ANST - Personae vs. Garb

dennis grace amazing at
Tue Aug 12 23:15:58 PDT 1997

Greetings, Cosyns,

Lyonel ici.

Mst. Siobhan asks:
>Most of us chose our personas fairly early in our SCA life, before we knew a
>lot about the various time periods and cultures.  My question is this:  if
>you had it all to do over again, would you choose the same time and culture?
>Would you choose a different one?  Why?

For me, I'm not sure I can say I ever managed to develop an actual stable
persona, per se.  I originally started out as Lyonel d'Hierosalema, just
your basic low budget crusader hiding out in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
I kinda figgered I'd moved into Jerusalem from somewhere in Occitan (ahem,
admitting where could compromise my family).  I wore the cyclas and the
bliaut and studied Bertran de Born and Raimbaut d'Aurenga (what was
happenin' back home) and William of Tyre, Baldwin IV, and Raymond de Chatillon.

Then the SCA world intruded.  First, the Queen of Atenveldt begged me to
keep my surname; it was her second reign and she'd developed a strange
fondness for the name "Grace."  She seemed so earnest, I didn't know how to
refuse.  Then I squired to a powerful Atenveldtan Duke whose house was
primarily late 14th century and Elizabethan players.  Since the household
all did quite a bit of time-suring, I also did a bit of time surfing.  I
wore lots of 14th century cotehardies.  I wore 15th century houppelandes
(the long Burgundian velvet and the short King Rene d'Anjou organ-piped).  I
wore a 9th century viking outfit for a few months; I was Principality herald
for a Viking Prince.  I even allowed a well-meaning householder to make
cavalier garb for me (black and gold with red pants); I'm afraid I never
felt too comfortable in that particular outfit.  When Aquilanne and I were
invested as Baron and Baroness of 1000 Eyes, we wore blue Tudor garb (early,
Henry VII; I hate puffy pants).

>What about you?  Are your perfectly happy where you are, or are there other
>cultures in which you'd like to dabble?

Since I no longer know exactly where I am, I guess I'm pretty happy.  If I
had it to do again, I probably would have started out in 14th century
Normandie or Navarre.  I like the short cotehardies and high riding boots.
I don't think I'd like living in a country that was getting it's a*s kicked,

But "dabble," you say?  We-e-e-e-e-ll, I've still never worn one of those
gawdawful puffed and slashed Landsknecht things.  And I've considered trying
to devise garb and armor for a 16th century Aztec warrior.  And the weather
here would probably be amenable to an Italian Renaissance doublet with
parti-colored hose.  And Persian armor looks pretty cool.  And I still want
a full length, Byzantine, bejeweled tunic replete with jeweled shoes and
gloves and a cloth-of-gold stole.  

So many genres, so little time.

Here, lost and playing in the time stream, je reste

lo vostre por vos servir

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace.
Dennis Grace
University of Texas at Austin
English Department
Recovering Medievalist
amazing at

Micel yfel deth se unwritere.
                           AElfric of York


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