Sir Finnvarr de Taahe has published a new e-book on Amazon titled “A Knight on Vigil”.
From the Amazon blurb: “What does it mean to style oneself a knight in these modern times? Why do so many organizations bestow this warrior’s title on their best members? Why is the symbolism of knighthood so attractive? Finnvarr de Taahe, who has borne the rank of knight among medieval re-creationists for over four decades, has pondered long and hard on these questions. In this volume he offers his thoughts on why people want to be knights, on chivalry and the virtues, and on courtly love. This volume will be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand the mindset of the medieval knight and use it as a guide to excellence.”
The Gazette asked Sir Finnvarr why he wrote the book.
“At the last Pennsic war, I was standing in front of my camp talking to another Knight about the vigil that was being held elsewhere on the site. He said to me ‘it’s too bad there is no book you could give to the Knight on vigil’.
“The struck me as a very good idea. And I felt I had some qualifications to write such a book. I have been a Knight for over 40 years, and the scholar of chivalry in my academic role for about 20. (I am a Professor of medieval history.) And like most members of the SCA chivalry, I have thought long and hard about why and how I can call myself a Knight.
“One of the most interesting medieval books about chivalry is a series of questions without answers about what constitutes chivalric behavior. I took this as my inspiration. I thought that the Knight on vigil needed more than answers provided by somebody else: he or she needed some provocative questions to wrestle with before taking on his or her new role.
“I think I succeeded in asking some good questions and providing a certain amount of background on medieval chivalry to help the candidates come up with their own answers. Some of the issues I featured in the book were the different kinds of historical Knights, the relationship between prowess and courtliness, and between chivalry and love.
“This is not the first time I have written about chivalry in the SCA. Twenty years ago I wrote a book of chivalry, which I hope to reissue in the near future with a beautiful cover. Like the new book, it’s not just me talking about my ideas. The book of chivalry was the product of an online discussion on the Middle Kingdom email list of the time. I hope that some of the readers of the Knight on vigil will read the other one when it’s available, even if the recent creation of a new martial peerage means that it is now a historical document. It has the advantage of reflecting a large number of different points of view of society members at that time about chivalry and peerage at large.”
The book can be ordered here.