Monday, February 23, 2009

Meat for Thought

The book that has been by far the most useful resource when working on my comic lately is Life in a Medieval Village by Francis and Joseph Gies. No attempts to be friendly, no "You've probably heard X and Y and Z about the Middle Ages, but you're stupid, because actually L." It's surprising how oddly defensive a lot of these books are, maybe because a lot of them seem to be disagreeing on several minor points. But this one's been the best--just the facts, and lots of them. I was rereading a bit to-day and enjoyed this;

Medieval literature voiced the popular hunger for protein and fat. A twelfth-century Irish poet [Annear MacConglinne] describes a dream in which a coracle "built of lard/ Swam a sweet milk sea," and out of a lake rose a castle reached by a bridge of butter and surrounded by a palisade of bacon, with doorposts of whey curds, columns of aged cheese, and pillars of pork. Across a moat of spicy broth covered with fat, guards welcomed the dreamer to the castle with coils of fat sausages.

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