Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amazingly, It's Not a Children's Book

I don't read much. I'm not one of those literary blogs with lists of things I plan to read this year.

Wait! I read the back of the Bisquick box this morning.

Every now and then I make time for a grown up book. I have found the MOST INTERESTING book ever!!! It's called A Medieval Home Companion--Housekeeping In the Fourteenth Century. The original manuscripts were written in the late 1300's by an older husband (maybe in his fifties or sixties) who had married a 15 year old bride. This instruction book was written to help her know all about running a home and conducting herself as a wife. He knew she might be widowed young and need some help, as she was an orphan.

The translator/editor did mention that "in deference to modern sensibilities" she left out a lot of the passages about wives obeying and being humble to their husbands. I thought that was a shame, as I would have liked to read the thinking of that time period. Still, I think there will be enough to read about it.

I am not very far into the book at all, but I am so intrigued by it. One section is about the wife needing to be sure she is respectably dressed. He encouraged his young bride to not be like some women who walk around with

"their heads appallingly elevated, like a lion, their hair sticking out of their headdresses, and the collars of their shifts and dresses overlapping--walking mannishly and conducting themselves before people indecently and without shame."

Interesting. I wonder what this poor man would think of women today!


  1. Sounds neat! I agree, the parts about submission would be interesting to read. Imagine being a 15 y/o girl married to an old man! But that was common then, I suppose.

    Learn anything new from it yet? I'm interested.

  2. What would he think of women today, you ask?

    Shock and awe, I think would be appropriate. As I pondered the question I thought:

    What would people of that era think of if they went to the beach and saw young girls (and not so young girls) frolicking in their underwear?

    Or teenage girls with jeans that hang low enough to showcase the tattoo on their lower back?

    Or shirts low enough to show off some cleavage AND the tattoo on their upper breast?

    And that's BEFORE they've had time to consider whether they're "walking mannishly and conducting themselves indecently and without shame", lol.

    I'm with JulieMom. Please share more as you are so inclined.

  3. Oh, that was interesting. Please share more!

  4. Sounds like a really interesting book. How on earth did you find it? Please share some more as you go along.

  5. There's an award for you on my blog. Go check it out. (No strings attached. It's not one of those tag things that I hate.)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)