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Publisher's Summary

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.
(P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Annette on 05-07-08

great listen

I'm not a dedicated student of the age, but I dabble. this is pleasantly presented and informative in a non-scholarly level manner. I enjoyed it immensely. Glimpse life in an age misrepresented frequently, but don't expect too many details, it's a short story covering a wide range of lifestyles.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Chi-Hung on 02-03-09

A classic...but...

There is a reason why this book is a classic, written in 1924 when Rankian history was still in its full glory, this represent an pioneer attempt to write a history from below, unfortunately, social history do seldom make interesting audiobooks for lay listener or readers, people seldom find prices of wool or domestic lives interesting.

I found this book focus too much on the High middle ages, as oppose to middle age proper, it could have focused more on the churchman instead of the nuns, it could have touched on the feelings of the pikesmen instead of Marco Polo, and why was Marco Polo even mentioned anyway, he's hardly representative of the "People."

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Derek on 04-30-11

Medieval People

If you are a history of the common man person rather than a which king killed who's brother buff then this fasanating book is a must for you. I cannot get enough of it !

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4 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Teresa Cooper on 07-26-16

Sorry, but no.

I found the pace slow and I'm sorry to say, it felt as if the narrator was having to read at a much slower pace than needed. Overall I found it dragged on, and for an era that has more get up and go, was very sad. But I will have a reread to give it another chance.

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