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One Hundred Books for the Princess

September 27, 2011

You may realize that I participate in a medieval group, endeavouring to learn old skills and make artful things. My branch undertook a group project, and I decided to make it a tale, sent to another…

Greetings, Master Cathal Sean from Halima al-Rakkasa.

The tale of “One Hundred Books” is a fine tale, O he who rules the scriptorium. I shall give you my version of it forthwith.

‘Twas a fine late afternoon of the Hartwood August “Armada”, a mere six weeks past. In the fading heat of the day, amidst the distribution of Kjartan’s mini-crossbows, much discussion arose of shire-sized endeavours, the forms they might take, the people they might involve, the skills they might require.

Then did Master James suggest the making of books, many books, and he being one who has taught no few of us the skills of Coptic bookbinding, naturally did talk flow to such an endeavour. As we explored the concept, we realized that even those of us who had taken his class were somewhat lacking in complete comfort in the needed skills, whereupon Master James offered to teach us again, as often as it would take for the learning to “take”.

For these skills to be well-shared, many books were needed to be made by many artisans; being that Her Highness Lenora of Tir Righ was present at our discussion and Coronet was in the offing, the purpose became clear: Books for Tir Righ Largesse.

Stepped forth then Her Ladyship Doireann and His Lordship Kjartan with the offer of a wood chest to hold the books. Discussion sprung up anew… How many books would it take to fill such a chest? Perhaps… One Hundred!

Led by Master James (skill and enthusiasm), Seneschale Marina (leading by example) and Mistress Cecille (A&S and organizer), the Cry was, “100 Books for Largesse!

Thus it was.

Showing a book - largesse is cool.

Photo by Meagan - "Largesse is Cool", a possible quote from artisan Scathach.

It came to pass that many hands came forward to make Coptic books in many colors of covers, leaves and stitching, in two sizes (and 5 Oriental bindings). The small chest was made, painted with the populace badge of Tir Righ.

Lady Elspeth designed and printed on her hand-press bookplates, one for each and every book, so that all would know that these were given by the hands of Their Highnesses of Tir Righ to those whom They would favor. The bookplates late come, those last few hours before the presentation, everyone cut and pasted like maddened creatures to get them completed before Court! It was wonderful madness!

Those who participated in this project presented this gift of largesse to Their Highnesses Alden and Lenora in court at September Coronet, with device and banners flying in the warm breeze of the day. Even the dogs wore barding in the Hartwood colors.

It was a magnificent day when the Shire of Hartwood determined to undertake the project, and a magnificent day when it was complete. May the sun continue to shine on such efforts of united creativity.

Thus ends my tale; if it does not please, it did not happen.

yours in service,
Halima al-Rakkasa

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