Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Medieval People” as Want to Read:
Medieval People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Medieval People

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  270 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In this classic of social history, noted medieval scholar Eileen Power recreates the lives of six ordinary people who lived during the Middle Ages. Drawing upon account books, diaries, letters, records, wills, and other authentic historical documents, she brings to vivid life Bodo, a Frankish peasant in the time of Charlemagne; Marco Polo, the well-known Venetian traveler ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 18th 2000 by Dover Publications (first published 1924)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Medieval People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Medieval People

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 702)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Chris
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
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
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.
Aug 04, 2008 R. rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Giovanna
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.
Eloy Eduardo
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
Calabash
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
Bob
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.
Mor
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
...more
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
Nov 05, 2010 Grace added it
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.
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.
Patrick\
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.
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
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
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.
Marco
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!
Trix
Apr 10, 2009 Trix rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in how people lived in times past
Recommended to Trix by: I just found it on a bookshelf somewhere.
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.
Jeff Chapman
Jeff Chapman marked it as to-read
Dec 13, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Life in a Medieval City
  • Revelations of the Medieval World (A History of Private Life, #2)
  • Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Revival of Trade
  • Magic in the Middle Ages
  • The Making of the Middle Ages
  • Medieval Lives
  • Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony
  • Chronicles of the Crusades
  • The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England
  • The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology
  • The Civilization Of Europe In The Renaissance
  • The Great Medieval Heretics: Five Centuries of Religious Dissent
  • Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England 450-1500
  • The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea
  • The Middle Ages
  • Uppity Women of Medieval Times
  • Selections from the Carmina Burana: A New Verse Translation
  • Life in a Medieval Castle
Medieval Women (Canto) Medieval English Nunneries, C. 1275 to 1535 The Wool Trade in English Medieval History Studies in English Trade in the 15th Century Boys and Girls of History

Share This Book