Daily Life in Chaucer's England

Daily Life in Chaucer's England

Daily Life in Chaucer's England

Daily Life in Chaucer's England

Synopsis

The medieval world comes alive in this indispensable "hands-on" resource to life as it was actually lived - with authentic recipes, clothing patterns, songs, dances, and games. The first book on medieval England to arise out of the "living history" movement, it recreates the daily life of ordinary people, not just the aristocracy, by combining a hands-on approach with the best of current research. The how-to sections are all based on original sources and much of the material is made available here for the first time. The most basic facts of life are systematically covered in a readily accessible format organized for easy reference. Clearly illustrated with 126 drawings, patterns, and diagrams, plus sheet music, it provides a treasure trove of information for classroom and library use and for those interested in recreating aspects of medieval life. A chronology of medieval England, a glossary, appendixes with information and ideas on organizing a medieval event, and suggestions for further readingcomplete the work. This is an indispensable resource for classroom and school and public libraries because it gives readers a true understanding of what it would actually be like to live in 14th-century England.

Excerpt

The life of medieval people has exercised a fascination for English speakers for two hundred years, since the romantics and antiquarians of the late eighteenth century began to rediscover the medieval past. There is indeed good reason why we should be so interested in the Middle Ages. Childhood plays an enormous role in shaping adult life, and in many respects the Middle Ages were the infancy of the society we know today. Between us and the classical world there lies a real historical break, for the fall of the Roman Empire broke off the development of Greco-Roman culture. Since the Middle Ages, however, there has been more of a historical continuum. the institutions that shape our world evolved during the medieval period: cities, universities, nation-states, and the common law are all inherited from the medieval world. Today, even people from lands unknown to medieval Europe are profoundly influenced by the medieval heritage. the language of the Beatles and of Martin Luther King is the language they inherited from Chaucer--the medieval world shapes our own in ways that are more far-reaching than we can ever fully perceive.

This book focuses on the daily life of people during a particularly fascinating period of the English Middle Ages. By custom, the Middle Ages in England are reckoned to have lasted from the fall of Rome (roughly the fifth century A.D., depending on what historical event one chooses as the moment of Rome's fall), until the end of the Wars of the Roses, with the accession of Henry vii in 1485. Sometimes the term is used in a more limited sense to indicate the period after the Norman Conquest in 1066. in either case, the Middle Ages spanned a number of centuries. in . . .

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