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Chaucer's people : everyday lives in medieval England /

by Picard, Liza [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2019.Edition: First American edition.Description: xx, 341 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9781324002291 : HRD; 1324002298 : HRD.Subject(s): Great Britain -- History -- Medieval period, 1066-1485 | Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400 -- Characters | Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400. Canterbury tales | England -- Civilization -- 1066-1485
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Among the surviving records of fourteenth-century England, Geoffrey Chaucer's poetry is the most vivid. Chaucer wrote about everyday people outside the walls of the English court--men and women who spent days at the pedal of a loom, or maintaining the ledgers of an estate, or on the high seas. In Chaucer's People, Liza Picard transforms The Canterbury Tales into a masterful guide for a gloriously detailed tour of medieval England, from the mills and farms of a manor house to the lending houses and Inns of Court in London.In Chaucer's People we meet again the motley crew of pilgrims on the road to Canterbury. Drawing on a range of historical records such as the Magna Carta, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Cookery in English, Picard puts Chaucer's characters into historical context and mines them for insights into what people ate, wore, read, and thought in the Middle Ages. What can the Miller, "big...of brawn and eke of bones" tell us about farming in fourteenth-century England? What do we learn of medieval diets and cooking methods from the Cook? With boundless curiosity and wit, Picard re-creates the religious, political, and financial institutions and customs that gave order to these lives.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 315-326) and index.

Originally published: Great Britain : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Maps (p. xiii)
  • Introduction (p. xix)
  • Country Life
  • I (p. 3)
  • The Wife of Bath
  • Her appearance
  • The wool trade
  • Matrimony
  • Pilgrimages
  • Jerusalem
  • Rome
  • Compostela
  • Cologne
  • Sinai
  • The pilgrimage ways
  • Paperwork
  • Vicarious pilgrimages
  • II (p. 23)
  • The Ploughman
  • His appearance
  • Agricultural methods
  • The Great Pestilence
  • The poll tax
  • The rebellion of 1381
  • III (p. 39)
  • The Miller
  • His appearance
  • The mechanism of a mill
  • The peasant and the miller
  • The profits of a mill
  • The weather
  • IV (p. 47)
  • The Reeve
  • Medieval land tenure
  • Estate accounts
  • The villein
  • V (p. 53)
  • The Franklin
  • Hospitality
  • His status
  • Justice of the peace
  • Knight of the shire
  • Sheriff
  • City Life
  • VI (p. 61)
  • 'Mine Host'
  • Travel in England
  • Southwark
  • The stews
  • The wine trade
  • Alehouses
  • VII (p. 71)
  • The Merchant
  • The financial world
  • The wool trade
  • Chaucer's job
  • The Staple
  • Financing the wool trade
  • The foreign money market
  • The Hanseatic League
  • The Great Companies
  • Apprentices
  • Journeymen
  • VIII (p. 90)
  • The Five Guildsmen: the Haberdasher, the Carpenter, the Weaver, the Dyer and the Tapicer
  • Fraternities
  • Aldermen
  • IX (p. 100)
  • The Cook
  • Kitchens
  • Equipment
  • Recipes
  • Drink
  • Bread
  • Feasts
  • Food colourants
  • Spices
  • Ingredients
  • The poor
  • X (p. 123)
  • The Doctor of Physic
  • Astronomy
  • The humours
  • Fourteenth-century diagnostics
  • Apothecaries
  • Surgery
  • Mental illness
  • The monasteries
  • Common diseases
  • The royal touch
  • The Great Pestilence
  • Women's medicine
  • XI (p. 146)
  • The Sergeant of the Law
  • The Sergeant's practice
  • The courts
  • Court procedure
  • Land law the common law
  • Magna Carta
  • Other statutes canon law
  • Pardons
  • XII (p. 167)
  • The Summoner
  • His job
  • His appearance
  • His morals
  • XIII (p. 170)
  • The Manciple
  • The Inns of Court
  • Legal education
  • The Manciple's job
  • Food-shopping
  • His accounts
  • The Religious Life
  • XIV (p. 183)
  • The Monk
  • The monastic orders
  • His worldly prospects
  • XV (p. 189)
  • The Prioress
  • Her character
  • Table manners
  • Life in a nunnery
  • XVI (p. 196)
  • The Friar
  • The four orders
  • The Franciscans
  • Brother Bozon
  • The Dominicans
  • The Austin Friars and the Carmelites
  • Chaucer's Friar
  • XVII (p. 204)
  • The Pardoner
  • His appearance
  • Pardons
  • Relics
  • Chaucer's Pardoner
  • XVIII (p. 209)
  • The Clerk of Oxenford
  • Oxford University
  • The Dominicans
  • The life of an undergraduate
  • The books he read
  • The Great Translation movement
  • Parchment and vellum
  • Book production
  • Writing as a profession
  • Chaucer's Cleric
  • Coda: the Canon and his Yeoman
  • XIX (p. 226)
  • The Poor Parson
  • The ideal
  • Chantries
  • Wycliffe
  • The holy oil
  • Pictures and legends
  • The Armed Services
  • XX (p. 237)
  • The Knight
  • Chivalry
  • The medieval army
  • Hastiludes
  • Tournaments
  • Jousts
  • Armour
  • Le Liure de Seyntz Medicines
  • Conditions in the field
  • Heraldry
  • The Knight's campaigns
  • A just war?
  • XXI (p. 255)
  • The Squire
  • His campaigns
  • His rank
  • His appearance
  • Clothes
  • The fur trade
  • Footwear and garters
  • Underwear
  • Music
  • Other accomplishments
  • Romantic love
  • XXII (p. 269)
  • The Yeoman
  • As a retainer
  • Bows and arrows
  • Archery
  • The French War
  • Crécy
  • Poitiers
  • Compulsory training
  • The forest law
  • St Christopher
  • A medieval joke
  • XXIII (p. 280)
  • The Shipman
  • Medieval shipping
  • Naval warfare
  • Navigational skills
  • The world picture
  • Marco Polo
  • Mandeville's Travels
  • Epilogue (p. 298)
  • Appendix A Grosmont, Gaunt and Bolingbroke (p. 306)
  • Appendix B 'The Cutty Wren' (p. 308)
  • Appendix C One penny would buy eight red herrings or four larks... (p. 310)
  • Notes (p. 315)
  • Index (p. 327)

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