you could try checking out some books from a library and photocopying pages of what interests you the most, or just buy a book. I have one called "The Middle Ages" that I used for all kinds of information, in fact one of the speeches my antagonist gives at a public event (it's an execution and he's a religious leader) was originally given in the 1300s by a pope. So, yeah, there's tons of stuff out there, and tons of stuff we've talked about here, if you want to do some searches through the forum and cut and past whatever you find relevant. I can't link you to all of them because I'd have to spend an hour finding all the old posts, but hopefully that will start your search out.



toujours gai, archie
Ekorus, please be more specific. Otherwise, it's as Caged Maiden says: start with general surveys and work your way into details. You never know when you will come across something interesting, and there's no way for others to predict what you will find interesting or useful. Also, don't neglect historical fiction, which can be great for those colorful details that most traditional histories leave out.

Another approach, though, is to go wabbit hunting (be vewy vewy quiet). In that approach, start throwing phrases at Google. Medieval shoes. Medieval guilds. Medieval villages. Medieval whatever. Then start following links.

In either approach, keep notes! Use Evernote or its cousins. Use Scrivener. Whatever you use, use it exclusively. Everything goes into one and only one bucket (you of course can have folders and subfolders, but just one tool). Expect to do this for many years, because there's no learning first and then writing. You'll do both together.