Friday, November 13, 2009

Renaissance Books Are Out

One of the great things about doing work for hire is being able to spend time researching topics that fascinate me. The Renaissance is endlessly interesting to me because it was such a pivotal point in history. My two books are part of a whole series, so my topics were 

Cities and Statecraft in the Renaissance


Religion in the Renaissance

When I do work for hire I always like to find something within my realm of experience to bring to the project. This doesn’t have to be large, but I find it helps me as a starting point to connect to the topic on a more personal level. I mean, I’m trying to connect kids wtih the topic so hopefully I myself connect to it first. 

With this series I spent time remembering my trip to Europe some decades ago. I strolled those streets in Florence, often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. I visited the cathedrals there and in Rome and many other major cities. This is my photo of the Duomo in Florence. Photos don't do the detail on it justice. 

One of the things that fascinated me most while I was pretty much anywhere in Europe was the History, and I do mean that with a capital H. Everywhere there were places or buildings that had existed for centuries, and they were  simply a part of the everyday lives of the people who lived there. That’s not something many North Americans experience in the same way.

I remember the marble cathedral steps worn down in the middle by the passage of thousands of feet through time...the bronze polished by hundreds of hands wanting their own little bit of good luck. Yes, that's me getting some good luck from the boar in the Florence market.

It's very satisfying to see this project finished. I worked with Bender Richardson White for Crabtree Publishing. I hope these books help to hook some kids onto a small piece of history.