Friday, December 7, 2018

A Medieval Book of Seasons, by Marie Collins & Virginia Davis. HarperCollins, 1992

This is a lovely book – over size but fairly thin. The authors take us through the seasons as described from writings and shown in art from the medieval period. It starts, appropriately enough, with spring, and works its way through the year. Every page has illustrations, all from the era (no modern drawings of what someone *thought* folks did back then).

Life was very different back then; except for the upper class, pretty much everyone engaged in manual labor, all year round. People worked when sunlight was available, and then probably dropped into sleep as soon as they hit the … well, what passed for beds. Spring was pretty much a celebration of having survived winter (a celebration with lots of hard work, but, still, it was a happy time).

The illustrations are beautiful; most come from Books of Hours and illuminated manuscripts. This is not a scholarly book, but one aimed to interest people in the period. The authors touch on a multitude of areas: food, agriculture, health ideas and treatments, leisure, and more. The illustrations also show what type of clothing was worn by the various classes.


  1. Oh, this sounds lovely! I will have to find a copy to browse.

  2. It does sound lovely. Your description of the illustrations made me drool