From about the ages of six or seven to maybe somewhere around fourteen, I was obsessed with the Middle Ages. OBSESSED. I knew everything you could know about castles and knights and the Medieval European caste system. I read all the Howard Pyle I could get my hands on and dressed up as a Queen, a Princess, and a Peasant Girl for Halloween (when I was eight, nine, and ten consecutively - somehow I was going further and further down in power...). When I was twelve-ish, my aunt and uncle fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine and took me to Medieval Times. (If you don't know what this is - Medieval Times is a reenactment of a joust. You are assigned to a particular knight who is from your "home province" to cheer on, you eat chicken with your hands off of metal plates... it's really cool.) I adored it (and my younger sister and I were seriously considering punching the couple next to us in the faces, for shouting things like, "Yay! That was cool!" instead of things like, "Huzzah! Well fought, Sir Knight!").
Though I am not OBSESSED anymore, I still enjoy reading literature that deals with the Middle Ages, and signed up for a course next semester covering some Arthurian literature.
Well, Howling Frog Books is hosting an Arthurian Literature Reading Challenge in 2014, and I thought that since I was going to be reading Arthurian Lit anyway - I might as well join! I'll add some more contemporary reading to my list, just for fun, because the class covers only relatively old works.
Here are the books from my class, that conveniently fall into the Old category:
1. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl poet
2. The Mabinogion
3. Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
4. Arthurian Romances by Chretien de Troyes
And here's a Modern book I'm interested in:
5. The Once and Future King by T. H. White
And the Merlin series by Mary Stewart falls into the Recent category:
6. The Crystal Cave
7. The Hollow Hills
8. The Last Enchantment
And here are the levels of the challenge:
Page: read 2 works, one of which may be Recent.
Squire: read 3 - 4 works. One may be Recent and one must be Old.
Knight: read 5 - 6 works. Two may be Recent and one must be Old.
Paladin: read more than 6 works. Two may be Recent and two must be Old, unless you include a non-fiction work (see Bonus).
Bonus achievement: read a non-fiction work analyzing Arthurian literature.
And guess what? All my reading brings me to the Paladin level - how cool is that? :-)
If you're interested in Arthurian lit or anything Medieval - join me! We'll have lots of fun!