Chivalry Today Holiday Gift Guide

tree-with-gifts-234x300Looking for a gift for that special someone on your list who just can’t seem to get enough of knights, castles, medieval battles, King Arthur and the code of chivalry? Or maybe you’re a connoisseur of the lore and history of the Age of Chivalry and are looking to share your interest in all things chivalric with friends and family members.

Whatever the case, we know how difficult it can be to find that just-right gift for the chivalry enthusiast … and how heartwarming it is to see that look of joy and delight on the face of a loved one when they unwrap the perfect present (and they were expecting nothing but another lame gift card!).

So, for all of our friends, we provide the following holiday shopping guide – Chivalry Today style. Below, you’ll find some of the latest books, DVDs, CDs and other items sure to appeal to “knights and chivalry” enthusiasts … all broken down into relevant categories, because interest in chivalry can span a broad range of ages and subjects (as anyone who’s visited our website or listened to our podcast knows).

Click the following links to find gift guides filled with some of the latest and most popular items (and some old favorites as well) in these categories:

  • Young Readers: Picture books and read-aloud stories for blossoming readers;
  • Young Adult Readers: Books for middle-graders and teens (with enough depth and historical detail to appeal to adults as well);
  • Arthurian Novels: Fiction drawn from current research into the history of the legends of King Arthur;
  • Medieval Novels: Stories full of rich characters and historical details that bring the Age of Chivalry to life;
  • Studies In Knighthood: Information on knights, medieval warfare and the authentic values of chivalry;
  • Medieval Martial Arts: Authentic sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat techniques drawn from medieval manuals and interpreted by today’s leading scholars;
  • Chivalrous Philosophy and Living: Timeless principles for honorable living, leadership, parenting and relationships in concert with the code of chivalry;
  • Sounds Of A Medieval Christmas: Songs and music from medieval Christmas festivals and midwinter holy days.
  • A Few Little Extras: Fun surprises that anyone with an interest in knights would enjoy!

Young Readers

The following four wonderful picture books make a great way to introduce the youngest readers to the colorful legends of King Arthur and the characters of Camelot.

knightnobleKnight: A Noble Guide for Young Squires This pop-up book has so much great historical detail, it’s like taking a trip to the Middle Ages, no matter what age you are. (Learn more: Hear an interview with author Dugald Steer on Episode 25 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

Castle Diary A rousing diary of a year inside a medieval castle – through the eyes and words of a knight-in-training.

How Sir James Won His Armor Follow the life of a young squire as he grows into his armor – and his role as a knight.

Igraine the Brave A marvelously inventive story about a girl who becomes a knight to save her family and their magical library of singing books.

Young Adult Readers

Sparrow An updated version of the story of the Lady of Shalott in an authentic Arthurian setting. (Learn more: Hear an interview with Lisa Ann Sandell, author of Song of the Sparrow, on Episode 36 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy, Book One) An imaginative blending of Arthurian fantasy and medieval history in the story of a boy struggling to find his place in the world of 12th century England.

Here Lies Arthur A retelling of the story of King Arthur through the eyes of the characters who helped transform a simple warrior into a heroic legend.

The Sea of Trolls In the 8th century, a boy must go on a quest into the realm of Viking legends to learn his true identity.

Sisters of the Sword Two girls must learn the ways of the samurai in feudal Japan to protect their family honor – a great way of discovering the parallels between medieval knights and Japanese samurai, and the respective codes they lived (and died) by.

Princess Ben A story that turns the typical elements of the “medieval fairy tale” on their head as a girl learns to play the part of a demure princess by day and daring warrior by night in order to protect the kingdom she loves.

Adventures with King Arthur

Gwen A story of the challenges and sacrifices made by the woman who would become Arthur’s queen, by popular fantasy novelist Mercedes Lackey.

The Winter King A historically based retelling of the life of Arthur by acclaimed novelist Bernard Cornwell.

The Firebrand (The House of Pendragon, Book 1) King Arthur’s daughter battles Modred and continues the heroic tradition of her forbears after the Battle of Camlann.

Medieval Novels

serpentthornsMystery writer Jeri Westerson takes a private eye story into the 14th century with her series featuring detective Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight seeking truth and redemption. (Learn more: An interview with author Jeri Westerson on Episode 16 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

Azincourt A rousing account by Bernard Cornwell of the events and personalities that lead up to one of the most famous battles in medieval history.

The Wolf Hunt Gillian Bradshaw’s vividly detailed retelling of the medieval legend of the Bisclavaret – a 13th century werewolf tale.

World Without End Ken Follett’s brilliant account of life, love and ambition in the medieval world. (Learn more: Read a review of World Without End at Chivalry Today.)

The intriguing new series of mystery novels featuring the enigmatic Knights Templar in the time of the Crusades.

Studies in Knighthood and Chivalry

holywarriors A look at the often overlooked religious aspects of the ideals of chivalry, and how this warrior’s code became merged with the peaceful ideology of Christianity. (Learn more: Prof. Kaueper will be the interview guest on the Feb. 2010 edition of the Chivalry Today Podcast – be sure to listen in.)

A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry An engaging translation of the Book of Knighthood of Geoffroi de Charny – an explanation of chivalry in the words of a knight of the 14th century.

Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry Tactical explorations of military operations in the Middle Ages beyond the usual tactical examinations of set-piece battles.

From Chivalry To Terrorism A look at the changing image of masculinity from the Ancient world to the 21st century, including the influences of chivalry in many eras. (Learn more: Read an excerpt on True Nobility from From Chivalry To Terrorism on Chivalry Today.)

Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England The latest scholarship into the shifting understanding of this iconic encounter from one of today’s most respected medieval historians.

Warriors: Season One A look at the weapons, tactics and values of warriors from nearly every culture and historical period on the planet, including several episodes of knights and medieval combat – hosted by Special Forces officer Terry Schappert.

History Channel Presents The Crusades A look at the Crusades and their influence on history and the image of knighthood.

The History Of Warfare series examines many important military encounters, including these episodes set in the Middle Ages – excellent narration distinguishes these productions, including several featuring the voice of Brian Blessed.

Medieval Martial Arts

MS_I33 A translation of the earliest illustrated manual of medieval hand-to-hand combat by Prof. Jeffrey Foregeng of the Higgins Armory. (Learn more: Hear an interview with Prof. Forgeng on Episode 26 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

These two translations of manuals of medieval sword combat provide authentic illustrations and descriptions of swordfighting from the masters of the period.

The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe An overview of the practices and symbolism of martial arts in the Middle Ages by Prof. Sydney Anglo of the University of Wales.

Fighting with the German Longsword A practical interpretation of medieval fighting techniques, based on studies of period manuals, accompanied by outstanding photography.

Reclaiming The Blade An acclaimed documentary detailing recent interest and scholarship into medieval martial arts and how they affect the image of swords, knights and heroes in today’s media. (Learn more: Hear an interview with Daniel McNicoll, director of Reclaiming The Blade, in Episode 30 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

Chivalrous Philosophy and Living

batman There is perhaps no more iconic image of the “knight” in modern literature and media than Batman – this book explores the ethical and philosophical elements of the tales of the Dark Knight and sheds light on how chivalry shapes the image of the hero in a world of moral ambiguity.

Choosing Civility Kindness, consideration and patience are hard to come by in today’s world – this bestselling book explains how and why these qualities can be restored in modern society. (Learn more: Listen to an interview with Prof. PM Forni, author of Choosing Civility, on Episode 33 of the Chivalry Today Podcast.)

The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today’s Business How do business leaders include a sense of ethics and honor into the corporate climate? This book explores the balance of competitiveness and conscience – a dichotomy that is at the heart of chivalry as a principle for ethical leadership.

Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters Few people would argue that Capt. Chesley Sullenberger is an example of a modern “knight in shining armor.” His thoughts on living a life of value provide tangible proof that chivalry still matters today.

The Narcissism Epidemic An investigation into the “me first” culture of today’s world, with a subjective understanding of the social importance of humility. (Learn more: Prof. W. Keith Campbell, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic, will be an interview guest on the Jan. 2010 edition of the Chivalry Today Podcast – be sure to listen!)

Be the Pack Leader “Dog whisperer” Cesar Millan gives some thoughts about leadership and the surprisingly chivalrous ideals that go into pack mentality (Read Chivalry Goes To The Dogs, an excerpt from Cesar Millan’s book.)

Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior Acclaimed martial artist Bohdi Sanders explores the universal elements of duty, restraint and responsibility that are the foundations of every warrior’s code.

Partly Cloudy: Ethics in War Prof. David L. Perry gives a frank and insightful examination on the changing face of global conflict and the principles of just and ethical military policy that are founded on the code of chivalry. (Read Chivalry And Humanity, an article by Prof. David Perry, on the Chivalry Today website.)

Raising Unselfish Children In A Self-Absorbed World A new look at how parents can instill a sense of service and responsibility – and the happiness and satisfaction that go with them – in their children.

Raising A Modern-Day Knight A guide for building a life-long sense of honor and respect in today’s children, based on the images and values of knighthood.

Sounds Of A Medieval Christmas

Medieval holiday festivals had a sound all their own. If you’re longing for something more traditional than the usual strains of Rudolph, Frosty and Silver Bells, check out these CDs and downloads that will help you celebrate Christmas like it’s 1199!Yoolis

A Few Little Extras

catapult Everything you need to craft a backyard siege engine – catapult, ballista or trebuchet. (Learn more: William Gurstelle, author of The Art of the Catapult, will be an interview guest on the June 2010 edition of the Chivalry Today Podcast. Be sure to listen!)

Castle Book and DVD Explore the design, building and defense of a medieval castle through the delightful artwork of David Macaulay.

Nova: Medieval Siege See the building of two full-size medieval war engines as part of Nova’s acclaimed “Secrets of the Ancient World” series.

Spamalot Soundtrack Toe-tapping tunes from the latest Broadway spectacular featuring King Arthur and his (very silly!) kn-nik-its!

Caracassonne This fun-for-the-whole-family tabletop game lets you explore the medieval world as you manage your own monasteries, cities, forests and roadways, planting crops and protecting the villagers against outlaws.


Happy (and Chivalrous!) Holidays from Chivalry Today

No matter what holiday you celebrate this season, we here at Chivalry Today wish you joy and happiness, and thank you for helping us keep chivalry alive and well.

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