Life In a Medieval Castle By Joseph and Frances Gies

If you have ever wondered what life in a medieval castle was like, this is the book for you. Joseph and Frances Gies describes in great detail everything from how, why and when castles were first built, their evolution and finally their decline.

While reading life in a medieval castle I sometimes forgot this was a book about castles. The authors offer such a wide spectrum of history that surrounds castles that it is easy to lose oneself in the book.

Chapters include:

The castle comes to england
The lord
The castle as a house
The lady
The household
A day in the castle – which I found very interesting
Hunting as a way of life
The villagers
The making of a knight
The castle at war – another chapter I found interesting
The castle year
The decline of the castle

My favorite chapter has to be the castle year. The authors go into great detail about the holidays, when it was time to plant, when it was time to harvest, how lords treated the people during holidays,,, etc.

Details from Amazon:

Series: P.S. (Paperback)
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reissue edition (October 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062414798
ISBN-13: 978-0062414793
Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches

Why read history books

Why should preppers study history? To understand what difficulties we might face if there were ever a complete collapse of society. Whether this collapse is caused by nuclear war, disease,,, whatever it may be, we need to understand what issues our ancestors faced.

One of the details that caught my eye was having to butcher livestock in winter because there was not enough animal feed to last through the winter. The idea of planting turnips for livestock had not caught on. Roman historians noted how turnips were good food for humans and livestock. Somehow that knowledge had been forgotten, or had not been widespread. With a stockpile of turnip and rutabaga seed we can grown late season food crops for ourselves and our livestock.

Even though life in a medieval castle is supposed to be about the “castle”, a great deal of time is spent talking about life of those living near the castle. There was a sense of community where people worked together for the greater good.

As compared to today where people only care about themselves, members of the community were forced to work together. Members of the community planned which crops to plant, which fields would and would not be planted, which livestock would graze where,,, etc. The community had to plan in order to survive.

Related Article – What is a Prepsteader.