Winning Wednesday: Mouse Pad

Behold the Dawn by K.M. WeilandThis week’s Winning Wednesday winner is Guy Wade. In order to win the prize of the book The Age of Pilgrimage by Jonathan Sumption, he correctly answered the question “What was a jongleur?” A jongleur was a wandering minstrel who sang the compositions of troubadours or recited epic poems in noble households or royal courts.

Minstrels in the Middle Ages

Circa the ninth century, jongleurs emerged as a class of travelling performer, a combination of musician, poet, actor, and mountebank. Held in contempt by the church but embraced wholeheartedly by the noble classes to whom they catered, jongleurs were romanticized throughout the Middle Ages. They did everything from writing sonnets (sometimes commissioned by the noblemen and women who patronized them) to juggling and fire acts to training bears. Even women were occasionally seen among the jongleur ranks, although they were primarily dancers, acrobats, and juggling assistants. Eventually, the various types of performers split into distinct categories—most famously poets and minstrels—with jongleur being more of a catch-all term. By the fourteenth century, medieval performers began forming their own guilds.

Congratulations, Guy! Your prize is in the mail! Please feel free to enter again.

This week’s prize: A Behold the Dawn mouse pad.

This week’s question: “Which of the following was not a common medical practice in the middle ages?”

A) Bleeding.B) Visiting sacred relics.
C) Herbs.
D) Anesthetics.

Excerpt From Behold the Dawn

In Behold the Dawn, Lady Mairead, the Countess of Keaton, and her husband Lord William are prisoners in a Saracen camp when the survivors of the Battle of Acre are dragged in:

She started forward, but trudged only a few paces before the sight of another knight arrested her. He lay on his back in the trampled sand, while two brethren of the Hospital struggled to remove his blood-crusted armor.

He was a giant of a man, easily head and shoulders above most in the camp, and the breadth and depth of his chest and arms bespoke a terrible strength. He had a strong, square chin, barely cleft, and a set to his mouth, even in sleep, that revealed an iron will. A white scar rived his right cheekbone and disappeared into the fair hair above his ear.

The blood-blackened hole in the mail above his left breast showed what it had taken to bring him down. The bodkin that had inflicted the wound was gone, pulled from his flesh by his Moslem captor or perhaps by his own hand. His face was pale, his breathing shallow, his body still.

She drew nearer and stopped at his feet. “He lives?”

The Knights Hospitalers turned to look at her. The one on the left inclined his head. “He lives, Lady.” His accent was unfamiliar, possibly from the southern regions of France.

The other, undoubtedly English, laid a knife to the knight’s tunic and slit it up the middle. “For now, he lives. He’s lost much blood.”

To enter this week’s contest, use the form at the bottom of the left-hand column to email your best guess. Deadline is Tuesday, August 18, 6:00 p.m. MST. One name will be selected from the correct entries and announced next Wednesday.

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland is the award-winning and internationally-published author of the acclaimed writing guides Outlining Your Novel, Structuring Your Novel, and Creating Character Arcs. A native of western Nebraska, she writes historical and fantasy novels and mentors authors on her award-winning website Helping Writers Become Authors.

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