WALTER DRAGUN'S TOWN: Crafts and Trade in the Middle Ages by Sheila Sancha

WALTER DRAGUN'S TOWN: Crafts and Trade in the Middle Ages

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, the life of the English town of Stanford (now Stamford) in 1274 is vividly re-created. After studying the faces in stone on nearby Lincoln Cathedral and reading the Hundred Rolls (records of complaints of wrongdoing compiled during the reign of Edward I) and other sources, Sancha imagines in detail the busy, layered life of the town. The making of fine wool cloth, traded to merchants from as far away as Florence, is paramount among the many crafts described; the tanner's art and the work of the smithy are also included, among others. Meanwhile. the unjust seneschal Walter Dragun controls citizens and merchants: his men's arbitrary arrests and extortion of unfair fines and fees represent the darker side of this prosperous community. An epilogue reveals that these bad guys actually got their comeuppance after Edward's investigations. Sancha's lively drawings of citizens busy with their crafts, school, worship, or trade are crammed with a wealth of well-researched details that are fun to explore. A fine companion to the author's The Luttrell Village (1983).

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1989
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Crowell