The Scottish Boy

By Alex de Campi

A violent, sexy thriller about a 14th century English knight and his Scottish prisoner, by bestselling writer Alex de Campi and with illustrations by Trungles.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Crossbows, siege warfare and regifted handbags: the tumultuous 14th century

One of the most fun things about The Scottish Boy for me was making it as historically accurate as possible. Those who know my other work probably know that I'm a complete research hog -- nothing makes me happier than burying myself in a pile of nonfiction books. So you're not getting some weird, sanitized, make-believe 14th Century in The Scottish Boy -- you're getting real historical characters, actual battles, tournaments that really took place where and when they were said to in the book, actual food, social history, culture. You're not getting buttons: they weren't really a thing yet! You're also not getting the minute, because it wasn't used as a unit of time until the 1500s. (You ARE getting canonical hours). Other things you're not getting: coffee, tea, potatoes, hay in bales, any sense of actual privacy, glass in your windows (unless it was a church -- those velvet curtains on beds make a lot more sense now, huh, if you only had shutters to close your windows with in winter).

An offshoot of my passion for history and ALL THE RESEARCH is I started occasionally getting tipsy and posting Drunk History threads on Twitter. So if you want to know a little more about the time period in a way that involves swearing, typos and gifs, I present the Greatest Hits of #AlexDrunkHistory:

Crossbows, aka the one that started it all

How Regifted Handbags Set Up The Hundred Years War, aka the Tour de Nesle Affair

Crimea 01: The End of Cavalry aka a detour into the 1850s

Crimea 02: Mary Seacole / The Potato Famine aka it was a very long detour

Medieval Siege Warfare

There you go. I hope you enjoy. As always, if you can tell a friend or three about The Scottish Boy, or share it on your social media, my anxiety and I would really appreciate it. We have until the end of the year to fund this thing, but my anxiety begs you to help me get it done much faster than that. 

I'll post another excerpt tomorrow -- there are some side characters you should meet. Every so often as you write a story, you have some characters who should just be throwaways in a short little scene but they elbow in and take over. The three aged heraldry clerks in the jousting scenes were very much those sorts of characters. Also, Trungles is hard at work on the next illustration for the book!



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