Carry out the King's secret mission and learn of medieval life at the same time.
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Stephen Biesty is an artist of phenomenal talent with remarkable visual skills. As a child he spent hours drawing castles, knights at battle, and ferocious Vikings, taking inspiration from films such as Spartacus, Ben Hur, and Anthony and Cleopatra, which fueled his already fertile imagination.
In 1980, he attended Brighton Polytechnic where he specialized in historical reconstruction illustration and developed a particular interest in what went on inside castles and other ancient buildings. After graduating from Brighton with a BA in Graphic Design, Stephen earned an MA in Graphic Design at City of Birmingham Polytechnic working further in historical reconstruction.
Stephen became a full-time illustrator in 1985 and has since worked on a variety of information books for adults and children. It took Stephen two and a half years to draw the wonderful illustrations for the best-selling Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-Sections, which was published in 1992. That volume was the inspiration for a new range of cross-section books which include Man-of-War (1993), Castle (1994), Incredible Pop-Up Cross-Sections (1995), Incredible Explosions (1996), Incredible Everything (1997), Incredible Body (1998), and DK Amazing Pop-Up 3D Time Scape (1999). Stephen Biesty lives in Somerset, England with his wife and son.From Publishers Weekly:
A knight or a baron may dwell in the 14th-century castle lovingly recreated here, but Platt and Biesty's (Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Man-of-War) latest book is, quite simply, fit for a king. In the style of the previous Cross-Sections titles, each oversized spread shows a cutaway view of an area of a quintessential castle and is organized around a central theme (e.g., "Building the Castle," "Livestock and Produce," "Weapons and Punishment"). Biesty brings a jeweler's eye to his seemingly infinitely detailed illustrations, while Platt supplies punchy bite-sized text blocks to highlight information about the edifice itself as well as those who lived within its walls. They introduce the ale connor, who would test the purity of the beer by pouring a bit onto a bench and then sitting on it; low-quality beer would be sugary and would glue the connor's leather breeches to the bench. Hunting dogs, Platt states, lived in heated kennels and ate specially baked bread; hot water was such a luxury that even a 13th-century English king bathed no more than once every three weeks. Easy frames of reference (a suit of armor "cost about the same as a car costs today") help the reader assimilate these disparate facts, and Biesty and Platt are sure to please the younger members of their audience with their candor about such subjects as latrines and methods of torture. A challenge to find the enemy spy who lurks amid the packed spreads is icing on the cake. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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