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Medieval People [Kindle Edition]

Eileen Edna Power
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $0.00
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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews


"It possesses a color, a dramatic touch that humanizes." -- --New York Tribune

Product Details

  • File Size: 405 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B004K2OASC
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00849XHLI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,785 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A view of History from the Medieval Kitchens May 16, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Eileen Power's Medieval People sets out to study the Middle Ages not from the viewpoint of an Historical abstraction, but rather from that of the people who lived during the age. It is an account of six individuals who lived during the MA's; Bodo, a Frankish Peasant; Marco Polo, the famous Venetian merchant; Madame Eglentyne, prioress of Chaucer; an anonymous middle-class Parisian housewife; and two English merchants, one engaged in the wool trade and the other a clothier in Essex. The author has illustrated various aspects of social life of the era by drawing on such sources as account books, diaries, letters, records, and wills. She starts the work with a previously unpublished essay entitled "The Precursors," which describes the barbarian conquest of Rome. In this, she describes the lives of three men, Ausonius, Sidonius and Fortunatus and uses them to foreshadow the life that would re-emerge in the Middle Ages.
She starts by imagining a day in the life of the Peasant Bodo, in the time of Charlemagne. From her study of primarily economic documents from the Middle Ages of this time, she not only extrapolates but truly brings to life Bodo and his wife Ermentrude. From there, she goes on to the better documented life of Marco Polo, and also describes how he served as an inspiration for Columbus. Madam Eglentyne is next. Here, Power humorously details the inner workings of a gossipy nunnery and how Eglentyne would have gone about her life as an aristocratic women of God. She next details the life of a middle class Parisian housewife by studying the contents of the Menagier's Wife and validating many of it's points by citing other documents. She concludes by detailing the lives of the two Thomases; Betson and Paycocke of Coggeshall.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real taste of real life October 4, 2001
Eileen Power studies the Middle Ages, not from an abstract historical point of view but from simple and real people and what we can know about them. I particularly like her study of Marco Polo, from his notes and diaries, which gives us a materialistic and realistic vision of what they saw of the world, and not what we want to see of what they saw. I also loved Madame Eglentyne, a prioress taken from Chaucer but at once identified to one particular prioress through real life archives and descriptions. A very interesting and useful book to enable us to capture the density of everyday life in the Middle Ages.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History at its best, up close and personal. July 21, 2002
Wonderful scholarship in a most readable written style. Goes beyond institutions to discover real people of the "middle" ages.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to follow December 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Since this book attempts to describe the daily lives and lifestyles of people living during the Medieval period, the concept behind it is brilliant, so I had high expectations. Unfortunately, this book fails miserably in its execution.

I read the first chapter, the one on Bodo. It was OK, so I thought the book had potential. The next person was Marco Polo. After pages and pages in English, and also in Latin and French too (which I do not know), describing places, people, rulers, dates, trade-routes, and exotic merchandise connected with Venice (and still no mention of Marco Polo), it became difficult to decipher what she was saying since it was all so unfamiliar to me.

The author's narrative is difficult to follow, unless you are an academic scholar already well versed in the historical and literary events, people, and places she refers to in her work. The positive reviewers are most likely more learned and read than I, and could therefore follow the storyline and enjoy the book. However, for me, it became a chore to plow through the seemingly endless and unfamiliar references that form the basis of this book. I had to skip all the Latin and French parts, which are not translated into English. In the end, I gave up. Even though I did not enjoy the book, I gave it two stars because the Kindle edition is free, if you want to try.

If you are knowledgeable about the Medieval Period and its history then you might enjoy this narrative. If you want more down-to-earth descriptions about the people and lifestyle of the Medieval period, I suggest you search for a book that is easier to read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars By a Medieval Scholar for Medieval Scholars March 23, 2012
By Silver
I very much enjoyed this book on my MP3, but I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is not (as I am) fluent in the subtleties of the mores, language and customs of Medieval times, as well as Latin and French.

Eileen Power (the author) frequently uses terms with which the modern reader will not be familiar without explanation. For example, she speaks at length about the cloth industry, and repeatedly mentions fullers and fulling without once explaining the duties of the fuller. Wikipedia defines fulling as a step in woolen clothmaking which involves the cleansing of cloth (particularly wool) to eliminate oils, dirt, and other impurities, and making it thicker. Few modern readers would know (without continually resorting to another reference) many of the terms frequently used which are important for following the stories told in this book. The rare definitions she does provide tend to be for terms which are not essential to the stories and are notable by their very rarity.

Long sections of the book are written in Latin french (I have no idea if it is modern or Medieval french) with no translation. As someone who knows little to no french or Latin, this was quite frustrating. An occasional french phrase might be puzzled out in a similar book, but entire pages are not within the grasp of the average reader, even the average well educated (American) reader.

The author dropped names from literature with which she expected the reader to be immediately familiar. She expected an immediate familiarity with each of the characters from Chaucer, and their habits and stories, as well as other literary and historical figures.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reread it many years after I was "forced" to do so in college and it is truly a masterpiece!
Published 14 days ago by William Sullivan
3.0 out of 5 stars Series of biographical sketches make this fairly readable
This book relies on historical documentation to reconstruct the lives of several known but not famous people though medieval times. Read more
Published 6 months ago by James C. Casterline
5.0 out of 5 stars This was actually a good read for me
This was actually a good read for me. I can't exactly vouch for any accuracy in the details, but I can say that I did enjoy this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by KRM
4.0 out of 5 stars Visit the Middle Ages
This book is a wonderful summary of all the etiquette, pitfalls, work and recreation especially for those planning to visit in the Middle Ages after they invent the time machine. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amy Sass Sigmon
4.0 out of 5 stars Amor Vincet Omnia & Five Other Lively Stories
"Medieval People: The Story of Six Ordinary Lives in the Middle Ages" tells the stories of two English wool merchants of the Elizabethan period, a French peasant from about 1200,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Owl
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking in another's shoes....
I would like to thank Bertrand Russell for turning me onto this gem of a book. Dr. Power in this work lays the basis for the type of history embodied in the treatment of the U.S. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Gregory Alan Wingo
4.0 out of 5 stars A Look At Real People Who Lived During Medieval Times
This book gave me some good insight to those who lived in Medieval times. Much better than I had before. Read more
Published on February 25, 2013 by Lynn Ellingwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
It is an interesting summary of the lives of people in early times. Some of it has been supplemented or replaced by more recent studies so it should be read with caution. Read more
Published on December 27, 2012 by Alvin M. Revzin
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval People
This is a fabulous read. Anyone interested in the middle ages would enjoy this book. As a student of medieval history this book is a must.
Published on April 18, 2012 by Rhonda C. Benton
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This was very interesting for the first half of the book; however it does get boring as time goes on. Read more
Published on January 7, 2012 by A. R. St Jean
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