Updated: Oct 4
If you really want to know about armor and the men who wore it, you could ask any number of eminent historians. But if what fascinates you is knowing how it's made and how it functions, then let me introduce you to Nigel Carren.
I first came across Nigel on Twitter. Not because I was looking to have the dents in my umpteenth great grandpa's pikeman's pot straightened out, nor was I wanting to commission a reproduction set of Polish Winged Hussar armor complete with brass detail, perfectly to scale and fully articulated. If I had, it's certain I would have found the right man for the job. His references are impeccable, his customers range from the Imperial War Museum, International Auction Houses, Private Dealers, Movie and TV Studios and other media. In fact when I'd finished checking out some examples on his website, I was only sorry that all I had in mind was asking if Nigel would consider reviewing Shamus Dust for me. All the same, I was overjoyed when he he agreed, and the book was mailed.
Then fate took a hand and while Nigel was busy with a few projects he had to complete, Shamus Dust had been stolen from under his nose and was being read by his father, Raymond Kidby, across the English Channel in Brittany. And so it came as a surprise the other morning to find I had my very first review from France and a handwritten one at that! Such a deliciously, personal touch which straight away brought back the feeling that always went with those letters that arrived through a hole in the front door and landed skitter, scatter on the mat! I loved it. See what you think:
No prizes for guessing who's who here.
If you really want a treat visit Nigel Carren's astonishingly detailed and informative website. On the other hand if what you're most keen to know more about growing foxgloves or 'olly 'ocks in Brittany, best get on down to the post office for an envelope and a stamp. Raymond's clearly got that down to a fine art.