Saturday, May 11, 2013

David Macaulay's Castle



I have long had a fascination with castles and it all began with David Macaulay's book Castle which my parents purchased for me at a yard sale many years ago.  David has done a whole series of pen and ink illustrated books that explain how Castles, Pyramids, Roman Cities, Mosques and other historical building were made.  They are fantastic books and if you have not had a chance to check them out you should!

PBS created an hour long special based on the Castle book and I recently purchased a DVD version from Amazon.  I remember I first watched this in Junior High, my friend and I did a presentation on castles in class and had watched this on a clunky old VHS player to learn more about the subject.

The video transfer to DVD is pretty bad, the image is fuzzy and is showing its age. Castle is sixty minutes long and is narrated by the author, he gives a tour of a 13th century Welsh castle describing all of the architectural features and defenses.  This is inter-cut with an animated story of Aberwyvern Castle which shows the construction process, what life was like in the middle ages and the the castle in action defending against Welsh raiders. Its all very wonderfully done and reignited my love of all things medieval.

PBS also turned several of the other Macaulay books into television special, I have not seen the others but intend to seek them out.  If your interested you can pick up Castle the book and video from Amazon, links below!

Castle at Amazon
Castle DVD on Amazon






9 comments:

  1. I've always wanted this book after finding it in my school library, but have never found a cheap copy. Given the similarity in our names, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when someone once asked me if I'd written the book. :-)

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    1. I have to admit I instantly thought it must be you.

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    2. If I had even half his artistic skill I'd be a happy man. :-)

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    3. I think of this book every time I see your name on a comment, even though I realize you spell it differently

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    4. David you can find really cheap copies on Amazon.com, there are used copies currently available for $0.01!! It doesn't get much better than that!

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    5. Thanks Jason, unfortunately there are no super cheap bargains on Amazon for us Australians. Postage is a flat rate $15 per book, even if the seller is in Australia! And no free postage deals for us Australians either. So a 1 cent book is going to cost me $15.

      Thankfully there's a book seller in the UK that has free postage to much of the world and sells books cheap - Awesome Books. I've just picked up Castle, City, Cathedral and The New Way Things Work in hardback for $4 each, free postage.

      Thanks for reminding me to look for these Jason. :-)

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  2. Thanks so much for posting this. I've got lots of books on castles but, for some reason, I'd never come across this one before. It looks like it has been out of print for years in the UK, but Amazon UK had a good supply of used editions available so I bagged one.

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    1. Good to hear, its a great book. I just today ordered copies of Pyramid, Roman Cities and Cathedral all for 0.01 each on Amazon!!

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