Yes, I've been watching Pillars of the Earth--the series finale is on tonight and I'll have to pant in anticipation on Netflix over my (so far) work-free weekend because we don't have Starz.
As I've been reading Elizabeth Chadwick lately, an author who writes in the medieval period from Conquest down to The Anarchy (which is when Pillars takes place) to Angevin kings to Bad King John and his sinking treasure, Pillars fits in with that time period.
Plus, it fills a little bit of the void left for me by the departing Tudors. British boys! Yes, one of them plays a total psycho, which is unfortunate, as he's actually quite good-looking. But even my lust has boundaries. (Which basically means that near-mute, shy, sensitive artist types get me every time...)
I digress. Upon clicking around on the Interwebs, just reading about the actors, the characters and the time period, I came across author Ken Follet's website. Along with an incredibly confusing character web for Pillars' sequel, World Without End, there's also a map of Kingsbridge, the village the stories take place in, and most valuable for me...
A map of the fictional priory/ cathedral which is central to the story in Pillars.
All right, Sunflower, why is this a big deal? It's a frickin' map!
I've been mulling over a story that takes place around the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s. The protagonist is the son of a monk and a nun. He's also something of an adventurer (I'm going to send him to Italy in the 1520s, just to eat pasta and primitive pizza. Yum!). I decided that he's from Yorkshire, England, because in 1536ish that part of the country rose up in rebellion against Henry VIII.
But he grows up in a priory and while I figured that a library, church, and cloisters were part of the whole deal, I wasn't entirely sure. And if I can't figure out the facilities of a Catholic priory in Yorkshire, then how am I going to get this boy on the Silk Road, I ask you?
But now I have an idea of what a typical priory may have looked like and I drew a map out for my own story uses. Yay!