Perhaps this interview would have been better suited over a mug of mead down in the forgotten crevices of a pub in England. Professor Richard Kaeuper is the brain tank for all things Medieval and has published several books on knights, chivalry and just how those legendary figures actually worked.

Kaeuper teaches several classes on British history, including History through Myth: King Arthur and Robin Hood, Topics in Medieval History and British History to 1485.

Let’s start with what got you so interested in knights, chivalry and Medieval Europe.
I have always liked it since I was very young. I was fascinated with the medieval world, but I thought I would be a chemist and would just have a hobby of reading about the Middle Ages. I liked chemistry very much and was cautious about leaving it. But I finally came to think that I should do the thing that I liked most, and if I could do it for a living was what tipped the scale.

If you lived back in medieval times, who or what do you think you would have been?
Well I couldn’t be a monk. I would probably be some small farmer or townsmen trying to stay out of the way.

If you could bring back anybody from medieval times, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I think I would bring back Sir Thomas Mallory and ask him what he really thought about the quest for the Holy Grail.

What is it that you think draws people to the times of Arthur and the round table?
At a more superficial level, it’s the color and romance. At a somewhat deeper level, it’s the idealism and the sense of renewal in the stories.

What was the last book you read?
‘Border Crossings” by Sue Barker.

If you could be one animal, what would it be?
A terrier, probably because I don’t let go, I get ahold of something and don’t let go. And of course I’m friendly but feisty.

Clark is a member of the class of 2012.

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