Mark P. Donnelly

In Person

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Please see below for a current list of possible presentations, talks, 

lectures and workshops which are available from:

 

Mark P. Donnelly (Prof.) (Historian, Author, Screenwriter, Producer, Professor of Armes, and constant gentleman)

Please note that these presentations are only listed alphabetically by title and their order does not in any way indicate preference or quality or level of development. Even presentations with short descriptions are fully developed.

 

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Working Title

Description

Specific Interest

 

001

(Torture 101) - The Torturer’s Apprentice : Torture and Punishment through History

 

(Content taken from my book The Big Book of Pain – Torture and Punishment Through History) For millennia, mankind has devised ingenious and diabolical means of inflicting pain on fellow human beings.  This deplorable but seemingly universal trait has eaten away at mankind's very claim to civilization.  This lecture/presentation (which will be profusely illustrated using images from our book) is an exploration of the systematic use throughout the ages of various means of punishment, torture, coercion and torment. Since Ancient Greece it has been an acknowledged fact that virtually anyone can be made to confess to anything under sufficient torture.  The information extracted under torture, therefore, is wholly unreliable, so there is no good reason for a culture to advocate the use of torture in the hopes of using a legally useful confession.  And yet, it is a practice which has persisted in virtually every culture on the planet from pre-history until the present day.  This lecture asks why.

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Inventions

 

002

16th-18th Century English and Highland Backsword –

 

the use and variation of the sword of George Silver (1590s), The Roundheads of the English Civil War (1640’s) and the Jacobites of Culloden (1745)  This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 30 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

003

18th and 19th Century Infantry and Cavalry Sabre – its use, variations and forms

 

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

004

Advanced Bartitsu for experienced martial artists

 

This is also a participatory and interactive workshop, but on a much less introductory basis.  This is designed to be much more advanced material for participants with at least some degree of experience in martial training (in any form).

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Combat

 

005

Alexander Graham Bell and his telephone

– from Inventors and Impostors

This is the story of Alexander Graham Bell and Elijah Gray and their race to the patent office... which Bell lost... so why does the world remember him as the inventor of the telephone?

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

006

American Bowie Knife and Tomahawk Combat

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Combat

 

007

Archery: its history and evolution

This presentation is derived from research assembled for a History Channel program I wrote and produced entitled  ‘Tales of the Bow’ (which aired in 2002).  If desired, this documentary could be shown as part of or in addition to the discussed lecture content of the presentation.

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Combat

Historical

 

008

Bartitsu : The lost and found scientific Self Defense of Sherlock Holmes  (or Self-Defense for Victorian and Steampunk Gentlemen (and not-so-gentlemen))

 

This workshop is designed to be an extensive introduction to this esoteric system of self-defense which incorporates: fisticuffs (in the scientific method); savate (use of low kicks in self-defense; grappling(judo/jiujitsu); as well as the use of numerous commonplace Victorian accessories such as walking-stick, cane, umbrella, top hat, snuff box, opera cape, handkerchief, etc. all employed in an effort to maintain “preservation of person and property when beset upon by ne'er-do-wells of nefarious intent”.

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Combat

 

009

Bartitsu for Ladies and gentlewomen

This workshop is designed to be an extensive introduction to this esoteric system of self-defense specifically focused on (and limited to) ladies and gentlewomen.  Some of the techniques employed by Victorian ladies studying this art vary from those taught to their male counterparts.  Partly this was physical (and partly a constraint of the fashions) but also due to the differing nature of the physical threat and the variety of accessories with which she might be equipped/encumbered. In the Ladies session, therefore, will explore: grappling, savate, canne, parasol, fan, handbag, etc.

 

Steampunk

Historical

Combat

 

010

Booze – a History of Intoxication

 

The history of civilization is inextricably linked with the history of alcohol.  How, when and where societies have drunk is as strong a statement about our cultural identity as any other social activity.  Booze traces the history of drink from the discovery of wine almost 7,000 years ago through the corridors of time and around the globe to the present day.  Along the way we will learn what a dramatic, frequently tragic, and often amusing, impact alcohol has had on human culture; for example:

 

o  Were the Celts defeated by the mighty Roman Legions or by the eight million gallons of cheap wine that the Romans shipped into Gaul for twenty years prior to sending in the army?

o  Was the warrant on which Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane actually for public drunkenness?

o  Did the mighty Mongol empire collapse because Genghis Kahn was a hopeless alcoholic addicted to fermented mares milk?

o  How was the distillation of sugar cane into molasses for making Rum the prime factor in the establishment of the nefarious slave trade during the 17th Century?

o  Why has wine been sacred to every religion, including the Christian communion, since its discovery in 5,000 BC?

o  Did a two pennies per gallon tax on whiskey set off a second American revolution in 1798?

 

Booze traces the history of drink and drinking from Sumeria to ancient Egypt to the Roman empire to the Celts to the Vikings to the Middle ages to the Renaissance and Reformation to the early modern era to the age of exploration to the industrial revolution and beyond

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Med-Quackery

 

 

011

Cannibals:

Cannibalism is unquestionably one of the oldest and most deeply-seated taboos.  This lecture explores cases of ritual cannibalism in primitive and tribal societies.  It examines cases of survival cannibalism as in the cases of shipwrecks, sieges, war, drought and famine.  It can also extend to more aberrant cases of cannibalism such as: Sweeney Todd; Sawney Beane; Alf Packer; Ed Gein; Jeffrey Dahmer; Armin Meiwes, etc.. (Taken from my book: Eat Thy Neighbour)  

 

Pirates

Historical

 

012

Castle Ghosts of England, Ireland, Scotland and/or Wales -

This project was a four-part television series.  Each episode consists of 4 or 5 short stories about castle hauntings in the given country.  It was very well received and rated.  These programs can be aired and discussed or the tales can be told and illustrated with stills and footage.

