Medieval people, by Eileen Powell

35840584Medieval People is an account of the lives of six individuals who lived during the Middle Ages: a Frankish peasant; Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler; Madame Eglentyne, prioress of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; a middle-class Parisian housewife; two English merchants, one engaged in the wool trade and the other an Essex clothier. The author has illustrated various aspects of social life of the era by drawing on such sources as account books, diaries, letters, records, and wills. (from Goodreads)

I’m pretty sure I said this before, but just in case: I’m a sucker for the middle ages. For reasons unknown. Or, maybe, for reasons I’m too lazy to try to explain in a language that’s not my own. Let’s move on.

The original text is from the 1920s, and it a very pleasant and amiable reading. It takes several characters from history or literature to build a “prototype” and explains through that character a generalization of their trade, social class and lifestyle, building an entire story from (sometimes scattered) data taken from the aforementioned sources.

I read chapters from this book as early as my first year of college, second semester (oh, so young!). Since that very particular semester, and thanks to this and other texts from that same class, I felt deeply for it and the middle ages and I have been in a very happy ten year long relationship with it (?). So I was very happy to find this book last year in a second-hand bookstore, and finally read it in its entirety.