Daily Life in Chaucer's England

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Experience the medieval world firsthand in this indispensable "hands-on" resource, and examine life as it was actually lived. The first book on medieval England to arise out of the "living history" movement, this volume allows readers to understand-and, if possible, recreate-what life was like for ordinary people in the days of Geoffrey Chaucer. Readers will learn not only what types of games medieval Britons played, what clothes they wore, or what food they ate, but actual rules for games, clothing patterns, and recipes. Student researchers will benefit from a multitude of resources, including primary source sidebars, a chapter on online resources and digital research, information on medieval reenactments, a timeline of events, a glossary of terms, numerous illustrations, and a comprehensive print and nonprint bibliography of accessible sources. Supporting the world history curriculum and offering an interactive supplement to literature curricula, this volume is a must-have for students and interested readers.

Detailed and meticulous, this volume examines all aspects of life in medieval England, down to basic fundamentals like nutrition, waste management, and table manners. Readers will explore:

• seasons

• holidays and holy days

• the prevalence and normalcy of death

• the average workday

• crafts and trade

• decorating practices

• recreational activities like archery and falconry.

Parallel situations and quoted material from The Canterbury Tales also draw direct connections to Chaucer's work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Forgeng is a curator at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts; McLean is an author, illustrator and scholar who is active in medieval recreation and living history. They update their 1995 description of 14th-century England with information and insights they and other scholars have gleaned over the intervening decade, and incorporate

the growing medieval presence on the Internet. They discuss society, households and the course of life, clothing and accessories, arms and armor, food and drink, entertainments, and other aspects. An appendix offers guidance on conducting a medieval event." - Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313293757
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Series: Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1210L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. JEFFREY L. FORGENG is Paul S. Morgan Curator at the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Humanities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He has published extensively on topics including daily life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Robin Hood legend, and the history of games, as well as medieval and Renaissance martial arts. Forgeng did his doctorate in Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto specializing in medieval and Renaissance languages and cultural history, and was for many years an editor for the Middle English Dictionary.

WILL MCLEAN is an author, illustrator and independent scholar who has been active in medieval recreation and living history since 1975. He runs and takes part in recreations of medieval tournaments and other deeds of arms. He has published work on medieval deeds of arms, combat, physical culture and society.

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Table of Contents


Preface to the Second Edition



1. Historical Background to Chaucers England

2. Society

3. Households and the Course of Life

4. Cycles of Time

5. Material Culture

6. Clothing and Accessories

7. Arms and Armor

8. Food and Drink

9. Entertainments

10. Chaucers World


Appendix: The Medieval Event

A Guide to Digitally Accessible Resources

Classified Bibliographies

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