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

 

013

Civilian Dueling with the Smallsword in 18th century France

 

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

014

Death and Taxes: Riots, Rebellions, Revolts and unjust taxation through History

 

Throughout history, people have grumbled about unfair taxes.  In some instances, however, the populace has risen up, in greater or lesser numbers, and forcefully expressed their displeasure over their government’s insistence on separating them from their hard earned cash. The stories in this presentation range from tragic to laughable and from Ancient Rome to Modern Day, but all of them shine an unmercifully harsh and penetrating light on that most reviled and often corrupt institution in human history… taxation. Includes: Boudicca’s Revolt – Cathaginian Rebellion – Danegeld Resistance – Lady Godiva – Magna Carta – Wat Tyler’s Revolt – Jake Cade’s Rebellion – Bavarian Peasant Revolt – London Gin Riots – Boston Tea Party – Shay’s Rebellion – French Revolution – Whiskey Rebellion – American Civil War – Poll Tax Riots 

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Historical

 

 

015

Early Medieval Sword and Buckler - Royal Armouries MS. I 33

 

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

016

Edison's Bright Idea

 

Everyone knows that Edison invented the light bulb… what is less well known is... that he didn’t.- This lecture/presentation is excerpted from my book Inventors and Impostors

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

 

017

Etiquette and Manners – civility, decorum and the art of gentlemanliness

 

Etiquette is far more than knowing which fork to use at a formal dinner, or knowing when to rise from your chair or when to hold open a door.  This presentation is designed for modern men who have never had access to the rules strictures and mores which govern the behavior of gentlemen.

 

Historical

Steampunk

018

Exercise of Armes : A history of the sword and its use – Dueling through the ages   

 

In 1884 Sir Richard Francis Burton wrote that, “... the history of the sword is the history of mankind.”  This lecture/presentation examines the various types and evolution (read as process of change and not necessarily implying improvement) of swords through history.  Why they are designed they way they are and the techniques which were taught for their use.  Why and how they change and what other social and cultural factors they affected.  While this material could be presented as a simple lecture using slides, etc, if it is to take the form of a presentation, - that is if techniques are to be demonstrated, then I would bring somewhere between 50-200 swords for the purpose of illustration.  And while having a large collection of swords at the event would allow for a supervised 'handling session' at the end of the presentation, the logistics of transporting the artifacts may require special consideration.

 

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Combat

 

019

Extraordinary Inventions – Bizarre Victorian Inventions that never took off

 

History is full of ingenious inventions.  Progress through civilization has always been fueled by scientists, engineers and inventors. But not all inventions lead to progress.  This presentation highlights some of the most bizarre inventions and ideas to come out of the industrial revolution.  

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

020

Fakes, Frauds and Forgeries: Great Art Mysteries

Most people may not know their proper title nor the name of the artist who painted them, but tens or millions, if not billions, of people know these paintings on sight.  They represent the most famous works of art that have ever been produced and their combined value is incalculable.  It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and nearly all great art has had, and still has, its critics.  Amazingly, even the greatest art ever created by human hands does not escape such criticism.   But less familiar are the mysteries, thefts, claims of fakery, fraud and scandal that have surrounded every one of them virtually since their creation.

The five paintings we will be examining in this presentation are as follows: 

  • Rembrandt's 'The Night Watch', 
  • Leonardo da Vinci's 'The Last Supper', 
  • 'Mona Lisa' also by Leonardo, 
  • 'Blue Boy' by Thomas Gainsborough  

§  'Study in Black and Grey, a portrait of the artist's mother' by James Whistler.

The controversies that swirl around these paintings are as strange as they are numerous.  Did you know that... two of them were never delivered to their clients, one because the client said it was insulting and defamatory?  Every one of them has been turned into a 'pop' icon and used repeatedly in advertising?  One of them was so poorly executed that it began to decompose even during the artists lifetime?  Two of them were painted to settle an argument over artistic style? And one of them may not even be the painting it is claimed to be?

 

Historical

 

021

Flights of Fancy: A history of aviation before the Wright Brothers

– including the strange case of the mysterious airship of 1881

This lecture/presentation focuses not only on the highlights of the 'disciples of Daedalus', such as the famous Montgolfier brothers, but also the long series of failed (and often fantastical) attempts at flight.  In the end we will examine in detail the case of the mysterious airship which flew coast to coast across North America 30 years prior to Count Von Zeppelin's first experimental dirigible.  So the question arises... where did it come from?

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

 

022

Garroters, Thuggees, and Apaches oh my – 19th Century Street Crime and what was to be  done about it

Street crime, newspaper accounts, calls to action, self-defense weapons of every imaginable sort, and the movement toward physical culture, martial arts and the establishment of the police force and British constabulary

 

Steampunk

Combat

Historical

 

 

023

Gatling, Maxim and the automated machine gun

– from Inventors and Impostors - While both Gatling and Maxim certainly did invent and patent automatic weapons in the form of machine guns.  They were not, however, the first to invent the machine gun, though those earlier attempts never quite caught on.

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

024

Highland Scottish Dirk – Close Quarter Knife Combat in Kilts

 

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 30 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

025

History of the Future : Yesterday’s Tomorrow

 

Since humanity’s first glimmerings of intelligence, and continuing down to our own time, our greatest fear has always been of the unknown.  Sometimes the unknown took the form of trying to understand what the gods, or later God, wanted of us.  In most instances, however, this great and terrifying unknown took a more pragmatic form:  Will there be enough food for my family?, Will there be a war?, Will we win the war?, How can I prepare for the future?  If questions concerning the deity have been answered by the teachings of an endless train of religious dogma, answers to the later, more practical questions have proven far more elusive.  To overcome the near impossibility of foresight and alleviate our nagging, often debilitating doubts about the future, certain people have always come forth claiming to have, if not specific answers to the shape and outcome of future events, at least having insights that can provide the rest of us with guideposts to help us plot our way toward the future.  It is the visions and declarations of these people which are examined in The History of Tomorrow:  Visions of the Future.

 

From serious scholars and thinkers who, since the dawn of recorded history, have plied their trade by various and often magical means to the crack-pots, cranks and flat-out conmen, the litany of seers, visionaries, prognosticators and futurists who have attempted to illuminate the unknown tomorrows that face us presents an amazing insight into our own deep-seated desire to know what lies before us.     It is these individuals and their varied concepts of what tomorrow will bring that form the subject of The History of Tomorrow:  Visions of the Future.  Hopefully, by examining their lives, their work and our own, collective reaction to it, we can better understand ourselves and those unknown terrors which cast a dark shadow over how we fact the unknown that lies ahead of us all.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

026

Hocus Pocus – Hoc est Corpus:

A History of Magic  

This project shows the changing attitudes towards magic, magicians, witchcraft, sorcery, demonology, Satanism, and performance illusionists throughout history.

