We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
but, but, but, they were noble knights in shining armour, and there were no nasty guns to kill people with.
Everyone lived in peace and harmony, Pixar pictures and Disney Productions tell us so it must be true!
I once had the opportunity to spend some time with Kent Russel, formerly the Executive Director of the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA, while finishing up a undergraduate degree in French Medieval history at Clark University (its a hobby of mine). He gave me a tour of the museum once and I was fascinated by all the weapons of mayhem and destruction our ancestors made and used with no small amount of efficiency.
The Museum is a great place to visit - it is quite the operation and is the only museum dedicated to the armor and art of ancient war. Well worth the time.
The heavy plate we associate with knights in the Middle Ages was extraordinarily expensive (think of modern dollar equivalents for a suit of armor and a trained war horse as being more than a new car and a little less expensive than a house). So the nobility was not happy at all when the peasants began using relatively cheap weapons like longbows and crossbows. It was this huge change in killing ability that allowed kings to pay soldiers to be his standing army instead of having to rely on counts, earls, etc to bring their armed troops to the field with them.
In this period the leaders with the best professional troops were the ones who won the fights most often.
William Shakespeare occasionally wrote dramatizations of historic figures. The use of history as a backdrop, against which the familiar characters act out Shakespeare's ideas and visions, lends a sense of realism to his plays. King Henry VI was Shakespeare's 3-part play about the life of the eponymous king. Shakespeare relied heavily on Hall's chronicle as a source, and the Battle of Towton (Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5), touted as the "bloodiest" engagement in the Wars of the Roses, became a set piece about the "terror of civil war, a national terror that is essentially familial." Historian Bertram Wolffe said it was thanks to Shakespeare's dramatization of the battle that the weak and ineffectual Henry was at least remembered by English society in a manner, albeit for his pining to have been born a shepherd than a king.
Another notable scene in Shakespeare's version of the battle comes right after Henry's soliloquy. Henry witnesses a father who has killed his son, and a son who has slain his father. Both killers had acted out of greed and fell into a state of deep grieving after discovering their misdeeds