Life in a Medieval Village

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9780060162153: Life in a Medieval Village

A lively, detailed picture of village life in the Middle Ages by the authors of Life in a Medieval City and Life in a Medieval Castle. "A good general introduction to the history of this period."--Los Angeles Times

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From the Back Cover:

Reissued for the first time in decades, Frances and Joseph Gies’s classic bestseller on life in medieval villages

In Life in a Medieval Village, acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies reveal what life was actually like in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the village of Elton, in the English East Midlands, the Gieses detail the agricultural advances that made communal living possible and the social and economic divisions that separated lord from serf that made life so difficult for so many. Life in a Medieval Village takes modern readers through every aspect of day-to-day life, describing the villagers’ diet (centered around a bland stew called pottage lacking in nutrients), how they harvested crops, and the central role of the church in maintaining social harmony. We learn the clothes villagers wore, their (sometimes lacking) standards of personal hygiene, and the bizarre treatments they devised for a variety of medical maladies. But it wasn’t all bad: the medieval village was one of the first functional modern societies, and its surprisingly advanced legal system and code of conduct helped lay the groundwork for contemporary civilization.

Though the main focus is on Elton, circa 1300, the Gieses supply general historical context for the origin, development, and decline of the European village. Meticulously researched and vividly told, Life in a Medieval Village illustrates the captivating world of the Middle Ages and demonstrates what life was like during a fascinating—and often misunderstood—era.

About the Author:

Frances and Joseph Gies have been writing books about medieval history for thirty years. Together and separately, they are the authors of more than twenty books, including Life in a Medieval City, Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval Village, The Knight in History, and Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. They live near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Gies, Frances; Gies, Joseph
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