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Medieval People

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  406 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Classic study recreates the lives of 6 ordinary people who lived between the 9th and 16th centuries: a peasant on a country estate in Charlemagne's time, a Venetian traveler of the 13th century; a prioress and a Parisian housewife of the 14th century, and a merchant and a cloth maker from the days of Henry VII.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1924)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,076)
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Jan-Maat
For a long time historians foolishly imagined that kings and wars and parliaments and the jury system alone were history (p89)

In my imagination Eileen Power swept down from Northern Ireland to bring the new gospel of social history to the rich lands of southern England, but according to the infallible wikipeadia she only came from by Manchester which changes things entirely.

Medieval People was first published in 1924 and went through a series of editions before Power's death when she was, by the
...more
Chris
Oct 22, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate
Oct 05, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cannonball-read
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
...more
Paula
May 11, 2008 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Liam
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
R. Shurmer
Aug 04, 2008 R. Shurmer rated it it was ok  ·  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.
Stephen
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.
Anita
Oct 16, 2012 Anita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Giovanna
Nov 26, 2012 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storiografia
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
Dec 25, 2013 John Mccullough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely readable view of the lives of 6 Medieval people.
Eduardo
Jul 23, 2014 Eduardo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2013 John Burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hildigard von Bingen, WOW
Anna
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
...more
Calabash
Jul 18, 2011 Calabash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggi, storia
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
...more
Lynn
Feb 25, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gave me some good insight to those who lived in Medieval times. Much better than I had before. Yes people lived on Manors with a lord, and serfs who took care of the land for them by planting, caring for animals, barrel making, housekeeping and the like but life in the middle ages was so much more. Residents of Venice worked in trading and shipping with Asian goods. Marco Polo spent years in China with Kubla Khan. People were well connected to the church and many lived as priests and n ...more
Gregg Wingo
Dec 19, 2014 Gregg Wingo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gregg by: Bertrand Russell
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. Civil War by Prof. James I. Robertson, Jr. at Virginia Tech and Ken Burns on PBS. Originally published in 1924 this Fellow at Cambridge's Girton College rejected the traditional study of history in terms of dates and great "men" in favor of portraying the lives of simpler folks through historical records and literary te ...more
Bob
May 12, 2014 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kikou 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
...more
Trevor Kroger
Feb 08, 2016 Trevor Kroger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The "Great Men" theory of history is as baseless as the Four Humors in medicine. Truth is found in the kitchens.
Lori G
Jun 30, 2016 Lori G rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook. I found it very dull. There were a few interesting facts, but too much reading of other documents/poems.
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.
Grace
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.
Patrick\
Apr 22, 2008 Patrick\ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Giovanna
Sep 07, 2012 Giovanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2013 Kathy Hale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marco
Sep 08, 2012 Marco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
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