Taking a look back at 2017, and forward to 2018
As I watch another snowfall from my office near Toronto, Canada, I wanted to indulge myself and our readers by taking a look back at the year that was here at Medieval Warfare. This was my first full year as the editor of the magazine, and I can definitely say it has been the best one for me as a medievalist.
It has been a lot of fun creating six regular issues, which have dealt with topics like the Vikings, civil wars and crusaders. I wanted to make sure we had a lot of diversity in who was for writing for us, bringing in esteemed scholars like John France, Steven Muhlberger and Francisco García Fitz to contribute, and mixing in younger historians like Natalie Anderson, Lane Sobehrad and Danielle Turner, who have delivered amazing articles for us! My regular columnists - Murray Dahm (film & tv) and Kay Smith and Ruth Brown (weapons) - have made my life very easy, as they come up with the perfect pieces to accompany each issue. And to my ‘go-to-writer’ Danièle Cybulskie, your work gets keep getting better and better!
It’s hard to pick a favourite issue. Much of what we published was dear to my heart. The Murder of Charles the Good and the story of El Cid were both topics that first interested me in medieval history; covering the 800th anniversary Battle of Lincoln was very special; and writing about Vikings is always a lot of fun! However, I really loved the issue we produced about the Tournaments and Jousting. I think every article in that issue was amazing, and the look of it was the best we have produced. Also, I think it also gives readers the perfect combination of in-depth research, compelling stories, and a bit of fun.
Besides the regular issues, we produced a new Special Issue that looked at the year 1066. I found it a tricky task to balance my work on the magazine and producing this special, and it took longer than I anticipated to bring it from conception to the printed page. It was worth it though - I am very, very happy with what we produced. The issue (technically it's a book) is in my own view the best treatment of the Norman Conquest of England ever made for the general reader. From the leaders to the armies, from battles to the aftermath, we covered a great deal. From Kelly DeVries - who wrote so much that he got two articles - to Luke Foddy, who puts us into the middle of the 950th anniversary at Hastings, our writers created something that I think will be widely read until 2066!
From all these issues, I have tried to bring you the latest research, and introduce you to historians and scholars who have something insightful and fresh to say about the Middle Ages. In 2018 this will continue, as we go from Norway to Byzantium, giving you even more diversity and letting our writers tell fascinating stories about the Middle Ages.
Four special thank-yous to end this post. First to Naomi Munts, our proofreader, who makes sure that I don’t do a disservice to the English-language. Second to Christy Beall, our layout editor, who makes each issue beautiful and continually amazes me with her skill and style. Third to Jasper Oorthuys, the managing director and the leader of our little band at Karwansaray, who does all the things needed to make the magazine get published and somehow still has the time and patience to put up with my weirdness. You have all been so supportive and kind, and you make editing Medieval Warfare an absolute joy!
One final thank-you to our readers, whose numbers I am proud to say have been growing throughout this year. Thank you for sharing in my passion for the Middle Ages, and for wanting to have their history of the highest quality. With much excitement, I look forward to bringing you more Medieval Warfare in 2018 (and for many years afterward). Have a Happy New Year!
~ Peter Konieczny