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230 pages, Paperback
First published December 1, 1998
"If you were to meet an Englishman in the year 1000, the first thing that would strike you would be how tall he was - very much the size of anyone alive today."
“But the bones that have been excavated from the graves of people buried in England in the years around 1000 tell a tale of strong and healthy folk”
“The ploughmen feeds us all… The ploughman gives us bread and milk…”
“Poultry was considered a luxury food, and it was also recognized as a therapeutic diet for invalids, particularly in broth form. Old English recipe & remedy books show that in the year 1000, chicken soup was already renowned for its soothing & restorative powers”
“I am a binder & a scourger and soon become a thrower, sometimes I cast an old fellow right to the ground.”
What C.S. Lewis called the "snobbery of chronology" encourages us to presume that just because we happen to have lived after our ancestors and can read books which give us some account of what happened to them, we must also know better than them. We certainly have more facts at our disposal. We have more wealth, both personal and national, better technology, and infinitely more skilful [sic] ways of preserving and extending our lives. But whether we today display more wisdom or common humanity is an open question, and as we look back to discover how people coped with the daily difficulties of existence a thousand years ago, we might also consider whether, in all our sophistication, we could meet the challenges of their world with the same fortitude, good humour, and philosophy.