The amazing photographer, Thom Atkinson has recently published what he calls ‘Soldiers Inventories’ on his website. These photos are clearly a work of art and show a love for the subject that is sublime. Each piece is laid out as if it were part of a puzzle and every time I look at them, I spot something different, or work out a different combination as to how something might be used.
This is a fabulous resource for budding authors who want to write either historical fiction, historical fantasy or fantasy of any sort. As such, I thought I would share a photograph a week, with the added challenge that you also get to write a story about the man (or woman if fantasy) who got to wear the gear and use it in anger.
Jerusalem is a metaphorical hot bed of contention for two warring faiths, Christianity and Islam, and literally a hot place due to its geographical location. Just look at the equipment the knight had to wear. In England’s awful winters this would be hot. Can you imagine what it would be like to wear this in Israel (or Palestine as was)?
So, how about writing a story about a knight having to travel to the holy land, survive the sea journey, arrive in a land so foreign and so hot that it takes your breath away, fight your way through these lands on what became known as the Sixth Crusade under Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, take the Holy City from the hands of the Ayyubids through a treaty after the size and reputation of the force you were with made them think that was the better alternative to fighting, then have them turn on you and invite the Khwarazmian clans to take the city. Imagine the siege as the realisation that there aren’t enough Christians to come to your aid, the starvation, the disease, and then the final sacking which was so total that the city was razed to the ground. Does your protagonist escape, or fall beneath the weapons of his hated enemy?
Whatever you decide, I’m sure you’re going to have fun writing about it.