Within three generations (1426 to 1485), and through the dark and dangerous years of the Wars of the Roses, the Pastons established themselves as a family of consequence, both in their native Norfolk and within court circles. Ambitious and highly mobile - womenfolk as well as men - they kept in touch by correspondence, usually but not invariably through the medium of a clerk.
Richard Barber uses his wide-ranging knowledge of the medieval world to set the correspondence in context and follow the fortunes of the family. The letters vividly convey the urgency, and sometimes the violence, of the family's preoccupations: defending property, fighting court cases, making the right alliances, and, on the domestic side, managing their estates, conducting their courtships, stocking their cupboards. Selected and presented here with a linking narrative, they bring the middle ages triumphantly to life.
Richard Barber's attractive selection, originally published by the Folio Society, well deserves this more accessible reissue. The letters are presented in modernised form with spare but informative linking commentary, and the volume is ideal both for the `ordinary reader' and for medievalists for whom a friendly acquaintance with the Pastons is a sufficient substitute for linguistic or historical scholarship. The selection conveys well their recurrent concerns with land, money, civil violence, flirtation, marriage and the purchase of ginger and lace. MEDIUM AEVUM
Series: First Person Singular
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 14th November 2004
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Type: New edition