Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, c. 1413-1
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! My approach and general feelings about Monday have improved out of all proportion. We have a new approach this time around. I will be sharing the day with two wonderful, beloved authors, Mary Morgan and Barbara Bettis. We will all be posting on medieval topics. You can find their marvelous and very interesting blogposts here:
Medieval Monday | The Vikings and Their Games (marymorganauthor.com)
Blog - Barbara Bettis - Historical Romance Author
I thought to begin with: why medieval? Why the Middle Ages as opposed to, say, Ancient Rome or the Italian Renaissance?
I used to feel, naively, that it was a much more simple time, black and white, with clean, simple living and a reliance on nature and the seasons.
Wrong. Well, at least not entirely correct.
In every age, there are the simple and the complicated, the rulers and the general population, those who party all night and sleep all day as well as those who rise with the sun to work and go to bed early. This is true for pretty much all cultures, places, and times.
But, oh, to me the medieval era has a unique, special beauty. The time frame is roughly from the fifth to the fifteenth century. The art and literature of the period evidence imagination, mystery, and an intense passion for life. Just consider The Canterbury Tales, Le Morte d'Arthur, Summa Theologica, Dante's Inferno, and manuscript illumination such as the Limbourg Brothers Book of Hours (Trés Riches Heures).
Round Table, Winchester Castle
I'll be exploring the literature, art, and lifestyles of this extraordinary, beautiful, tumultuous era. For now, I'll leave you with a scene from Tremors Through Time, my latest romance due to launch this summer, July 06. Mini setup: Deidre is a medieval history professor who does not know that her gorgeous neighbor Lachlann has fallen forward in time from the 1300s.
Until next time! :)
He had speared a tender slice of beef with his fork and took a bite before answering. Rich, well-seasoned, it melted in his mouth. “Mmm.” He closed his eyes briefly, then smiled at her. “Delicious.”
She beamed. “Thank you.” Small red potatoes, thickly sliced carrots, onion chunks, whole cloves of garlic…He ate in blissful silence for a few moments before he realized what he was doing. He looked up to find her watching him with a smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes.
He grinned. “Sorry. This is really good. What were we talking about?”
“I’m glad you like it. I only asked if you like your job.”
“My job.” He shrugged. “I like it well enough, I suppose. As they say, it pays the bills. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before. Do you like yours?”
“I love my job, but I know that I’m one of the lucky ones.”
“Tell me, please, your job title again? Joe kept talking about it the last time he was home.”
Deidre laughed. “He did seem surprisingly interested when we talked about it. I’m Director of Medieval Studies at the University of Houston.”
Medieval studies…Lachlann struggled for words. He knew what “medieval” meant. If he had one question, he had a thousand. Simple ones would have to do for now.
“What do you like about it?”
“There’s so much,” she replied. “The ongoing learning, the students…I love teaching.” “Why did you choose medieval studies?”
Deidre opened her mouth as if to speak, then closed it again. Glancing down at her plate, she pushed around a carrot. “I…I’ve been interested in medieval artwork and history since I was a little girl. It’s always fascinated me.”
“I…” She paused again, her brow knit, her soft lips twisting a little as she searched for words. “Life was so different back then,” she finally said. “People were different, and yet they were still human.”
Lachlann blinked. “Well, of course they were human!”
She put a hand up. “Now, hear me out. For all intents and purposes, they lived in a different world from ours. Almost everything they knew was different from what we know. Agreed?”
“But their humanity was no different from ours. They had the same emotions, the same feelings, the same basic needs.”
“How do you know how they felt?”
“They left us art, music, writing, and so much more.”
“But their languages were different. How did anyone ever learn to read their writings?”
“Languages changed slowly,” she explained, “and one translation led to another.”
“But if a group of people died at once, their language would have died with them. Isn’t that true? So would their history.”
“That would be true in some cases, but not all. Is there a particular language or culture you have in mind?”
Lachlann hesitated, sorting his thoughts, still trying to get past her “yet they were human” remark. What had happened to his own language? Should he mention it? Could it hurt?
It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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