 

It  examines how different cultures throughout history have viewed, embraced or denounced “magic” and how the very definition of ‘magic’ has changed over time.  The lecture/presentation is structured chronologically to include treatments of magic and magicians in the ancient world, classical Greece and Rome, Druidic Shamanism, Medieval alchemists, sorcerers, and prognosticators, Renaissance prophets, seers, and mystics, witchcraft and the heresy trials of the Inquisition, New World Puritanism and witch hunts, 18th century legerdemain, 19th century séances, occultism, and prestidigitation, and finally to 20th century performance illusionists and ‘escape artists’.  

 

From the dawn of time, man has been fascinated by the idea of magical power and all it implies- from foretelling the future to conjuring demons and other denizens of unseen worlds.  We examine the whole history of the magic art in Western civilization, with particular emphasis on the famous - and infamous- practitioners who were revered or reviled for their beliefs.  From the early days of the pagan and classical religions we progress to druidism, sorcery, alchemy, witchcraft, the rise of Christianity and the fanatical persecutions that typified the Middle Ages, finally bringing us up to date with the modern revival and the man  who is perhaps its best-known figure, the notorious Aleister Crowley.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

 

027

Honor and Honour – does it still exist?

This session looks at the concept of honor in the western world.  It explores the origins of the concept and asks the question... does honor still exist?  And can honor still exist?

 

Historical

Pirates

Combat

 

028

How the British Empire Invented sport, Exported it to the World, and then proceeded to systematically lose at everything

 

The Victorians invented sport.  Of course sports and games have been played throughout history, but it was through the nineteenth century that most of the modern sports played around the world were developed, and codified.  The Victorians invented and published rules for sports. For the first time these sports and games were played in the same way and with the same rules in widely different areas.  Sporting equipment (croquet sets, tennis racquets, boxing gloves, etc.) was mass produced in factories for the first time and shipped with rule books  throughout the British Empire and around the world.  

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

029

How the Victorians Invented Christmas

 

Religious observation of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth has been observed for nearly 2000 years, but the origins of Christmas (as we know it) can be traced back long before the Birth of Christ.  But most of the traditions associated so closely with our modern observance of Christmas can be traced directly to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. During the Victorian period, Christmas grew to become a ubiquitous holiday throughout the British Empire. This lecture/presentation looks at how the Victorians invented Christmas.

 

Steampunk

Historical

Holidays

Inventions

 

030

In Search of Wonderland --

   Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell

This project seeks to explore the historical background and literary origins of one of the world’s most beloved children’s classics.  We take the viewer on their own trip down the rabbit hole to meet the author, Lewis Carroll and discover the strange relationship he had with a young girl named Alice Liddell.  We delve deeper to uncover the inspirations which led to the bizarre cast of characters which inhabit ‘Wonderland’ and explore some of the locations where these inspirations were found.  What does it all mean?  Is it an allegory for Victorian politics of Empire?  A morality play? A coming-of-age fable?  Whatever answers present themselves, this lecture will serve as a sort of hitchhiker’s guide to Wonderland and all that it contains.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

 

031

Industrial Revolutionaries – William Morris, Elbert Hubbard and the arts and crafts movement:

 

This lecture/presentation is an exploration of the arts and crafts movement and the ennobling of the artisan and craftsman (Material for this presentation is taken largely from my book Elbert Hubbard – the Commonsense Revolutionary)

At the Dawn of the 20th century, Elbert Hubbard was the best-known social philosopher and reformer in America; his ideas on management and the value of hard work were widespread throughout Europe, Russia and Japan.  A prolific writer, natural salesman and self-promoter, Hubbard’s influence was immense; but he was no ordinary revolutionary . . .  A successful businessman, Hubbard firmly believed in the capitalist values of profit and free enterprise – if their practices were accountable and their benefits shared equally.

With a practical philosophy based on co-operation, hard work and self-reliance – plus a radically progressive social conscience – Hubbard sought to reform a business world where workers were systematically exploited, honest companies routinely ruined and ‘robber barons’ ran riot over the economy of nations.

Writer, performer, philosopher and pragmatist, Hubbard’s story makes page-turning reading; his ideas and insights a wake-up call to our modern world of faceless corporations and empty rhetoric.

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

Business

 

032

Issac Singer and his sewing machine

 

Everyone knows what a sewing machine is.  And everyone knows that Singer invented the sewing machine. Except for the simple fact that he didn't.  This presentation (excerpted from my book Inventors and Impostors) contemplates the question... if Issac Singer did Not invent the sewing machine, then who did and why does Singer generally get the credit?

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

 

033

Italian and German Medieval Longsword (greatsword/ two-handed sword)

 

This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

034

James Watt and the Steam Engine 

 

The nineteenth century ran on steam.  This is a commonly accepted fact. It is also commonly accepted that the man responsible for the invention of the steam engine was Scottish inventor James Watt.  But while Watt may have been significant in the commercialization of the instigator of the Industrial Revolution, he certainly cannot be credited with its  invention as we shall discuss.  This lecture/presentation is excerpted from my book Inventors and Impostors

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

 

035

Kernoozers and Antiquarian Antagonistics : How a 19th century fascination with medievalism led to a revival of antiquated forms of combat

The Kernoozers were a select Victorian Gentleman’s club dedicated to the collection and study of antique armour and weapons (if you define ‘study’ as getting drunk and then putting on a 14th century cuirass to dance around and shout look at me, I’m El Cid, before falling down the stairs).  The Antiquarian Antagonistics professors included Capt. Alfred Hutton, Egerton Castle and Sir Richard F. Burton.  Together these two movements were an expression of the late Victorian Fascination with all things Medieval and Renaissance.  And the work and research and public demonstrations of their knowledge and skills laid the foundation for all medieval and renaissance researchers and practitioners to follow.

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Combat

 

 

036

Knights versus Samurai

 

Knight versus Samurai is an exercise in comparative history.  This presentation examines the parallels and discrepancies, which exist between the emergence of feudalism in Western Europe and Japan.  It goes on to examine the equipment and tactics of Medieval Knights and Medieval Samurai and dares to pose the question: What would have happened if champions of these two great warrior traditions had encountered each other in combat?

