Author Archives: Dr Marty Klein

Day 13: The Final Battle

So Richard became king. He had many supporters, but many enemies. One was his dead brother Edward’s widow Elizabeth Woodville—mother of the nephews in the tower, head of a family abruptly out of power. Another was Margaret Beaufort, great-great-granddaughter of Edward … Continue reading

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Day 12: A Day With King Richard

This rainy morning I walked to Leicester Cathedral. Far less grand than York’s, it was tastefully built in 1086 in a beautiful brown stone I hadn’t yet seen in England. I was here to see Richard. Decade by decade, the … Continue reading

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Day 11: A Day in the Country at Conisborough

Today we drove south into Yorkist country, and headed for Conisborough Castle. It sat on the sidelines during the Wars of the Roses, but it’s an architectural gem with a quirky history. The castle was built by William, Earl of … Continue reading

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Day 10: Castles & Walls

For our last day in this area, we drove south again, on England’s A1 motorway (essentially a modern version of the 500-year-old Great North Road between London and Edinburgh). An hour later, we arrived at a small hill studded with … Continue reading

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Day 9: York Cathedral, From Bottom to Top

I had a perfect day today at York Minster (Cathedral). I started below it, continued above it, and finished in the center of it. The first church on the site was built in 627CE. One big fire and a few … Continue reading

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Day 8, Part II: The Killing Fields of Towton

While I pondered the bustling day in York, John brought the car around and we drove a half-hour southwest to the enormous battlefield of Towton. It was here on March 29, 1461 that the Wars of the Roses continued. The … Continue reading

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Day 8: York’s Medieval Metropolis

York is halfway between London and Edinburgh. Occupied on and off for 10,000 years, the actual town was founded by the Roman IXth Legion in 71 BCE. When the Emperor died in 306CE, it was in York that Roman soldiers … Continue reading

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Day 7: Time Out for Trains

That sound you hear is Europe’s largest train museum calling me, right here in York. I didn’t even try to resist. I spent most of today there, and barely scratched the surface of the place. The world’s first actual train … Continue reading

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Day 6: Medieval Abbeys, Connected By a Steam Train

Fully rested (and fully windblown), I finally bid farewell to the little seaside town of Redcar and headed south along the coast to another little seaside town, Whitby. Except this town hosted a blockbuster attraction—Whitby Abbey. Whitby Abbey started as … Continue reading

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Days 4 & 5: By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea…

I’m taking a break from the 15th century at a little seaside resort in 1962. I had this brilliant idea of spending two days by the sea—walking for miles along a placid beach, sitting outside reading, after-dinner strolling through a … Continue reading

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Day 3: South Into England: The Wars Begin

Historian John Sadler arrived in the morning to start our drive south. He spoke more or less non-stop the entire day, which was at times tiring. But he is so breathtakingly knowledgeable, I really couldn’t get enough of either his … Continue reading

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Day 2: Walking Tour of Edinburgh: Scotland Really Is A Separate Country

The place we now call Edinburgh has been continuously inhabited for 10,000 years. When the Romans arrived they found a thriving Celtic community. The area eventually passed to a fierce tribe of medieval Angles (as in Anglo-Saxon), who lost it … Continue reading

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Day 1: Edinburgh, Jewel of Scotland

Scotland and England have had an uneasy relationship for a thousand years. And no place in Scotland resonates with this history more than Edinburgh–which is where I found myself on day 1 of my trip. Windy, cloudy, warm, cold–I had … Continue reading

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Coming Up: The Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses were a series of battles that took place across England between 1455-1485. Battling for the English crown, the civil war lasted through the reigns (and untimely deaths) of kings Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V, … Continue reading

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A Week in Medieval France

My college roommate–let’s call him James for privacy’s sake–grew up to be wealthy, famous, and good-looking. I appear to have escaped all three of these fates. When he recently invited me to spend a few days with him at his … Continue reading

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Day 9: Ending the Trip Where It All Began

Today was a lazy day: a walk on the wide windswept beach of Sullivan’s Island, and a cruise around Charleston Harbor. The star of that show, of course, is Fort Sumter. Built by the federal government after the War of … Continue reading

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Day 8: Charleston, SC: Ellis Island of African-American Slavery

Charleston is as “ancient” as a U.S. city can possibly be, and today I took a wonderful walking tour of this gorgeous city. My incredibly knowledgeable tour guide could not stop talking, one story inevitably cascading into another. Everywhere we … Continue reading

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Day 7: A Cultural Tourist Meets His Tribe

I had one more stop in Savannah: the Georgia Railroad Museum. Train museums are repositories of great industrial beasts and fascinating human stories. The best ones not only collect stuff, they research, repair, and save our heritage from permanent destruction. … Continue reading

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Day 6: My Tour de Forts

Although Union General Sherman outnumbered Confederate General Hardee 7 to 1 (with troops that were better equipped, better led, and convinced of their destiny), it took Sherman 10 days of maneuvering to capture the city. The reason is the ring … Continue reading

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Day 5: “I Beg to Present to You the Gift of Savannah…”

It was painful to drag myself away from Dr. Bob and Milledgeville, but my longest drive beckoned. I had three hours of rural Georgia ahead of me—towns with names like Black Creek, Willie, and Social Circle, each with one or … Continue reading

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