Life in a Medieval City by Frances Gies

Life in a Medieval City

For students, researchers & history lovers, a look at day-to-day life in a rarely explored era. "About life & death, midwives & funerals, business, books & authors, & town government."--Choice

Details Life in a Medieval City

TitleLife in a Medieval City
Release DateJul 18th, 2010
PublisherHarperCollins e-books
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Historical, Medieval, Medieval History, Reference, Research

Reviews Life in a Medieval City

  • Debbie
    "Life in a Medieval City" is an educational nonfiction book. It covered all aspects of city life in the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. The focus was mainly on what life was like in Troyes, France, but the authors also compared Troyes to various other European cities.The content was technical (as in, serious research rather than interesting trivia), but the writing wasn't dry. I liked the depth of information and the quotes from documents writ...
  • Karen Brooks
    This is another outstanding addition to a captivating series for any history buff or beginner historian. Taking the reader through a 'typical' medieval city, in this case Troyes in 1250, the Gies' introduce us to all aspects of everyday life throughout the year - from schools and scholars, to authors and tanners, to the famous Hot and Cold Fairs that ran for a few centuries. Discovering what people ate, wore, how they interacted, the imposition o...
  • Hedlun
    I came across this in our basement, it was from one of Stephanie's classes at Alma College. Fairly interesting and quick read. I liked how it was organized by topic: A Medieval Housewife, Small Business, The Doctor, and Disasters to name a few. Most interesting to me were A Burgher's Home and The Doctor. This book gave me a greater appreciation for how difficult life was and included details that get glossed over in even the best literature and f...
  • SlowRain
    It took me three starts over many years, but I finally got around to finishing this book. It's very informative, and great for people just starting out with the Middle Ages. The main theme running throughout the novel was the fairs. However, I'd say this wasn't a strong enough narrative thread to pull me along. It could've been better written, but it is what it is--a very good place to start.
  • Athan Tolis
    This was a Christmas gift from my son George. Expectations were guided by the one pound Sterling he paid for it at the school fair.Boy, was I in for a surprise!For a week of my life, this little gem of a book transported me to life in year 1250 at the city of Troyes in Champagne, France.With no exaggeration, this voyage is a true craddle-to-grave job: you're taught how the new class of burghers (the authors avoid the word bourgeois) is delivered ...
  • Subowal
    Medieval history is mostly about kings, barons, bishops, friars and popes. Occasionally there is a mention of the peasants, but there is very little in traditional histories about the medieval city. I consider it a pity because in my opinion medieval city is what really distinguishes Europe from Asia and the rest of the world. The city had more or less disappeared from the European scene with the fall of the roman empire, and when it re-emerged f...
  • Ash
    Using Troyes, a 13th century French town boasting two annual fairs, numerous aspects of medieval life across the classes are discussed highlighting the advances that separate "current" Troyes from the Dark Ages: the burgeoning of business and all of the legal and monetary advances this entails, manufacturing and construction processes, the formation/solidification of town governments, and daily life and its major moments (weddings, childbirth, fu...
  • Ryan Castner
    This book was recommended by my Western Civ professor. I found the reading rather tedious at times and would recommend skipping the introduction entirely as it is just a fact dump that has no context to keep up with. Each chapter was organized as a focus on a certain topic, the cathedrals, the markets, the burghers, the home. This sorting made sense from an organization perspective, but it left the book feeling rather disjoint, almost like separa...
  • C. Lee McKenzie
    There are a lot of interesting details about life in the middle ages in this book. Some chapters were more interesting than others, but I believe that's because I was in search of more of the daily lifestyle of the time, rather than the information about its institutions. Still I made note of the government and church laws as points to remember. What I really liked was that the entire book is written in the present tense, so I often forgot I was ...
  • Oleksandr
    Yet another element of the puzzle called Middle Ages is Life in a Medieval City, a book by historians Frances and Joseph Gies. The place is Troyes, the historical capital of Champagne, a region to the east of Paris. The year is 1250 when the county was ruled by Thibaut (Theobald) IV who was a poet, an admirer of the French Queen and a crusader.Since the Dark Ages, Troyes was a bishopric and one of the largest cities in Northwestern Europe. Standi...
  • Carole
    This book was a very comprehensive and interesting exploration of Troyes (in France) during the year 1250 and a little before and after that year. City life was amazingly complicated and active at that time. Although the exact nature of materials and how work was done was very different from contemporary Chicago, all the issues and aims were readily identifiable. I enjoyed the book a great deal. Here are two bits I loved:In describing the merchan...
  • D.P. Woolliscroft