            

The fascination of comparing feudalism in Western Europe and Japan lies in the fact that the two cultures developed in total independence.  Because neither influenced the other, it is possible to look at the various factors involved in the growth of the two systems in such a way that each throws light on the other.

 

Knight versus Samurai concentrates on Western Europe between 400 and 1328 AD, and on Japan between 794 and 1868 AD.  It looks at differences as well as similarities and shows that the rhythm of development followed different patterns in the two places, although similar causes were often at work.

 

Pirates

Japanese

Combat

Historical

 

037

Management Secrets from History 

 

–      taken from my book of the same title

Managerial and administrative acumen from luminaries of history including but not limited to Elizabeth I, Moses, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Benjamin Franklin, H.J. Heinz, etc.

 

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Business

 

038

Masque –  a history of masks, makeup and disguise in film, theater, and performance

Frightening, fascinating and entertaining…

Since prehistoric times, in every culture, the mask has had the extraordinary power to attract and disturb. From the dances of shamans, to early Greek theatre; from Chinese Opera to comic superheroes like Batman; from Boris Karloff's Frankenstein to Doug Bradley's Pinhead and beyond… the mask has been used for its power to transform the wearer. It can idealize or frighten; impress or provide a link with unknown or uncontrollable forces.

 

Part One:  The Past of the Mask

• Shamanism

• Ancient Greek & Roman Drama

• Japanese Noh & Kabuki

• Comedia del Arte

• Chinese Opera

• Renaissance "Masques"

• Medieval Mummers

• Tribalism

 

Part Two: Masks on Stage and Screen

• German expressionism

• Boris Karloff

• Lon Chaney

• Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger)

• Vincent Price

• Star Trek (TNG)

• Christopher Lee & Hammer

• Wes Craven (Scream)

• Doug Bradley (Pinhead)

• Tim Curry (Legend)

• Voyager

• Farscape (Henson Productions)

 

 

This presentation can easily be combined with a mask-making workshop – if the organizers wish to discuss this workshop possibility, please contact me directly

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

039

Moral Fiber : Sylvester Graham, J.H. Kellogg and why eating cereal for breakfast was supposed to curtail masturbation.

 

As a rule, there's often more to folk wisdom than bad science, and so it is with myths about masturbation and other aspects of sexuality. In America, a peculiar flowering of these myths took place in the mid to late 19th century. Though the predictable culprits -- Victorian prudery, evangelical Christianity, entrepreneurialism -- are part of the picture, what's less known is the myths' century-old relationship with whole-grain foodstuffs. Thanks to certain influential health advocates, sex and diet were inexorably linked, and, for both, healthy meant bland.

The souvenirs of these efforts with us today are only ironic footnotes on the graves of two crusaders: Sylvester Graham, immortalized not for his sexual and nutritional reform but for the sugared brown crackers used in pie crust. And John Harvey Kellogg, a flaked-food believer eclipsed by his breakfast cereal dynasty.

Anyone familiar with the 1994 film “the Road to Wellville” or the book upon which it is based will be well aware of this bizarre story.  Health and Diet crazes are nothing new, and they are often a quick route to making a fortune; and even more so when packed in prurient morality.

 

Steampunk

Historical

Med-Quackery

Inventions

 

 

040

New York City Pirates

 

When we think of New York City (or even New Amsterdam) we do not generally think of pirates and piracy.  But from the time of its settlement , through the wars of independence and straight through the war of 1812, New York City was a hotbed of piracy.  Not only did pirates prowl the waters off the Atlantic seaboard for merchant vessel coming of going from the wealthy port city, but there was also a thriving black market for the stolen goods taken in piratical raids off the coasts of Virginia, the Florida keys and even the Caribbean.  The Story of Pirates in New York City is long and fascinating.  This material is taken from the research gathered for my forthcoming History Book, Pirates in New York City.

 

Pirates

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

041

Oak Island Treasure Mystery

It began innocently enough… in 1795 three boys discovered the top of an ancient shaft on uninhabited Oak Island in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.  The boys began to dig, and what they uncovered started the world’s greatest and strangest treasure hunt.  Two Hundred years of courage, back-breaking effort, ingenuity and engineering skill have so far failed to retrieve what is concealed there.

 

The Oak island curse prophesies that the treasure will not be found until seven men are dead and the last oak has fallen.  That last oak has already gone- and over the years, six treasure hunters have been killed in search of the legendary money pit.  What can the treasure be?

            

Theories include:

  • Francis Drake’s plate and jewels
  • Captain Kidd’s bloodstained pirate gold
  • The collected fortune of Bartholomew Roberts
  • An Army Payroll left there for safety Priceless Ancient manuscripts
  • The Complete works of both Roger Bacon and John Dee
  • The lost treasure of the Templars smuggled from Glozel and Rennes-le-Chateau in France

 

Historical

Pirates

042

Off with their Heads: A History of Execution - It’s variety and purpose around the world and throughout history

Public executions served a variety of functions through history including: deterrence; punishment; example; and even entertainment. During the enlightenment, humanism took hold and many attempts were made at changing public execution into something quick and painless as well as something increasingly private.  

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Inventions

 

 

043

Olympics… Combat Sports

Man is aggressive by nature.  For thousands of years he has had to fight to defend himself, his family or his territory.  The greatest threat, however, has always been his fellow man.  The earliest men an women fought one another with their bare hands or with sticks and stones.  As time went on, weapons were developed and the martial arts became more refined.

 

Combat Sports describes the way in which fighting skills were take from the battlefield and adapted to become the modern sporting contest we know today.  The series traces the history of sports, which include fencing, boxing, wrestling, and unarmed combat.  Modern techniques, Olympic eventing and famous exponents such as Annie Oakley, Muhammed Ali, Bruce Lee, and James Figg have all contributed to the popularity that these sports enjoy.

 

But it isn’t just limited to sports that involve competitive combat.  Sporting events, which derive from skills acquired in training for military exercise, such as shooting, archery, javelin/discus/shot, dressage/horsemanship, etc. will also be addressed.  

