Monday, December 12, 2011

Novel Teen Blog Tour: "The Merchant's Daughter" by Melanie Dickerson

The Medieval Experience

In honor of the recent release of Melanie Dickerson's The Merchant's Daughter (read my review here), I'm going to take you on a small tour of the Medieval period today. So get ready to step back in time. (I always did like time travel!)


Ranulf was lord of the manor and the surrounding area. To pay off her family's debts, Annabel worked as an indentured servant in the manor.
Lord Ranulf's home may have looked alot like this 14th century manor in Kent, England. 

File:The Hall at Penshurst Place from Ancestral Homes of Noted Americans by Anne Hollingsworth Wharton (1915).jpg

Inside the manor, Ranulf, Annabel, and the other occupants  often gathered in the great hall to eat, socialize, or take care of important matters.

File:Peasants breaking bread.jpg
This picture shows people in the 14th century eating bread and having something to drink. Bread was a staple in the Middle Ages. A common way to eat it was to sop it up in some liquid like wine, broth, or soup. The word "sop" actually evolved into the word "soup."

Because water was often contaminated during this period with no purification system, the common drink was often an alcoholic beverage like beer, ale, or wine. Juices made out of fruits and berries were also consumed.

File:Wycliffe John Gospel.jpg

One of Annabel's dearest wishes was to read the Holy Scriptures. Though born in a high-ranking family, her station as a female in society kept her from her dream. Annabel believed the only way she could have an opportunity to read the Bible was if she joined a convent and became a nun. 

Here is a page of the Bible from the late 14th century. John Wycliffe was the first person to translate the Bible into the English language.

File:40-svaghi,suono e ballo,Taccuino Sanitatis, Casanatense 4182.jpg

At one point in the story, two of the characters dance. Here's a picture of a 14th century dance, and below is Medieval dance music called an estampie that the characters perhaps danced to.

Thanks for going back in time with me to see what Annabel and Ranulf's life might have been like!

Team Novel Teen is a group of bloggers dedicated to spreading the word about clean teen fiction. Check out other posts about The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson clicking on the links below, and for more information about Team Novel Teen check out