Wulf's Webden

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Nasty, Brutish and Short

I spent this afternoon at the University Administration Services conference down in town, mainly attending sessions that had some relevance to my work. However, I was delighted to also be able to squeeze in half an hour of medieval history from Dr Elizabeth Gemmill, who passionately disputed that this was a fair description of life in the Middle Ages.

We have plenty of records that show that the richer classes enjoyed many luxuries but, by a bit of digging around and inductive reasoning, the poorer people of the time were clearly not brute savages either. While life was hard and more likely to end at short notice, people had a measure of dignity and plenty of things to enjoy as well as trials to bear.

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