The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Daily Life in the Middle Ages - resource

At the risk of revealing how deeply nerdy I am... oh, well... if you're a listener, you knew that all ready, didn't you...

I mentioned a book on air today about life during the middle ages, and I've gotten a phone call asking for the details, so here it is.  I believe this is actually a textbook.  A family member looked at it, set it down and asked, "isn't that a little dry?" and yes, sections of it are dry and full of details, but it can be skimmed if you don't want to know, for example, exactly what kind of joints were used to put benches together and what kind of tool was used.  And if you do want to know these things, you're deeply in luck!

My biggest "take-away" from this book, (and one of the repeated mantras of the book,) is that:  paintings and historical films have given us a particular, harsh view of life in the middle ages which may be too much based on the fact that we look at crumbling castles with no furniture and imagine life in THAT.  The reality may be less barbarian: people are people and tend to make life as comfortable as we can make it, more colorful, with more of a society, and life for even the average person may have not been quite as stark and barren as we usually imagine.

Paul B. Newman
ISBN13: 978-0786408979
ISBN10: 0786408979
Edition/Copyright: 00
Cover: Hardback
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers
Published: 02/28/2001

For those interested in early music I find it a thoughtful touchstone for the reality of life in these times, and for those interested in Ren-fairs and reinactment, it has extended sections on what people wore... and you might want to take the leg o' mutton out of your bare hands, grab a napkin, and pick up a fork!

History ROCKS!  
Kara Dahl Russell

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