 

Combat

Steampunk

Historical

 

044

On Beauty – Vanity Fair

 

Are we really a vain society? Do we really have a more-than-normal pride in our appearance? To answer that, you’d have to define normal. There’s nothing wrong with being vain, as long as we don’t get carried away with it. We just want to look good – to look our best. And people have been working hard at looking their best for centuries. And that’s why cosmetics has such a long history. We’d like to take you through the history of cosmetics here; and let’s just see how similar we are to people living in 10,000 BC. In keeping with people’s desire to look the best, smell the best, feel the best – be the best – perfume has played an important role throughout history. Most of us don’t think of how long perfume’s been around – we just know that we like to apply the fragrance we love to make ourselves feel attractive. Well, if you look at the history of perfume, you’ll see that its original purpose wasn’t quite the same. And we’re going to do just that right now. The history of smiles is, of course, as long as the history of man. Before speech, there was always that international universal language – the smile. Everybody knows what a smile means. Everybody knows how important a smile is. And everybody knows that if we don’t brush our teeth, our smile won’t be so attractive. But teeth and smiles haven’t always been as bright as they are today. Way back then, people didn’t have the means that we have today to keep their teeth white. They used some pretty crude methods of teeth whitening. So let’s look back at the history of teeth whitening and find out how people did keep their teeth white.

 

Historical

Med-Quackery

 

 

045

Outlaws : Heroes on stolen horses – History’s Most Wanted

 

The very word “outlaw” conjures romantic images of daring adventures and courageous deeds – of men (and sometimes women) who have taken it upon themselves to fight the system for the greater good - Dashing, handsome figures who take from the privileged upper classes to redistribute wealth to the poor…  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

 

History’s Most Wanted tells the story of individuals who led lives of crime.  They were murderers, thieves, smugglers, liars, cheats and rapists… yet they have somehow grown to heroic status in the cultures which produced them.  Everywhere, around the world,  stories and legends have grown up around criminals which paint them as either nationalistic or socially egalitarian role-models.  History’s Most Wanted explores this unusual phenomenon by detailing the lives of a series of colourful individuals and comparing the reality of their lives with the romance of their legends.

 

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

 

 

046

Pirates in New England

 

From the earliest days of the Colonial era until the end of the Revolution, This lecture contains historical accounts of pirates, privateers, picaroons and patriots along the Maryland coastline.  Some of these tales included famous and infamous figures from the Golden Age of Piracy, while others may be lesser known or obscured by the pages of history, but all of them are absolutely real and played significant parts in the shaping of early American history.  This presentation is based on research gathered for my forthcoming book entitled Pirates of New England

 

Pirates

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

047

Pirates of Maryland

 

From the earliest days of the Colonial era until the end of the Revolution, This lecture contains historical accounts of pirates, privateers, picaroons and patriots along the Maryland coastline.  Some of these tales included famous and infamous figures from the Golden Age of Piracy, while others may be lesser known or obscured by the pages of history, but all of them are absolutely real and played significant parts in the shaping of early American history.  This presentation is based on research gathered for my forthcoming book entitled Pirates of Maryland.

 

Pirates

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

048

Pirates of New Jersey

 

From the earliest days of the Colonial era until the end of the Revolution, New Jersey's coastline swarmed with pirates who sailed back and forth across the Atlantic in search of plunder and rich prizes. Full of high adventure, dastardly deeds, and newly uncovered lore, this lecture features such famous characters as Capt. William Kidd and the notoriously cruel Blackbeard, as well as lesser known pirates from the Revolutionary War era who were based in Jersey. – This material is derived from my book: Pirates of New Jersey: Plunder and High Adventure on the Garden State Coastline

 

Historical

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

 

049

Pirates of Pennsylvania

 

Whenever I mention this topic to someone, I invariably get the reply that Pennsylvania didn’t have any pirates… but that is simply not the case.  True, Pennsylvania certainly doesn’t have the same degree of coastline as the other states on the East Coast, but Philadelphia was a hotbed of black marketers who specialized in fleecing the stolen booty brought in by pirate ships from waters to the south.  Blackbeard himself was known to keep a house there (as well as one of his 27 wives).  Furthermore, up until Delaware achieved statehood in 1787 it was part of Pennsylvania.  And as such the Delaware coastline saw a large amount of pirate activity which was recorded and can be found in the Pennsylvania state archives.

 

Pirates

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

050

Pirates of Virginia

 

From the earliest days of the Colonial era until the end of the Revolution, This lecture contains historical accounts of pirates, privateers, picaroons and patriots along the Virginia coastline.  Some of these tales included famous and infamous figures from the Golden Age of Piracy, while others may be lesser known or obscured by the pages of history, but all of them are absolutely real and played significant parts in the shaping of early American history.  This presentation is based on research gathered for my forthcoming book entitled Pirates of Virginia.

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Combat

 

051

Piratical and Naval Boarding Actions: Tactics and techniques for hand to hand combat in the Great Age of Sail

 

Boarding actions are unlike any other single type of hand to hand armed combat.  This lecture/presentation/(or interactive workshop)examines the complexity of naval boarding actions.  Weapons addressed will include cutlass, boarding axe, naval dirk, bowie knife and tomahawk, fixed bayonets, boarding pike, slung shot, etc..  It is presented by Professor Mark P. Donnelly who has been teaching boarding actions throughout Europe for about 10 years and is an acknowledged expert and certified instructor with the Historical Maritime Combat Association.

 

Pirates

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Combat

Historical

 

 

052

Private (or small group) lessons in armed combat systems

 

Most frequently, when attending large international swordplay or martial art conventions around the world, I get asked if I would be available for a private instruction lesson.  In these cases, I am always more than happy to oblige.  This, too, is a service which I would like to make available at non combat focused events, such as steampunk events or pirate events or renaissance fairs.  Essentially, the eager students would approach me directly and book a private lesson in any available time slots I might have.  A small fee would, of course, be asked in exchange for the one on one lesson (or for small groups of say, 4 or 6) depending on what combat system or weapon form they wish to explore.

 

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

Historical

 

 

053

Quack Medicines and Curatives

 

This presentation is a product of research I am currently exploring for a forthcoming book.  It deals with the strange, and frankly unbelievable, history of quack medicine, snake-oil salesmen and cure-alls. These 'cures' range from the fundamentally ineffective to outright dangerous, even fatal, remedies.  

 

Steampunk

Historical

Med-Quackery

Inventions

 

 

054

Rapier – Crossing Swords with Shakespeare and D’Artagnan

The history and use of the Rapier in both the Spanish and Italian traditions along with companion weapons (Gauntlet, Main Gauche, Buckler, Target, Cloak, Brace, etc.) This session is an interactive workshop.  Depending on the setting, the students/participants may be expected to bring their own equipment, though equipment for about 10 can be provided by Professor Donnelly.

