Ten Misconceptions
about the SCA Guild known as the Gilded Pearl

by Lady Andrea MacIntyre

  1. It's a personality cult surrounding Isabella of York. Though she and Mistress Morwynna Cryw co-founded the Guild in A.S. 26, as inspirational as their influence is, they are only advisors. They purposely wrote themselves out of the organization after its first two years. And if you keep up with the news, Isabella currently has bigger fish to fry. Besides, if you think the Gilded Pearl is Isabella-heavy, join and tip the scales!

  2. Only Laurels need apply. The (now former) guild mistress, who at the time this was written, is a companion of the Maunche, the East Kingdom's arts order of merit. No Laurel, she. Most members don't even have that. Besides, if you think the Gilded Pearl is peer-heavy, join and tip the scales!

  3. If you don't do garb, forget it. Admittedly, since the only SCA requirement for participants is a reasonable attempt at period garb, the clothier's skill is held in particularly high esteem in the Society. And to hear history tell it, the Renaissance valued resplendent costume too. But every other discipline you've ever heard of anyone doing in the SCA was either refined or started in the Renaissance -- some without which we in the 21st century would be lost. So if you think the Gilded Pearl is garb-heavy, join and tip the scales!

  4. Since their time period is 50 years after the SCA cutoff, they're not legit. Explain Tuchux! We study halfway into the 17th century, and in exchange we've vowed never to break off from the SCA, but always to function as a guild within it.

  5. It's too scholarly, and members have no fun. Are we talking about the same Isabella of York? And what was so boring about the Renaissance? What books have you been reading? The motivation to do what the Guild does is the same as the Society in general: fun in learning through Living History. Besides, if you think the Gilded Pearl is geezer-heavy, join and tip the scales!

  6. Members have to work hard. The completion and presentation of a project is a membership suggestion. But the projects can be things you'd do anyway to keep up in the SCA. Just describe how you made it, how a period person would have made it, in what ways you did different, and why. Don't look now, but you just did documentation!

  7. Involvement is mostly a résumé-stuffer for a future arts order. Primarily, as you can read in our statement of purpose, it is for the love of the period and the joy of creativity. The guild has no special insider connection with any of the orders or Their Majesties of the several Kingdoms; when they consider your merit, it's just you and your work, as it is outside the Guild. Yes, Her Majesty of the East is our founder; however, once you get to know her, you'll see that as Queen she'll bend over backwards to show objectivity. The Pearl as a fast track to peerage? Think again. Work, perhaps (no guarantee). Membership, no.
  8. You have to have a Renaissance persona to join. Tell that to our Tuchux, our Mongol, our Viking, or everyone else who just wants to satisfy a curiosity about some facet of the European Renaissance!

  9. The rules are too complicated. Admittedly, they're quite complete and though-out, and granted, some of the titles and positions have somewhat long and intimidating names. But as any set of rules, when used properly they help ensure fairness, give the floor to anyone with something to say, welcome guidance by experience of past leaders, provide for change and improvement, distribute the workload widely and evenly among many active members throughout the Knowne World, and most importantly, guarantee uninterrupted momentum and growth. A big job, for a big charter.

  10. It's dead. Nice try. To quote a post-Period philosopher, the rumors of the Gilded Pearl's demise are greatly exaggerated. The fact is, we're kicking bumrolls and taking names!

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