Thursday, December 27, 2012


Every day on my Facebook page I post a research snippet.  These are eclectic and wide-ranging, and my Facebook readers find them fun and informative.  So I thought that being as my blog posts tend to be at least a month apart, I might as well use the space in between to post my daily research snippets here too, because I know not everyone uses Facebook. The other thing I do at Facebook is post a daily research photo from my archives, so I’ll add one to the blog too.
I might as well use some of the earlier research photos to make a start, and then move on from there.

So: Today's research snippet from Facebook was this, taken from the book Pleasures and Pastimes in Medieval Europe by Compton Reeves published in the UK by Sutton.

"Dancing at the amateur level was ordinarily round dancing or processional, and was of ancient lineage. Carols (corae in Latin) were the principal form of secular music in medieval England, and they are the musical core of the entertaining chain or carol-dance. The carol dance was usually performed by a circle of dancers, with hands clasped or arms linked, who would take a few steps to the left as their leader, normally standing in the middle of the circle, sang a stanza of a song. The dancers then marked time with treading steps as all sang the chorus (or burden). This basic dance could be varied in many ways, from dancing in line to mining the story of the carol, and the carols might be stories about heroism, romance, or religion. For the most part, carols seem to have been joyful. Carolling could be done outdoors, and the churchyard was a favourite venue, or in doors in a lordly Hall. Churchmen repeatedly repudiated carols and lascivious songs that were being enjoyed in churchyards when minds and hearts ought to have been inclined more spiritual matters. Carols prompted confessors to impose penances the sins of voice, sins of movement, and sins of touching."

And for today's photo, let's have one of a rather gorgeous decorated medieval shoe that can be seen in the Museum of London.  There's no strict dateline for this one, but presumed late 1300's. After all, you'd need your dancing shoes!                             

click to enlarge

1 comment:

Jan Jones said...

Nice idea :)