    I picked this up when I saw it on Bookbub and for $2 it's a bargain. Here is an introduction to life in a medieval city, in particular the city of Troyes, France, in the mid thirteenth century. It's easy, engaging reading with each chapter focusing on a different aspect of life (business, children, schools to name but three). There will be a plethora of interesting insights for all but the most hardened history buff.Recommended too for lovers of ...
  • Craig Becker
    Interesting readI enjoyed this book on medieval living. Having really only a touch on the age in school, then zillions of fantasy books is nice to see a bit of reality tossed on top. Really wish they had freshened the pictures, seemed unfocused, and splitting the maps in two really only works in a bound book. A little tiresome in spots, but easy to read and some fun interesting descriptions. Boo to the publishers for the poor illustrations and a ...
  • Sasha Twyst
    A good overview of life in a 13th century French city with insights into other parts of the world. A good splash if you want to do any writing set in the day. Also if you play tabletop fantasy RPG's. The narrative style is a bit rambling, which I found distracting, but given the ton of information, I don't know how one could not ramble a bit.
  • Abigail
    This book isn't overly long, it just took a bit to read so that I could absorb it. For the most part it was interesting. Some of the chapters dragged on a bit, and some of them felt like they were just lists of facts which got a bit tedious at times. Other than that, if you want a basic, readable overview of life in a medieval city, this would be it.
  • Leah Cossette
    Very informative. Not as enjoyable as Life in a Medieval Castle, but still good.
  • Brian Farlow
    Loved it. Very good information on a 13th century city.
  • Sally
    I do not want to live in a medieval city.
  • Michelle Roberts
    These LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL [BLANK] are so fascinating.
  • Scott
    a quick read on the history of life in a Medieval city. It just skims the topic but is still a good over view. I recommend this for a quick read and a history lesson.
  • Cafrine
    Lost a little steam toward the end, but entirely fascinating look at the lives, traditions, laws, religions, food, and everything else that made up medieval Troyes.
  • Nikki
    I couldn't help but be bored a lot. It was extremely detailed and technical and a lot of the content just wasn't that interesting.
  • Nasos Delveroudis
    I'll try to keep it as simple as possible, as others have already provided solid reviews:The book covers a wide variety of everyday life aspects (quite interesting and entertaining too) but at times it can become a tad boring or rather tedious to read. Given that there aren't many books in this genre, I'd say a rating of 3/5 stars is only fair. A worthy effort.
  • JJ
    Fascinating book.
  • Catrine
    Apart from some issues with the language, this is a very good book. I was surprised by how entertaining it is - it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of many similar books, but it is written in an engaging manner that drew me in. The book doesn't really LOOK like much, particularly if you look at the too-dark photos that are included, but it is really comprehensive for its relatively short length. It does what it says on the cover - life in ...
  • Kaesa
    This book was fantastic and fascinating, and I think it will probably turn out to be my favorite of the nonfiction trilogy. (Apparently I am very much a city person.)I really enjoyed the discussion of the politics and economics of craftsmen and businessmen within a medieval city -- the particular city they focus on is Troyes in France -- and how all the other bits of medieval life interacted with business. I also really enjoyed the discussions of...
  • Nick
    Just what it says on the cover - this is a slim little book (200 or so small pages) detailing everyday life in Troyes, circa 1250, covering everything from what a housewife did all day to table manners to the economic and religious systems (although, strangely, not much about the political setup). It's quite interesting; the only time I found my attention drifting was while the authors were describing clothing styles, which was also an issue with...
  • Deb
    An entertaining non-fiction writing! I love medieval history; it usually kings, bishops, knights. This book was about the peasants, the housewives, what they did every day, the routines, table manners, food. A practical view of everyday life. It was easy to read. It only got complicated at the end when the author carefully described how the money and trade systems actually worked. VERY interesting. I liked the way the chapters were organized: doc...
  • Katie
    I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in everyday life in a Medieval City. I had some trepidations when I started reading because I'd read (or rather, skimmed) some of Gies' other books on medieval life and I'd found them to be a bit dry. But "Life in a Medieval City" is actually quite entertaining and easy to read. There are plenty of examples, anecdotes, and little details that really make this book come to life. The first half, wh...
  • Peter
    I thought this was a well-written account of daily life in 1250. I cannot possibly vouch for its accuracy, but nothing set off warning bells. I learned a few things I didn't know, for example that "universities" at first didn't have building, lecture just happened where there was enough space for a teacher and a bunch of students, including in churches. I learned that lords frequently sold strange things, for example entire towns, or the rights t...