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  • Writer's picturemisskleber

The Duke and the Peasant: Life in the Middle Ages – Sister Wendy Beckett (1997)

When I was younger I used to watch Sister Wendy’s television show on PBS.

Sister Wendy might be partially responsible for how I started to see the world of art.

So when I found this book in a deep dark recess of the library, and became really excited.

Sister Wendy walks us through the Book of Hours, a devotional illuminated manuscript from the middle ages which is a calendar depiction of the life of the peasantry and the nobility.

Sister Wendy has a fantastic way of pointing out details which the casual observer might miss in a tone that is friendly and encouraging, she has the ability to not only make history seem more real, but actually makes you feel as though you have learnt something in the process.

Sister Wendy also has an interesting view on the lives of the peasants and the nobility. She continuously outlines the harmony of life for a peasant, toiling on the land, while drawing parallels to the downtrodden facial expressions of the nobility, who don’t have time or ability to live their lives for themselves. A point which is particularly highlighted by August’s illumination.

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Prestel Publishing (1997) 30 pages ISBN: 9783791318134 Suggested Reading Level: Grade 5+

Beckett, W. (1997). The duke and the Peasant: Life in the middle ages. Munich, Germany: Prestel-Verlag.

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