Life in a Medieval Castle

From acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies comes the reissue of this definitive classic on medieval castles, which was a source for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

Castles are crumbly and romantic. They still hint at an age more colourful and gallant than our own, but are often debunked by boring people who like to run on about drafts and grumble that the latrines did not work.

Joseph and Frances Gies offer a book that helps set the record straight and keeps the romance too.

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Newly reissued for the first time in decades, Life in a Medieval Castle is the bestselling classic that has introduced countless readers to the wonders of the Middle Ages.

Focusing on a castle called Chepstow on the border between England and Wales, acclaimed Medievalists Joseph and Frances Gies offer an exquisite portrait of what day-to-day life was actually like during the era, and of the key role the castle played.

The Gieses write eloquently about the many people whose lives revolved around the castle, from the lord and lady to the commoners of the surrounding village. We discover what lords and serfs alike would have worn, eaten, and done for leisure; the songs sung; and the codes of sexual conduct that maintained order.

We learn of the essential role of honour in medieval culture, the initiation process undertaken by knights, and how castles attempted to keep the constant threats of outside violence at bay. Medieval history comes alive in Joseph and Frances Gies’ Life in a Medieval Castle, used as a research resource by George R.R. Martin in creating the world of A Game of Thrones.

Exhaustively researched and as engaging as any novel, Life in a Medieval Castle is the definitive text for anyone wishing to learn more about this fascinating era.

“Some particular books I found useful for A Game of Thrones and its sequels deserve mention…Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval City, both by Joseph and Frances Gies.” George R.R. Martin, author of a Game of Thrones

“The Gies’ succeed in making a remote and unfamiliar world accessible.” Kirkus Reviews

“The authors allow medieval man and woman to speak for themselves through selections from past journals, songs, even account books.” Time


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