The Paston letters have long exercised a tremendous fascination for their capacity to recreate in vivid detail the lives of an ordinary well-to-do fifteenth-century family.
The Paston letters have long exercised a tremendous fascination for their capacity to recreate in vivid detail the lives of an ordinary well-to-do fifteenth-century family. H. S. Bennett's classic study recreates beautifully their historical context and offers the additional perspectives provided by the letters of their correspondents: bishops and serving men, prisoners and dukes, priests and ribald companions. Among the intriguing areas of late medieval life which are explored are marriage, women's lives, education, travelling, the law and lawlessness, the clergy and the changing face of the English countryside. This account of the Pastons' England reveals an age of historical transition as it was played out in the daily challenges of individual lives.
Preface to the first edition Preface to the second edition Abbreviations and authorities Introduction 1 The rise of the Pastons II The Paston fortunes III Marriage IV Love V Women's life VI Parents and children VII Houses and furniture VIII Education and books IX Letters and letter-writing X Roads and bridges XI Wayfaring XII The law XIII Lawlessness XIV Religion XV The secular clergy XVI The regular clergy XVII The life of the countryside Appendixes: I Books of the Paston family II List of journeys III Collation of editions and the original letters IV Letters in the original spelling Index