In this classic of social history, the author describes the lives of obscure men and women of the Middle Ages. She draws on account books, records, letters, diaries, and wills to make the life of those times as concrete and comprehensible as our own. There are full-length portraits of Bodo, a Frankish peasant in the time of Charlemagne (9th century); Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler; Madame Eglentyne, the Prioress of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; the 15-year-old wife of a 14th century Parisian bourgeois; and two English merchants of the 15th century, Thomas Betson of the wool trade and Thomas Paycocke of Coggeshall, an Essex clothier.
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