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Medieval People

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Medieval People is an account of the lives of six individuals who lived during the Middle Ages: a Frankish peasant; Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler; Madame Eglentyne, prioress of Chaucer's Cantervury Tales; a middle-class Parisian housewife; two English merchants, one engaged in the wool trade and the other in Essex clothier. The author has illustrated various aspects of ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 9th 1992 by Harper Perennial (first published 1924)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 826)
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When I picked up this book and looked at the title and the cover, I did not expect that I was really going to enjoy reading it; it looked like it was going to be really boring and badly written. I was surprised when I started reading and realized that the style of writing was unlike most history books that I've read before, combining a narrative-style glimpse into the thoughts and opinions of the people featured in the book, and also plenty of factual information about their life and times. It o ...more
The problem with owning an e-reader is that you don’t get that closure of money changing hands. You just click through Amazon, pressing the One Click Buy button with impunity while your credit card quietly sobs in your wallet. In an attempt to limit the damage on my bank account, I went through Amazon’s free Kindle books and picked up Eileen Edna Power’s Medieval People.

Power’s book follows six medieval lives based entirely on literature (in this case, wills, poems, and contemporary observations
Fascinating look at various types of people who lived in different areas and eras of the Medieval time period. Some of it repeats what Powers wrote in Medieval Women but, in this case, the primary focus is on the non-royal population. Powers is able to piece together the lives of six specific people who otherwise would remain completely obliterated from history altogther, and she does this with a sense of humor as well as a real understanding of what their lives would have been like as though sh ...more
This book is surprisingly readable given it's publication date. Whilst there are now many publications which discuss the lives of medieval people (Ian Mortimer's Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England being the most fantastic book I have read to date) I have yet to come across one which discusses the lives of ordinary people from different time periods, locations and backgrounds in such close detail.

It is a concise read yet pays extensive focus to source material. Although I found this at ti
This is a social history book which is written for the layman and counts no more than 160 pages in my edition. In this short space, Power provides a vivid taste of life across many sub-epochs of the medieval age. The chapters, progressing chronologically, are deliberately concerned with chiefly one historical document. From this one document she describes the living persons that the document concerns; the recipient of a guide to good housewifery in the late 14th Century, the Frankish peasant far ...more
Aug 04, 2008 R. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one - better medieval social histories exist
Shelves: medieval
Rather dated now across the board: simplistic arguments, childlike prose ( "They were very merry and not at all refined." In stead of elucidating the social world of the 8th century Frankish peasant, comments such as this turn them into little more than Hobbits with their penchant for Maypoles and strong ale) and medieval stereotypes abound.
A somewhat less than satisfying look at some real people from the Middle Ages based on documents and letters. Maybe I was expecting more than could possibly be reconstructed from the source material. Nonethless, interesting insights into how things were -- especially trade, travel and finance.
E' un libro imperdibile:la quotidianità del medioevo raccontata attraverso sei personaggi comuni,la cui vita è rimasta impigliata negli archivi,nelle lapidi funerarie,nei contratti,nelle lettere personali e commerciali,negli atti dei processi.
Lo consiglio vivamente a tutti.
ej cullen
Some plodding prose and dated syntax, but worth the effort if you have an interest in the daily travails of mostly ordinary people in medieval times.
John Mccullough
An extremely readable view of the lives of 6 Medieval people.
This book did not meet my expectations, justified by the title and the intentions explained in the introduction. The author talks about some semi-free peasants at the end of the reign of Charlemagne (ninth century) and then jumps all the way to the third quarter of the thirteenth century, as if there were not ‘medieval people’ in between [over four hundred years]! She ends the review talking about the life of an English clothier who dies in 1518. Who would consider today, though, such a man a ‘m ...more
Jessica Trapp
Interesting history and easy to read.
John Burns
Hildigard von Bingen, WOW
Eileen Power ha fatto un ottimo lavoro con questo saggio; capita raramente di leggere libri di storia così scorrevoli e spigliati.

