Chiara Frugoni's A DAY IN A MEDIEVAL CITY
If all you know about the Middle Ages consists of warfare, popes, and kings, and you want to know what daily life was really like, this is the book for you. I loved Frugoni’s BOOKS, BANKS, BUTTONS, AND OTHER INVENTIONS FROM THE MIDDLE AGES so I borrowed this from my public library and, boy, was I impressed and informed.
The combination of rare illustrations and text is continually fascinating. City life, government, food, schooling, religion, and shopkeeping are all discussed, accompanied by amazing paintings and drawings from the day. Religion infuses the daily life, of course, so it was very interesting to compare and contrast Medieval practices and beliefs with those of today; you’ll be surprised at how spiritually similar things are between then and now.
Life was really tough then. Just traveling from one city to another was a chore. So much we take for granted today — light, heat, transportation, etc. — simply didn’t exist in an easy to access fashion back then.
This is a short book — less than 200 pages — but it’s packed solid with information and thoughtful commentary from the Italian author. Highly recommended.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald