Hello and welcome to my blog ‘Medieval Musings’
In my novels, Annie Thornton, midwife and fledgling witch, travels to different times in England’s turbulent history. She seems to find trouble wherever she goes. In book one, ‘Tangle of Time‘, Annie finds herself solving a murder in medieval England. In book two, not yet published, working title ‘Sailing to Byzantium‘, the Vikings are her playmates and in book three, ‘Eboracum‘ (current writing), she’s back with the Romans in Romano-Britain.
The point I am trying to make is my head right now is full of Romano-Britain research and story lines but my marketing is medieval. Sometimes my brain complains!
It’s May…It’s May, that lovely month of May…
We are experiencing beautiful weather in the Rocky Mountains this May. The trees are blossoming; the bears are visiting along with the elk, turkeys, deer and very busy birds. Just to prove the elk are visiting…
Between watching all of the burgeoning animal life, I have been busy developing a slide presentation on LIFE IN A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE. In spite of the fact that I spent many hours researching medieval life for my book, I have been learning so much more about the turbulent medieval times. My focus for both the story of ‘Tangle of Time‘ and the slide show is about the lives of common people: not the kings and queens and lords and ladies – the castle dwellers. My people live in wattle and daub huts and their entire lives revolve around life on a manorial estate. Sounds dull, right? Not so; there’s lots going on. Here’s an interesting fact…
ALE WIVES AND WITCHES
Women in medieval England (1066-14850) did not have a lot going for them – that included the rich as well as the poor – but some jobs were available for women. One of these was an ale wife: brewing ale. This female dominance of the trade likely evolved because brewing was not a specialist trade requiring any extensive education, was only marginally profitable, and could be done in the home to supplement regular income. (Wikipedia)
Excerpt from Tangle of Time: Walking by one cottage, Mistress Davey pointed out a broom handle secured over the front door. ‘Tha knows t’broom tells thee this ‘ouse ‘as extra ale for sale. No doubt tha’ll find a few men in there of an evenin’.
Although seen as a respectable job for a woman, brewing ale, strangely enough, became synonymous with witchcraft. Whether it was a connection between pointed hats, broom sticks, brewing herbs and inducing men to drink, female brewsters got a bad rap as men saw the potential business opportunities in beer and ale. Labeling ale wives as witches soon cleared out the competition!
As my heroine, Annie Thornton, is a witch, albeit a fledgling witch who doesn’t know how to be one; I wanted her to be a normal, healthy person, not an old hag with warts and bent back. Interesting how these women were always portrayed as ugly, maligned creatures. Even my hero, William Shakespeare described them cruelly.
TIME TRAVEL AND TIME MANAGEMENT
My stories are about time travel; my life is about time management. I can’t find time to write! I mean – write my stories. So, I am struggling with balancing my time between writing, newsletters, blogs, and social media marketing. I’m back to phew!
How often should I blog? That’s my new research project.
Talk soon. Enjoy May.
Want to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you want to order Tangle of Time, you can do so easily from my webpage.https://maureenthorpe.com/
Want to do your own medieval musings? Here’s a good website. https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/middle_ages/