[LMB] Education, was Spirit Ring - Fathers & Daughters

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Thu Sep 9 02:13:54 BST 2021

On Wed, Sep 08, 2021 at 06:56:50AM +0000, Gwynne Powell wrote:

> People in those times didn't use literacy as we do. There was no concept
> of reading for idle pleasure. Books were sources of knowledge and
> instruction, and to keep records.

Books were also sources of stories and entertainment, whether or not
they masqueraded or doubled as 'knowledge and instruciton'.  Medieval
literature includes the Song of Roland, the Matters of
Britain/Rome/France, *lots* of poetry, chivalric romances in both poetry
and prose, travel literature, fables. It includes the Divine Comedy,
Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, Arthurian stuff, the Decameron.

I imagine that the hugely popular 'lives of the saints' were both sold as
'instructional' and read for pleasure, especially the more gory lives.

Getting access to expensive physical books would have been a limiting
factor, and you get more literature after 1100, but stuff was out there
if you could afford a copy.

> women had Books of Hours. They kept accounts (running a noble
> household was a massive task, a cross between managing a large hotel
> and running an important business.) High-born women had the education
> they needed to do their job, with plenty of assistance.

There's also a whole category of medieval literature *by* women.

-xx- Damien X-)

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