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    « Last Three Guest Blog Appearances of the Year | Main | Medieval Feastdays and Other Weird Celebrations »


    Dean James

    You didn't include two of my favorite myths, the lord's right to deflower any women on his estate on their wedding night, and the one about the pope controlling everything and everyone in the Middle Ages. Very enjoyable reading! and hopefully people will pay attention.

    Jeri Westerson

    Yeah, prima nocta wouldn't even have been a blip on the radar if it hadn't been for that crazy bad Braveheart.

    Sam Thomas

    As a post-script to the witch persecutions, they are VERY rare before the Reformation. Tough to pin that one on the bad old middle ages, no?

    I loved the scene in Wolf Hall in which Cromwell describes a patron so rich he served his guests on gold plate, and then - to show his wealth - tossed them out the window into the canals rather than clean them.

    The punchline of course was that he had lined the canals with nets and had divers at the ready.

    Kay Theodoratus

    Wish more fantasy writers would read this. In fact, I might mention this in my own blog because many of your points become peeves when reading about some fantasy worlds.

    Jeri Westerson

    And I forgot to mention the teeth cleaning method. You take a white cloth and wipe your teeth, then you swill your mouth with white wine, and then chew on some herbs like parsley to sweeten the breath. Seems to me, then , that you would have parsley in your teeth, which in turn would require more wine, parsley, wine...and before you know it, you're sleeping like a baby!

    Debra Brown

    Wonderful post. I am linking to your site from my blog, English Historical Fiction Authors:

    Jeri Westerson

    Awesome, Debra!

    Barbara Gaskell Denvil

    Great list - if only this could be obligatory reading for anyone wishing to write medieval fiction before doing some diligent research. By the way - witchcraft wasn't legally heresy before 1484 when the Pope first denounced it - and burnings in England started way, way after that.
    Thanks for an excellent article - how about carrying on with numbers 11 - 20?

    Jeri Westerson

    Well, that's what I mean, Barbara. I hear all these odd things from people about what they *know* about the middle ages, including the whole witch thing. Most people don't know one era from another.

    Marilyn Smith

    Very interesing, Jeri. Important information for us to know. Keep getting it out there. Thanks for the article.


    I am a Medievalist in training and encountered some of these ideas before, but a like this list.

    I have a thing about myths about the medieval period take love to see them debuked. There are some great ones about medicine- hte beleif that human dissection was forbidden, ot that women were not allowed to work as physicians

    The comments to this entry are closed.