For Unit 13 we have been assigned an open project, which lets us, the creative, use the skills we have learnt throughout the two years to create a product at the end. We can create anything within this unit as long as we use skills we have learnt in workshops or techniques we have learnt in our own time. Within these 11 weeks, I hope to make an illustrated non-fiction history book about the Vikings, with some fantasy aspects. I still have not decided the length of the story, or the age rating but I know that I will create an illustrated book – or part of an illustrated book – at the end of these 11 weeks. As I have done with other projects, I have marked down the pros and cons of this idea: though I can combine both passions illustration and history to create a book, I still do not have the skills to make said book. I also wanted to make sure it was something I want to do for 11 weeks and was an idea I was definitely passionate about. I do not want to spend a majority of the project researching and creating characters for this story to then lose interest.
Why I wanted to make this book was to make people more aware of what the Vikings were really like and not listen to the false information that is given through the media. The show Vikings by the TV channel History does contain historically accurate information about the leader Ragnar Lodbrok (Lothbrok); following his life from when he lived on the farm, became the king of Copenhagen; married Aslaug who then gave birth to Ragnar’s infamous son Ivar The Boneless; him going to England and France, but their is some information which is very inaccurate. Floki, who is Ragnar’s bestfriend in Vikings never met Ragnar nor did he work for him. In-fact Ragnar has been speculated to have died around 840, while Floki was born in 830. I doubt Ragnar would be friend’s with a 10 year old. Another false fact is Rollo being the brother of Ragnar. He did become the Duke Of Normandy, that is a true fact, but he had no connections to Ragnar. History created Vikings to show the stories of different Norsemen that were documented in books. It was clear the show was romanticised and should not be taken as fact, but people who are exposed to this show and have no knowledge of the Vikings will think everything throughout the show is fact; My book will clear that up.
As I want this book to be as historically accurate as possible I need to research the key events that happened when the Vikings were prospering. I will look at reliable websites, as some websites can give you false information, and find out the information that I would need for my book. While also looking at websites, I will go to my college library to see if they have books to do with Vikings and their history, along with finding picture books to get an idea of how they layout their writing with the illustrations. If I cannot find these books I will go to the central library in Manchester as it will most likely contain the books I will need to help me with my project. For primary research I was planning on going to York, home for the Jorvik Vikings. They have a museum which contains different artefacts that these Norsemen left behind, along with a reenactment of how the Vikings may of lived when they made home in York. Getting this information will give me an understanding of their living arrangements and how life might of been for a Viking. Unfortunately the Jorvik centre got flooded so it will get reopened in April, so I may have to use the information I get from this centre as additional information. If my mum has the time I will ask her to take me to Castleton, a small town located in Derbyshire. Why I want to go to Castleton is because the town is close to when the Vikings prospered in England, artefacts from 1000 A.D still being around: the Peveril Castle which was created by William Peveril, the illegitimate son of William The Conqueror, who then became the King Of England. From looking at the family tree, William The Conqueror ancestor was Rollo, the Duke Of Normandy – I will look more into this.