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Author Topic: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd  (Read 804 times)

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Offline bronwynevaine

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Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« on: March 13, 2017, 05:47:34 pm »
Can anyone recommend sources--fictional and nonfictional--discussing the lives of servants and commoners in medieval England, Scotland, and Wales? I know they didn't leave much documentary evidence...

I'm a fairly skilled researcher and familiar with most of what my local library has to offer. I'm also pretty sure my fellow forum members will have some great ideas...
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 06:42:55 pm »
Try a Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.  A very interesting read. 
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Online Evie

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 08:37:37 pm »
Try a Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.  A very interesting read.

I'll second this recommendation.  Others that you might find of interest are the various titles about medieval life by Joseph and Frances Gies (s/a Life in a Medieval City, Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval Village, etc., although I think those have been consolidated in their Daily Life in Medieval Times); and Daily Life in the Middle Ages, by Paul B. Newman.  I haven't read Jeffrey Singman's Daily Life in Medieval Europe, but IIRC his book on Elizabethan England was good, and he also wrote The Middle Ages: Everyday Life in Medieval Europe. (I am assuming these are not the same book released under different titles, though that sometimes happens between editions or on different sides of the Atlantic.)  For first hand accounts of medieval daily life, I'd try finding a book on the Paston Letters (family letters preserved from the time period of the Wars of the Roses, IIRC); the Johnson Letters (more Tudor era, but still enlightening--letters preserved from a merchant family); The Good Wife's Guide (probably also written about under other similar titles, but the original work was Le Menagier de Paris), which is fascinating because it was originally written as a guidebook by an older husband for his third wife, a young, inexperienced bride in her teens, and it's full of household tips, social advice, and etiquette of the day.  He wanted to teach her how to run a household efficiently and how to establish a good reputation in society because he knew she was far likely to outlive him, and such skills would make her an attractive candidate for remarriage, not to mention that training up a wife of sterling reputation who excelled in household management would reflect well on himself.  (Keep in mind that for women who weren't inclined towards religious life, most women's financial security came from securing a good marriage unless they were fortunate enough to be skilled in a craft that would allow widows to run their own business.)  Also, the websites linked here might get you started:  http://besthistorysites.net/medieval-history/
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Offline Elkhound

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 09:20:35 pm »
Perhaps this could be fuel for a "Lower Deck Episode"  http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LowerDeckEpisode

Offline revanne

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2017, 02:55:23 pm »
A bit left field but how about "Canterbury Tales". Also Piers Plowman, which I read a long time ago so I can't remember any of the details of the translation, but gives a flavour of ordinary life, albeit through a particular prism.
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And all the men and women merely players;
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And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 03:25:55 pm »
I have a book that was a gift from a friend in the UK; the title of the book is Pleasures and Pastimes in Tudor England (author is Alison Sim), so its focus is a bit later period than Camber's time, but it does go into how the world was changing from the medieval age as it turned toward the Renaissance, so it might be worth a look.  It's not a very long book, and it's not written as a scholarly history book, more as history for non-historians or casual historians.

Offline bronwynevaine

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 09:16:26 pm »
Thanks to everyone! I've requested all suggestions from my library or inter-library loan. I've read one or two and I've heard of a couple others.
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

Offline whitelaughter

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 10:54:29 pm »
Try a Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.  A very interesting read.
I'll third this, an excellent read.

Offline bronwynevaine

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Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 05:53:02 pm »
Currently reading--and very much enjoying--The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England. Thanks to all. And Happy Spring!
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

Offline bronwynevaine

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  • Favorite Book: Camber the Heretic and The Harrowing of Gwynedd
  • Favorite Character: Evaine, Rhys, Joram, Jebediah, and Javan
Re: Lives of commoners in Camber-era Gwynedd
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2017, 03:06:30 pm »
If you've never read The Good Wife's Guide, originally Le Menagier de Paris, the translation by Gina L. Greco and Christine M. Rose is very enjoyable. Hard to take sometimes...
I don't just march to the beat of a different drummer...I dance to a beat no one else can hear :)

 

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