Leprosy

Leprosy was one of the scourges of the Middle Ages–not so much because of scale, but because when a person caught it, their community cast them out.  The lazar house in the Brother Cadfael books, St. Giles, plays a significant role in the series.  In the movie, Kingdom of Heaven, Baldwin IV of Jerusalem is portrayed as a leper, which is historically accurate.  He ruled from 1174 to 1185.  The man who recognized he had the disease (instead of the Baron played by Liam Neeson) was William of Tyre, later Read More…

Kingdom of Heaven (movie review)

Since any movie with swords garners my immediate attention, Kingdom of Heaven was on the top of my list to see when it came out a few years ago.  Starring Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, and Liam Neeson, and directed by Ridley Scott, what could go wrong? Confession:  I love this movie.  That doesn’t mean it deserves five stars, because it doesn’t.  Maybe 4 on a good day, but I still love it.  I love the character of Balian (played by Bloom), I’ll watch Jeremy Irons in anything, even Read More…