 

Historical

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

 

055

Sabrage – the lost art of opening champagne with a saber

 

This session can either be a demonstration or a workshop on the flamboyant yet utterly pointless art of opening a champagne bottle with a saber.  If this is to be a presentation, I will teach and demonstrate this bizarre and esoteric skill.  If it is to be a workshop then any or all participants/attendees will be guided through the process of sabrage as they open their own champagne bottles (would could lead to quite a little celebration afterward (so perhaps best set for early evening).

 

Historical

Steampunk

Combat

 

056

Samuel Morse and his telegraph

– from Inventors and Impostors

The story of the telegraph is long and complicated, full of surprising, startling and amusing twists and turns. Functional apparatuses existed long before Samuel Morse became interested in telegraphy.  Why, therefore, does the world remember him as its inventor?

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

057

Sartorial Elegance for men – The rules

 

Any true gentleman knows not to wear legible clothing or even to attempt a black suit (unless attending a wedding, coronation, or funeral).  There are rules to men’s fashion.  What should or should not be worn (and when) can be a minefield of seldom explained rules and codes of dress.  This lecture addresses and outlines these rules for both today and eras now passed.

 

Historical

Steampunk

058

Satan: An unauthorized biography – The Devil through History

This is an historical overview of the personification of the concept of evil.  It is the story of giving evil a face, and how that face has changed over the centuries from culture to culture.  This research was originally compiled for a one-hour documentary of the same name which was produced for Irish television.  If desired, this program could be shown as part of or in addition to this presentation.

 

Historical

Med. / Ren.

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

059

Secret’s of the Sultan’s Harem

Dispels the myths and legends surrounding Harems – what they were and what they were not.  The Primary focus will be on Roxanna, a Christian woman captured as a slave in the late 18th century, only to be bought by the sultan, made a concubine in his harem, convert, and eventually become his first wife- effectively ruling the sultanate in his name.

 

Steampunk

Historical

Pirates

 

060

Sherlock Holmes and Bartitsu

 

Unlike the other Bartitsu workshops in this list, this session is a presentation focusing on the connection between Sherlock Holmes and Bartitsu.  If Holmes knew Bartitsu how and when could he possibly have learned it?  And if Arthur Conan Doyle didn't intend Bartitsu when he wrote ‘baritsu’, then what could he have meant?  This lecture can include a documentary on the origins of Bartitsu and its connection with Sherlock Holmes which we produced in 2009-2010.

 

Historical

Steampunk

061

Siege Warfare in the Classical and Medieval World

 

Combining ancient tactics for the assault and defense of walled cities with the new innovations in projectile weapons and strategies, the siege became the decisive factor in the outcome of many medieval military campaigns. If engineering principles would be of significant interest to the prospective audience, then the material can be examined with a specific concentration on heavy artillery siege engines. This session will include material from our book Siege: Castles at War and can also include an airing of our Discovery Channel program on Medieval Siege Warfare.

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

Historical

 

 

062

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Case of the Cottingley Fairies

 

The Cottingley Fairies appear in a series of five photographs taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, two young cousins who lived in Cottingley, near Bradford in England. In 1917, when the first two photographs were taken, Elsie was 16 years old and Frances was 10. The pictures came to the attention of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who used them to illustrate an article on fairies he had been commissioned to write for the Christmas 1920 edition of The Strand Magazine. Conan Doyle, as a spiritualist, was enthusiastic about the photographs, and interpreted them as clear and visible evidence of psychic phenomena. Public reaction was mixed; some accepted the images as genuine, but others believed they had been faked.

Interest in the Cottingley Fairies gradually declined after 1921. Both girls grew up, married and lived abroad for a time. In the early 1980s Elsie and Frances admitted that some of the photographs were faked using cardboard cutouts of fairies copied from a popular children's book of the time, but Frances continued to claim that the fifth and final photograph was a genuine photograph of a real fairy.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

063

Sir Richard Francis Burton:

 

This lecture/presentation presents a biographic expose of the exploits of the great 19th century explorer who traced the source of the Nile, worked as a spy and secret agent, went on pilgrimage to Mecca, and introduced Victorian England to the wonders of the Kama Sutra. (not to mention 1001 Arabian Nights).  This is a man who was referred to by no less than Queen Victoria herself as , “That great beast” - certainly a man worthy of a closer look.

 

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

Historical

Biography

064

Steampunk video pub quiz

 

Over the years I have constructed a number of 'pub quiz' style participatory challenges using video clips for international western martial art conventions, symposiums and gatherings.  They have always proved great fun and highly popular.  What I propose here is a steampunk equivalent, using clips and trivia and engaging those individuals who would rather sit in the bar than attend an evening concert.

 

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

065

Storytelling

 

Once upon a time I belonged to a storytelling troupe- several o0f them, actually, and though I do not still have the extensive repertoire I had once committed to memory, I retain a good number of stories and the ability to tell/perform them.  If the need and occasion arises while attending an event for the purposes of, say, book signing, I could do a half hour or forty-five minute storytelling performance for children.  This too, like several of the other presentations listed here, could be tailored thematically for a specific event.

 

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

 

066

Swashbuckler pub quiz

– video clip team quiz for swashbucklers (can be thematic-such as pirates, barbarians, zorro, etc) 

Over the years I have constructed a number of 'pub quiz' style participatory challenges using video clips for international western martial art conventions, symposiums and gatherings.  They have always proved great fun and highly popular.

 

Pirates

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

067

Swashbucklers and Ruffians:

 

Territorial gang warfare and the tactical and technological conflict between the combative styles of  Vincento Saviolo and George Silver in Shakespeare’s London (1590s).  This seminar discusses the strange gang-warfare which took place in the streets of London between two rival houses... the students of Vincento Saviolo and George Silver respectively.  This was not  just about academy rivalries, or class conflict or even about nationalism and a rebellion against foreign ideas and teachings, but was also a conflict which pitted traditional English backsword against the newly fashionable Italian rapier.  It was a conflict of cut versus thrust.  And it was a conflict which would forever change the course of civilian swordsmanship. 

