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The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman's World Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Although daily dangers were many, housing uncomfortable, and the dominant smells unpleasant indeed, life in England at the turn of the previous millennium was not at all bad, write journalists Lacey and Danziger. "If you were to meet an Englishman in the year 1000," they continue, "the first thing that would strike you would be how tall he was--very much the size of anyone alive today." The Anglo-Saxons were not only tall, but also generally well fed and healthy, more so than many Britons only a few generations ago. Writing in a breezy, often humorous style, Lacey and Danziger draw on the medieval Julius Work Calendar, a document detailing everyday life around A.D. 1000, to reconstruct the spirit and reality of the era. Light though their touch is, they've done their homework, and they take the reader on a well-documented and enjoyable month-by-month tour through a single year, touching on such matters as religious belief, superstition, medicine, cuisine, agriculture, and politics, as well as contemporary ideas of the self and society. Readers should find the authors' discussions of famine and plague a refreshing break from present-day millennial worries, and a very stimulating introduction to medieval English history. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
I have been writing about the Queen now for nearly forty years, and this little book is intended to distil and re-shape what I've learned into one pleasant afternoon's reading - a summary of its predecessors Majesty (1977) and Monarch (2002, Royal in the UK), with further research and thoughts on Elizabeth II in the year of her Diamond Jubilee.
'Lege feliciter', as the Venerable Bede used to say - May you read happily!
- Robert Lacey, January 2012 - http://robertlacey.com
Robert Lacey is an historian and biographer whose research has taken him from the Middle East ("The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Saud") to America's Mid-West ("Ford: the Men and the Machine"). "Majesty", his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II, is the definitive study of British monarchy - a subject on which Robert lectures around the world, appearing regularly on ABC's Good Morning America and on CNN's Larry King Live.
Top Customer Reviews
For example their diet was very different to ours. No spinach, tomatoe, potatoe, tea, coffee or chicken. Farming life was hard, and overall hygiene was of little importance, as without knowledge of disease subsistence and survival was placed higher on the list than clean dinner plates. Smelly residences were taken as given, as one simply lived with the inconvenience of dung from animals as part of ones daily life. No smoke from cars, or cigarretes, or noise from airplanes and highways, but smelly dung was eveywhere. There were no forks at the table, just knives. If you dropped your food on the floor, you ate it, but one recited a saintly word for the privelage. Clothes were less flamboyant, but coloured by innovative dyes. The queen in chess was of little importance and power, until Queen Elizabeth came around several centuries later. There sorts of details are just a few of the many intriguing bits of information presented in the book.
There is lots more, but you will have to muse over these in that 21st century train, bus, leather lounge, clean-sheeted bed, or by that modern resort swimming pool yourself. Lucky aren't we? Perhaps in another thousand years people will read about these sorts of things in their different lifestyles, think themselves lucky, and be thankful for our memories and contribution. I have no doubt they will.
A quick read and overall enjoyable
The authors' depiction of life at the end of the first millenium breaks away from many of the Anglo-Saxon stereotypes we hold in our collective unconsciousness. For example, do you think of pre-Norman Englishmen and women as short and malnourished, with rotten teeth? Well actually, their average height was similar to people in England today and they had very good teeth because their diet contained no sugar (sugar cane was imported from the Caribbean some six hundred years later). Although life was short (averaging forty years) and physically hard by today's standards, it had a particular richness, as this passage shows:
"They were practical, self-contained folk, not given to excessive agonizing or self-analysis. They knew how to make and mend, and when their day's work was done, they could also be very good company, since one of the most important things they had learned in their lives was how to entertain themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a nice, light easy reading book with lots of interesting trivia. Opens up the world of year 1000. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tim Porter
I had just finished binge-watching Vikings and this book felt like the source material for a lot of it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cirrus
Interesting survey of the times. Not "just" the year 1000, actually about 4 centuries surrounding. Good review of English, European and Vatican history. Read morePublished 4 months ago by CT reader
Good overview, but is largely England's history of the time.Published 5 months ago by Gabbard Publications (Consignment)
A very readable and clever book. Brilliant structure, basing the chapters on aspects of life from the 12 months of the (then) contemporary Julius Work Calendar and the equally... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Harry
Looked into this book, it is a Christmas gift for my husband, and I know he will be very interested in the info in here!Published 8 months ago by eggmama