'Food in Medieval England' draws on research across different disciplines to present a picture of the English diet from the early Saxon period up to 1540. It uses a range of sources, from the historical records of medieval farms, abbeys, & households both great & small, to animal bones, human remains, & plants from archaeological sites.
Oxbow says: This fascinating study of how people understood and used their senses in the late medieval period draws on evidence from a range of literary texts, documents and records, as well as material culture and architectural sources.
In the preceding 25 years to this book’s publication in 1985 there was an extensive and unprecedented burst of archaeological activity in evidence from below-ground deposits, above-ground structures, and artefacts. During the boom of the late 1960s and 1970s, which led to go much central town redevelopment, it was buried remains which yielded the most dramatic information. In the recession of the 1980s it was realised that upstanding remains had a lot to offer as well and they were being subject to ever more sophisticated study techniques. This book examines those recent developments in archaeology and assesses their bearing on the study of medieval English and Welsh history. Taking a series of important themes such as government, religion and the countryside, the book offers a chronological approach from the coming of the Vikings, 850 AD, to the Reformation in 1530. This approach focuses on the impact of man on the urban and rural landscape. An important text for students of ancient history.
Eating and drinking are essential to life and therefore of great interest to the historian. As well as having a real fascination in their own right, both activities are an integral part of the both social and economic history. Yet food and drink, especially in the middle ages, have received less than their proper share of attention. The essays in this volume approach their subject from a variety of angles: from the reality of starvation and the reliance on 'fast food' of those without cooking facilities, to the consumption of an English lady's household and the career of a cook in the French royal household.
Pulp fictions of medieval England comprises ten essays on individual popular romances; with a focus on romances that, while enormously popular in the Middle Ages, have been neglected by modern scholarship. Each essay provides valuable introductory material, and there is a sustained argument across the contributions that the romances invite innovative, exacting and theoretically charged analysis. However, the essays do not support a single, homogenous reading of popular romance: the authors work with assumptions and come to conclusions about issues as fundamental as the genre's aesthetic codes, its political and cultural ideologies, and its historical consciousness that are different and sometimes opposed. Nicola McDonald's collection and the romances it investigates, are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives engage.
Everyday Life in Medieval England captures the day-to-day experience of people in the middle ages - the houses and settlements in which they lived, the food they ate, their getting and spending - and their social relationships. The picture that emerges is of great variety, of constant change, of movement and of enterprise. Many people were downtrodden and miserably poor, but they struggled against their circumstances, resisting oppressive authorities, to build their own way of life and to improve their material conditions. The ordinary men and women of the middle ages appear throughout. Everyday life in Medieval England is an outstanding contribution to both national and local history.
'Alle the poure peple then peescoddes brought / Benes and baken apples thei brouhte in here lappes / Onions and pot herbs and ripe chiries many'. Food in the Middle Ages was not always as plentiful as this passage from William Langland's Piers Plowman might suggest, but there is no doubting its variety. This unique and fully illustrated study begins by examining this extraordinary range, discussing its production and distribution and identifying the different types of food eaten by all classes of medieval English society. Everything that can be discovered about medieval food is dealt with here, from hunting, fish-breeding, brewing and baking to food hygiene and storage and the way in which the kitchen and pantry of a large household were organized. For the first time, too, the nutritional value of the food is systematically evaluated in order to consider whether or not people in medieval England were well fed. There is also a detailed description of the remarkably elaborate regulations known to have been associated with the serving and eating of food in the great households. The book concludes with a discussion of the organization of medieval feasts, such as that held at York on 26 December 1251, which, after six months of preparation, saw the consumption of no fewer than 68,500 loaves of bread and 25,000 gallons of wine, along with 1,300 deer, 170 boars, 60,000 herring, 10,000 haddock and 7,000 hens. Firmly based on archaeological and written evidence, this groundbreaking work provides a fascinating introduction to a vital but often neglected topic in the study of medieval England, and one which will be of interest to historian and layman alike.
Disease and Society in Premodern England examines the impact of infectious disease in England from the everyday to pandemics in the period c. 500–c. 1600, with the major focus from the eleventh century onward. Theilmann blends historical research, using a variety of primary sources, with an understanding of disease drawn from current scientific literature to enable a better understanding of how diseases affected society and why they were so difficult to combat in the premodern world. The volume provides a perspective on how society and medicine reacted to "new" diseases, something that remains an issue in the twenty-first century. The "new" diseases of the Late Middle Ages, such as plague, syphilis, and the English Sweat, are viewed as helping to lead to a change in how people viewed disease causation and treatment. In addition to the biology of disease and its relationship with environmental factors, the social, economic, political, religious, and artistic impacts of various diseases are also explored. With discussions on a variety of diseases including leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, measles, typhus, influenza, and smallpox, this volume is an essential resource for all students and scholars interested in the history of medicine and disease in premodern England.
This volume provides a selection of primary documents from medieval England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, thereby enabling readers to directly access information about life long ago in the region. • Provides tools and techniques for effectively evaluating the meaning and importance of the documents • Enables students to effectively incorporate information from primary documents into various school and personal research projects • Includes an "Ask Yourself" section of questions about the document and the source era as well as a "Topics to Consider" section that suggests themes to explore in an essay, online project, or class presentation
In this revelatory work of social history, C. M. Woolgar shows that food in late-medieval England was far more complex, varied, and more culturally significant than we imagine today. Drawing on a vast range of sources, he charts how emerging technologies as well as an influx of new flavors and trends from abroad had an impact on eating habits across the social spectrum. From the pauper’s bowl to elite tables, from early fad diets to the perceived moral superiority of certain foods, and from regional folk remedies to luxuries such as lampreys, Woolgar illuminates desire, necessity, daily rituals, and pleasure across four centuries.