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

Historical

 

 

 

068

Take a spare truss – Victorian travel advice for Steampunk adventurers

 

Victorian literature is filled with strange and curious advice for travelers. When combined with the outlandish claims of Victorian print advertising, we can see that late nineteenth century British travelers had to contend with exotic foodstuffs, intemperate climate, currency exchange rates, pickpockets, thieves, slave traders, sunshine, and even foreigners.  And yet, Mrs. C. E. Humphries wrote in 1897 of the British travelers duty: 'I... endeavour to convey as agreeable an idea as possible of ourselves to those countries which we honor with our distinguished presence in our little trips.'

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

069

Tales from the Tower of London:

 

The Tower of London, both palace and prison, has been at the center of more intrigue, terror and crucial turning points in history than any other site in England – this presentation includes material from our book Tales from the Tower of London as well as the three-part documentary series  entitled Tales from the Tower

 

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Historical

 

 

070

Tea and the British Empire – how leaves in hot water helped to build the British Empire

 

The story of how tea helped to create the largest empire the world has ever known is an odd and unpredictable one.  This presentation charts the course of that story (and of the Empire) and could be combined with a companion lecture on tea itself (its variety and forms) as well as its proper means of formal preparation.

 

Historical

Steampunk

071

The Life and Times of Bram Stoker

Derived from our ‘Origins of Dracula’ documentary

Abraham Stoker's play and subsequent novel entitled “Dracula” while not wildly popular in his lifetime has never been out of print since its publication in 1897 and has been one of the best-selling novels of all time.  This presentation traces the inspirational origins of various elements of Stoker's most famous story.  Where does it come from and why did he write it?  What does it mean and how can we interpret it in terms of his Victorian audience?

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

072

The Real Sherlock Holmes – Dr. Joseph Bell mentor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

This presentation profiles another luminary of history, the man who almost single-handedly invented deductive reasoning and forensic pathology.  He was the instructor and mentor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the University of Edinburgh, and served as the model for Doyle's most famous character, the inimitable Sherlock Holmes.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

073

The Victorian Internet : A bizarre and fascinating examination of the rise, abuse and decline of the telegraph

Every point of the globe connected.  Information, important and mundane, 
sent at lightning speed.  Spam, fraud, matchmaking over the wires and 
hacking into private information for illegal gain.  A perfect description of the 
Internet, right?  Hold on.  Long before the World Wide Web there were other 
forms of mass communication that made the same promises and offered the same 
opportunities.  THE VICTORIAN INTERNET is a dramatic, factual and often humorous look at internets before the world wide web.

Since the beginning of civilization it has been the goal of visionaries, governments, and the military to find a fast, efficient way to communicate with others in the hope that greater awareness of events at a distance would bring the world closer together, win battles and make fortunes for those 'in the know'.  Simultaneously it has been the goal of others to exploit every new means of communication for their own benefit, at the expense of others.  Roman roads, the first postal system, and the Pony Express have all offered the most up-to-date method of communication and each have been exploited to the hilt by the less than honest.  Each has been used, abused and totally misunderstood - but none so much as the telegraph and the modern Internet.

Following a brief look at the earliest attempts at mass communication, THE 
VICTORIAN INTERNET will take an in-depth look at the social advancements and havoc wrought - in equal measure - by the various telegraphic systems which 
first appeared just before the beginning of the nineteenth century.  In 1789 Claude Chappe proposed a system of semaphore-type towers strung out across the French countryside with the intent to transfer information from one end of the 
country to the other in a matter of minutes, he was met with a single response: Why?  It was almost the same reaction that would eventually be faced by Samuel F. B. Morse (inventor of the telegraph) and of the inventors of the modern Internet.  

Just as the Internet today is abused by fraudsters, so was the telegraph.  If 
bogus, get-rich-quick schemes are now rampant, imagine how stunned Victorian 
Englishmen were when they found that the results of horse races were being 
telegraphed from one end of the country to another so that last-minute bets could 
be placed with foreknowledge of the wining horse!  

 

Steampunk

Historical

Inventions

 

074

Things that every gentleman should be able to do - the lost art of civility

 

This presentation is not about Etiquette or Manners... it is, rather, about other lost skills and knowledge such as selecting and stoking a pipe, choosing a suitable wine, tying a bow tie or four in hand cravat, play baccarat or faro, or wager on a polo match.  The precise 'skills' covered will be determined in conjunction with the event organizer.

 

Steampunk

075

This is Halloween – An historical evolution of a holiday

 

Halloween has never been so popular yet so little understood … until now.  From the Celtic Iron Age feis of Samain to today’s Trick or Treat, the rites and revels of Halloween have a strange and secret history.

 

Was an ancient goddess of winter the root of our wicked witches? When did Halloween truly become the ‘festival of the dead’?

How did Scots customs and superstitions evolve into the modern multi-billion dollar festival of Halloween?

 

In this presentation we will encounter a phantasmagoria of giantesses, witches, fairies, ghosts and zombies as we journey from the standing stones of Britain to the Mexican Day of the Dead.  Along the way we will visit with: haunted attraction operators who make their entire annual revenue in a single fortnight; a coven of witches in Salem Mass., who revere Halloween as one of the most sacred days of the year; we will meet an evangelical minister who claims that Halloween celebrations are little more than institutionalized devil worship; and we will meet the candy and costume manufacturers who unashamedly confess to having ‘created’ the holiday as a means of increasing business.

 

But there is something else going on here.  Something deeper, more fundamental.  Something dark and disturbing which echoes back to the very origins of human civilization.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Holidays

Fantasy/ /Sci-fi

 

076

Tomb Raiders – Pioneers of Egyptology

 

This session is derived from material which we researched and wrote for a 12-part documentary series for La Cinquiemme in France.  Understand that this material is not focused on Egypt or even on Egyptology itself... this is about Egyptologists.  The biographical profiles presented in this seminar trace the history of Europe's fascination with the lands of the pharaohs.  It begins with Baron Vivant Denon who explored Egypt under Napoleon's command and progresses through Champollion (who deciphered the Rosetta stone and made the stones speak), through G.B. Belzoni, the Italian circus strongman who stole massive monuments and smuggled them to Britain, through Gaston Maspero who used dynamite to break in to the pyramids in search of gold (for the Louvre), through Flinders Petrie, and many others up and including Howard Carter and the discovery of Tutankhamen. The story of these pioneers of Egyptology is one which progresses from tomb raiding through a race to fill the museums of Europe with looted treasures and finally through the development of archaeology itself as a science.

