Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Research

I've been buying research materials again. These are three recent purchases for my reference shelves, plus another item to add to my re-enactment equipment.
I've only just started dipping into these books, but they are already proving fascinating and very useful. For example re the fashion book. I have always thought that hose and chausses were interchangeable terms for men's trousers. Wrong. Hose are scruffier and don't fit so well. Chausses are the ones that fit snugly to the leg - and the tighter the better. The context is early 13thC, so just right for my period of interest.
The book is a fairly specialist tome and do not expect illustrations 'cos there aren't any. What it does discuss, with much recourse to the literature of the time, is the development of fashion, of shopping for clothes and consumerism, of hierarchies of garments such as the above mention difference between hose and chausses. All in all an interesting and useful book, if not a desert island one.

This one I have yet to begin reading but it's a translation from the French by professor David Crouch for whom I have great respect, and promises to give insights into the reigns of Henry, Richard and John from a French and European perspective.
I have to thank my writer friend Sharon Kay Penman for the heads up on this title.

Keep scrolling down.

The next title is one I bought because I needed to have some working knowledge of the twelfth century legal system. My new hero, Roger Bigod, served on the bench at Westminster and was also a judge on the itinerant circuit. It has been interesting to learn about coming of age for example.
Heirs of a military fee were kept in wardship until they were 21 - although I know from other researches that sometimes this was waived. The son or heir of a sokeman was deemed to be of full age at 15, and the son of a burgage tenant 'when he can count money carefully, measure cloth and generally do his father's business.'
There is also some fascinating material on women's legal rights - not good as far as property was concerned. Basically husbands got the lot.

And finally, my new shoes have arrived - yay!
They're replicas of a 12th century ankle shoe. The vamp strip is hand-woven, hand-dyed silk (woad). These are the kind of shoes that William and John Marshal, would have worn for every day. Their wives too.
They were made for me by Ana Deissler of Ana Period shoes - url to her site here.

The vamp strips were woven and dyed by expert spinster and dyer Rosemary Watson from my own Regia group the Conroi de Vey.

I don't expect to be wearing them all that much, but I do hope to bring them to author talks as part of my 'show and tell' sessions.


Anne Gilbert said...

Wow! Those "everyday" medieval shoes reminded me of --- Birkenstocks! People think Birkenstock shoes are ugly, and theye've been laughed at for 40 years or so, but. . . either Birkenstock knows its stuff or medieval people were less concerned about bizarre shoe styles than people are today(those idiotic pointy-toed shoes that I remember from when I could still wear high heels have come back), or even ghastlier platform shoes(I remember those too. I never wore them when they first came out because I had a baby daughter, among other things). I guess medieval people,even well-off ones, were more practical folk. Either because they had to be or because there just wasn't any sense in doing otherwise. Incidentally, I'm going to link this stuff of yours to my blog.
Anne G

Anonymous said...

Those look like great books. Thanks for calling them to our attention. I'm off to add them to my Amazon wish list now. Great shoes, too!

KC said...

Interesting books and I love those shoes. Was there a particular reason for the blue color?