In this classic of social history, the author describes the lives of five obscure men and women of the Middle Ages and one famous one. She draws on account books, records, letters, diaries, and wills to make the life of those times as concrete and comprehensible as our own. There are full-length portraits of Bodo, a Frankish peasant in the time of Charlemagne; Marco Polo, the Venetian traveler; Madame Eglentyne, the prioress of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales; the young wife of a fourteenth-century Parisian bourgeois; and two English merchants of the fifteenth century, Thomas Betson of the wool trade and Thomas Paycocke, a clothier.
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