March 27, 2017 • History
Of all the tens of thousands of manuscripts that were produced and copied during the Middle Ages, only a fraction have survived to our day. Some of these manuscripts are plain, written in black ink, and have no more than a few illustrations. Others are magnificent with colorful writings and illuminations plated in real gold. And then there are the manuscripts that are outright weird.
We would like to introduce you to four of the weirdest medieval manuscripts still in existence.
January 17, 2017 • History, Geek
Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which provided a chance for all of us to reflect on America’s complicated history regarding equality – and a chance for us to look to the future. But we’re not the only ones who do that. Fictional characters have always been reflections of our own journeys and struggles. These fictional activists are top-notch examples of the enduring nature of Dr. King’s example and legacy…even if their passion might be fighting for elves, a space rebellion, or genetic mutants.
January 16, 2017 • History, American History
As a celebrated nonviolent resistance organizer and orator, Martin Luther King, Jr. fought against racial inequality and segregation. Images of him leading the march on Selma are enough to stop someone in their tracks and his speeches are still uttered today. To celebrate this leader of the Civil Rights Movement, we’re reading these remarkable books about racial inequality today – books that urge for a continuation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work.
November 18, 2016 • History, Geek
The fictional universe of J.K. Rowling is filled with fantastical creatures, and no other movie takes better advantage of this than Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them, which opens in theaters today.
When creating her magical world, Rowling is tapping into a literary tradition that goes all the way back to the Middle Ages and the literary genre of the bestiary.
Bestiaries are books of animals, both real and fantastical, accompanied by a description and a Christian parable. Even though bestiaries peaked in popularity in the 13th century, they continue to influence us today. Especially when it comes to fantasy fiction.
November 9, 2016 • History
It’s #wolwednesday, the day of the week when we celebrate the animal that #wolwednesday’s originator author Sam Sykes calls the most perfect creation in nature, the furious and ruthless feathered bag of wisdom and anger—the mighty wol. Or, as it is known to the rest of the world, the owl.
We'd like to highlight this weekly day of celebration by taking a closer look at owls in medieval manuscripts. Because as we all know, the owls are not what they seem.
November 4, 2016 • Fiction, History
The fifth of November is remembered in Britain for an attempted assassination of King James I of England. The plan was to blow up the House of Lords with the King inside. A small group of revolutionaries formulated a plot which was to be carried out by Guy Fawkes, a former military serviceman. After an anonymous letter was left for the authorities, Fawkes was found guarding enough gunpowder under the House of Lords to have destroyed everything. We at Quirk would like to remember the failed Gunpowder Treason by providing a list of the best books about revolution.