 

Historical

Steampunk

077

Venus envy: a history of cosmetic surgery

The history of cosmetic surgery began more than 4,000 years ago. Although reconstructive surgery was used in India in 800 BC, the history of cosmetic surgery moved very slowly for thousands of years, especially in European medicine. (Eastern medicine’s history of cosmetic surgery is much more lengthy, with skin grafts and reconstruction described in several books on the history of cosmetic surgery.)

In the late 19th century the American medical community embraced reconstructive surgery and the history of cosmetic surgery in the United States began. The first major American surgeon to make his mark in the history of cosmetic surgery was Dr. John Peter Mettauer, who performed the first cleft palate operation in the North American history of cosmetic surgery in 1827 with instruments he designed himself.

War played a huge role in the history of cosmetic surgery. World War I presented physicians with scores of severe facial wounds and burns, changing the history of cosmetic surgery. Modern weapons caused types and severity of injuries that were unprecedented in the history of cosmetic surgery. Some of the greatest medical talent devoted themselves fully both to exploring the history of cosmetic surgery and creating new techniques to treat men maimed by the war. Aesthetic surgery took its place in the history of cosmetic surgery at around this time, as surgeons fully realized the influence of appearances on individual success.

The history of cosmetic surgery in America owes much to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS). In the history of cosmetic surgery, no such organization for American cosmetic surgeons had existed prior to 1931. Important steps in American history of cosmetic surgery took place due to the work of this institution, such as recognition of the progress and history of cosmetic surgery by the American Board of Surgeons. ASPRS members created the first qualifying exam in the history of cosmetic surgery in the US, and a number of other organizations for promoting the future and history of cosmetic surgery sprang up in the years that followed.

The modern, and more well-known, history of cosmetic surgery begins in the 1960s and 70s. Cosmetic surgeons were contributing to the history of cosmetic surgery in a number of areas, including a Surgeon General, and a Nobel Prize winner. The past few decades in the history of cosmetic surgery have brought enormous advances in treatment and awareness among the public. As the history of cosmetic surgery continues to be written, the ways to improve form and function will continue to expand.

 

Historical

Inventions

Steampunk

Med-Quackery

 

078

Weekend Warriors: A History of Historical Reenactment

Here, in the 21st century, most people believe that the phenomenon of historical re-enactment is a modern preoccupation with the past.  That may be so.  But if it is the case, it stems from a long and interesting history of antiquarianism.  Many cultures have gone to great lengths to stage spectacles of entertainment, which focused on the military endeavours of the past.  For example: 

v  Spectators visiting the coliseum in ancient Rome were likely to be treated to a staged re-enactment of the Trojan war or of the siege of Halicarnasus. 

v  In the Middle Ages elaborate tournaments were held for public enjoyment, which often took historical, mythological or legendary themes. 

v  In the atmosphere of the nineteenth century gothic revival, a strange and interesting anachronism - known as the Eglington Tournament - took place in Scotland, where nobles and peers of the realm were set against each other in a jousting tournament in memory of their famous and benighted ancestors.  

v  Flying aces in the first World War envisioned themselves as knights of the air, while their inheritors, the German military of the mid 20th century entered the second world war with an eye firmly fixed on the past; even going so far as to stage medieval tournaments for public spectacle.  

Today in the early twenty-first century, re-enactment takes two distinct forms.  Firstly, there are tens of  thousands of individuals who, despite varied professional backgrounds, congregate to re-enact battles and living conditions of times past on virtually every weekend of the year.  One has to stop and ask themselves why these ‘weekend warriors’ invest so much time, energy and money into such an unusual hobby.  

Secondly, re-enactment can be found in film, television and popular entertainment. In this form it seems to fulfil the role which it has since ancient times.  It serves as a means of teaching the past, of illuminating history, and in a sense, of using propaganda.  All of these things are subjects to be discussed in Weekend Warriors, the history of re-enactment.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Pirates

Med. / Ren.

Combat

 

 

 

079

Yee Oldee Dayees  -- Victorian Medievalism

 

The late 19th century was obsessed with the Middle Ages (or at least their own Victorian interpretation of the Middle Ages). From the works of Sir Walter Scott to the 'gothic revival' of architecture and decor; from the arts and crafts movement to pre-raphaelite painting and 'antiquarian antagonistics', medievalism infused the imaginations of the Victorian world.

 

Historical

Steampunk

Med. / Ren.

 

 

Presenter Bio

 “Professor Donnelly epitomizes the ideal of a true Gentleman Badass”  -New York Post

Mark P. Donnelly is a multi-award winning Author, Historian, Screenwriter, and Television Producer as well as internationally renowned Duelist, Swashbuckler, and constant gentleman.

For 14 years Professor Donnelly lived in the North of England where he founded the Society for the Study of Swordsmanship (seven full-time academies) and the Edenhill Academy of Arms.  Under these auspices he was fortunate to travel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe teaching Western Combatives, Historical Swordsmanship, Dueling, and Manly Arts.

With Edenhill Academy (enjoying both a Bishop and a Royal Prince as patrons), he has worked with HM Royal Monuments, English Heritage, the National Trust, National Maritime museum at Greenwich, Sandhurst Military Academy, The Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as the HMS Trincomalee, HMS Victory, and the Grand Turk. Professor Donnelly has been honored to have been counted among the top ten instructors in Europe.  Since returning to the States in 2008 he has taught at numerous institutions of higher learning, festivals, fairs and conventions.  He currently lives in Harrisburg, PA where he runs the Keystone Academy of Dueling and Swordsmanship (K.A.D.S.). 

Professionally, M. P. Donnelly has scripted and/or produced nearly 200 hours of historical documentary television for Discovery Channel, History Channel, BBC, PBS, National Geographic, and numerous European networks. 

He is also the author or co-author of twenty non-fiction books on a wide variety of historical subjects.  He is also inordinately fond of Port and would be happy to recount anything he has learned if you happen to have a fine bottle to share.

 

   

An article which appeared in a July 2011 issue of The Village Voice in New York City stated:

“A recent phone conversation revealed Donnelly to be an articulate, polite and thoroughly charming gentleman firmly in possession of a subtle but sure confidence that comes with the ability to kick ass at will.”