5 Reasons Why Christopher Marlowe is an Elizabethan Hipster Poet

Elizabethan England's most celebrated poet and playwright, in underground kind of way, was Christopher Marlowe, although he was soon eclipsed by Mr. Will Shakespeare, whose popular plays would define the mainstream for centuries to come. It was the 90s. The 1590s to be precise. Marlowe was at the height of his powers, writing the politically …

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The Chalchiuhite Dragon by Kenneth Morris

Perusing the books on sale at MythCon 45 at Wheaton College in Norton, MA this summer, I stumbled across a most peculiar historical fantasy novel. It was the long-lost masterpiece of Kenneth Morris, The Chalchiuhite Dragon. Well-known, if not actually famous, for his modern Celtic fantasies such as The Fates of the Princes of Dyfed …

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MythCon 45 Day 4: Faith, Myths, and Archetypes

The first of the two legendary panels that happened on Sunday--just before my own presentation, which was the last before the banquet and awards ceremony--was entitled "Fantasy and Faith." Chip Crane moderated, and Carl Hostetter, Sorina Higgins, and Lynn Maudlin were discussing the Inklings. What is the place of faith in the fantasy genre? What …

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MythCon 45 Day 3: Postmodernity at MythCon

Sunday morning at MythCon, and I took it easy, only getting to "Harry Potter as Dystopian Literature" for 10:00. Kris Swank framed Harry Potter not only in terms of the latest dystopian craze in YA fiction (Divergent, The Hunger Games), but also with the dystopian tradition of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. The Dolores Umbridge-corrupted …

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His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

What if dragons and their riders formed their own corps of soldiers adjacent to the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars? You get Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, the first novel of which, His Majesty's Dragon, I have just finished reading on my Kobo. William Laurence, a Royal Navy captain engaged in the Napoleonic Wars, captures …

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Are Tolkien’s Ideas Still Alive in Our Postmodern Twenty-First Century?

J.R.R Tolkien, born this day in 1892, would be 122 if he were alive today, one of the oldest people in the world. Alas, his physical body perished 2 September 1973, even though his textual body lives on, with much thanks to the continued labours of Christopher Tolkien, his son and editor. I would love …

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7 Ways in which Saruman is like John Dee

The Vinciolo Journal turns 1 year old January 5th, two days after J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday, so in celebration of both events, I am making a series of Tolkien-related posts. This is the first of several ... 7 ways Saruman resembles Queen Elizabeth's court astrologer and geographer John Dee. . In comparing these two figures (the …

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Behind Guy Fawkes: the History of Catholic Conspiracies

“But as a nation—continued he in his reveries—these Spaniards are all an odd set; the very word Spaniard has a curious, conspirator, Guy-Fawkish twang to it.” -Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno." “The imaginary is part of history.” -Michel de Certeau, The Possession at Loudun. “[A] good case could be made that the last unchallenged and most …

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