English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages

By A. Abram | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVIII
NATIONAL CHARACTER

To the majority of men, we think we may safely say, the study of their fellow-men is the most absorbing of all studies, the problems of human character the most fascinating of all problems. We have tried to picture to ourselves the lives of our forefathers in manor-house and cottage, in monastery and market-place, to learn how they worked and how they played, what they ate and drank, and how they dressed; but most of all we want to know what manner of men and women they were. To this question we have not yet been able to give our full attention because we have been so occupied with trying to understand the conditions under which their lives were passed, but it is time for us to turn from the consideration of their environment to look at the people themselves. We have, at intervals, caught glimpses of them, and, in passing, have ventured to make a few suggestions about their characters; but these have, of necessity, been scattered and fragmentary, and now we wish to gather them together, and to add to them some information gained from other sources, so that we may, if possible, have a clear and comprehensive conception of them. But we confess that the thought of what we are attempting to do fills us with misgivings, for we realize how difficult it is to form an

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English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • List of Illustrations xiii
  • Abbreviations Used in the References xv
  • Chapter I- Social Classes 1
  • Chapter II- Life Amongst the Aristocracy 9
  • Chapter III- Characteristics of Town Life 18
  • Chapter IV- The Position of Women 31
  • Chapter V- The Church and the Nation 46
  • Chapter VI- Some Aspects of Monastic Life 62
  • Chapter VII- Business Life 80
  • Chapter VIII- The Unemployed 95
  • Chapter IX- Aliens in England 103
  • Chapter X- Family Life 113
  • Chapter XI- "Mete and Drinke" 134
  • Chapter XII- The Mirror of Fashion 152
  • Chapter XIII- Houses 173
  • Chapter XIV- Public Health 190
  • Chapter XV- Education 204
  • Chapter XVI- Amusements 230
  • Chapter XVII- Travelling 248
  • Chapter XVIII- National Character 260
  • Appendix Authorities 284
  • Index 337
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