Il saggio si propone di esplorare vari aspetti minuti della vita medievale che spesso vengono taciuti nei libri di storia con la esse maiuscola in favore di grandi imprese e grandi uomini. Eileen Power invece esplora la vita quotidiana del medioevo e lo fa attraverso gli occhi di sei diversi personaggi: il contadino, il viaggiatore, la badessa, la donna di casa, il co
Actually I give this book 3.5 stars.
Worth reading for the information especially about English trades people in the late 1400's and early 1500's. Eileen Power was a forerunner of social history and this book is aimed at a popular audience. Her more specific work has much more detail.
Жанна Пояркова
Книга рассказывает истории конкретных средневековых людей разного уровня достатка и разных занятий, таким образом рисуя некую картину повседневности Средневековья. Несмотря на то, что это интересно, хочется чего-то большего.
Kihiroshi Hsieh
There is a reason why this book is a classic, written in 1924 when Rankian history was still in its full glory, this represent an pioneer attempt to write a history from below, unfortunately, social history do seldom make interesting audiobooks for lay listener or readers, people seldom find prices of wool or domestic lives interesting.

I found this book focus too much on the High middle ages, as oppose to middle age proper, it could have focused more on the churchman instead of the nuns, it coul
Jackie Jacobsen-Côté
Really interesting read from a Cambridge (female) scholar, originally published in 1924. Fantastic details about day-to-day living in this period.
I have managed to get my hands on the complete and unabridged 1937 Pelican paperback edition (part of the Penguins paperback range).
$1 AUD in the op shop! It still has the photographic black and white plates in the middle, which haven't dropped out. I hate when paperbacks do that.
It was really interesting and made you feel alittle bit like you were spying on some people from different strata in medieval society, from spoiled rich girls in some nunneries to poor slaves on farms.
I have always looked to those behind the scenes of majesty, people who really don't count individually (such as myself), but who, though unrecognized, keep the whole system intact (like most of us). This is one of those books who speak to me as what my life might have been if alive in a given place in Medieval time. Take the leap, enjoy and then be thankful.
Joy Lynne
This was a re-read of a book I read for a college class. Parts of this book are very very interesting, I really enjoyed the glimpses of every day life during various periods of the Middle Ages. There were some passages though, that were in French or the inconsistent English speaking of the time, that I found distracting and difficult to follow.
This book was hard to get into at first, but it turned out to be really interesting. I don't know of another book that has shed so much light on the day-to-day lives of Medieval people. It could be boring in parts, yet fascinating in others. It's a must for anyone studying that time period.
E' un libro imperdibile:la quotidianità del medioevo raccontata attraverso sei personaggi comuni,la cui vita è rimasta impigliata negli archivi,nelle lapidi funerarie,nei contratti,nelle lettere personali e commerciali,negli atti dei processi.
Lo consiglio vivamente a tutti.
Kathy Hale
This book was unusually good because it looked at the lives of some non-military kind of people. included are Marco Polo, the woman Caucer based the Prioress, a mchant and others. I liked that it talked of their day-to-day dealings with life.
Sei brevi "racconti" che proiettano il lettore nella vita medievale. Raccomandato per chi è cuorioso di sapere come la gente comune viveva a quei tempi.

Forse gli ultimi due racconti sono un pochino noiosetti, ma vale comunque la pena!
Mar 17, 2015 Trix rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in how people lived in times past
Recommended to Trix by: I just found it on a bookshelf somewhere.
Shelves: first-ten
Wonderful history of the Middle Ages according to lives that the writer researched meticulously. Shows how people's lives in other times are different from and the same as our own. Witty, like Kitto's The Greeks.
Nynnie Whale
I just have problems reading the parts that were actually written back then because of the spelling and I wish they had 'translations' for a doofus like me.
Marco Cerbo
Uomini comuni, la cui vita viene pennellata atraverso le testimonianze che hanno lasciato.
Kevan Bowkett
This is a very interesting book, and full of the author's contagious enthusiasm for the Middle Ages. It includes chapters on Bodo (a Carolingian peasant), Marco Polo, a 14th-century abbess, the young wife of the 14th-century Menagier of Paris, Thomas Beston (fleece-trader to Calais, 15th century), and Thomas Paycocke of Cogheshall (16th-century English clothier). Fascinating.
Darcy marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2015
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