The Luttrell Village: Country Life in the Early Fourteenth Century

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9780001958388: The Luttrell Village: Country Life in the Early Fourteenth Century

In the 14th century Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, who owned a village in Lincolnshire called Gerneham, commissioned a psalter, or prayer book, to be made for him. As well as including prayers, psalms and a calendar of the seasons, the Luttrell Psalter also shows pictures of Sir Geoffrey, his family and tenants as they went about their daily lives. This rare and beautiful book is preserved in a glass case in the British Library in the British Museum. Using the psalter as her inspiration and guide, Sheila Sancha has studied the present-day village, the surrounding hills and the archaeological evidence and has reconstructed the lives of Sir Geoffrey's villagers. The Luttrell Village traces a year in Gerneham from ploughing, through sowing, harvesting and threshing, to Plough Monday when the cycle begins again. It shows how the people of the village were almost entirely self­sufficient; grinding their flour, shearing their sheep, making their clothes and shoes, building their homes. And it shows how interdependent the villagers were: the carpenters, the smiths, the swineherd, as well as the village officials: the steward, the bailiff, the hayward. The result is a stimulating and rewarding book. Sheila Sancha makes these villagers live for us as she shows how they battled against the wind and rain, guiding their 14th century ploughs pulled by teams of oxen over the muddy fields.

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Sancha, Sheila
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