In CHAUCER'S PEOPLE, Liza Picard guides us through the tumultuous world of the late fourteenth century in an ingenious, informative and entertaining way. Through the assorted cast of pilgrims Chaucer selected for THE CANTERBURY TALES, Picard brings medieval social history to life and uncovers the detail behind Chaucer's poetic portraits. These are the lives lived beyond the court circles frequented by most of his well-heeled audience.
Chaucer chose his pilgrims carefully. He sometimes raises a thought-provoking query in an apparently simple portrait. The Prioress was a sweet, pretty, well-mannered young nun; what was she doing on the road to Canterbury with a mixed band of men, instead of staying in her convent to pray? The Knight was 'a very perfect gentle knight'; but why had his military service landed him in such distant places as Lithuania and Spain? By providing these characters with a three-dimensional framework - the times in which they lived - Liza Picard opens up the fourteenth-century world to us.
Drawing on contemporary experiences of a vast range of subjects including war, trade, religion, plague and banking, Liza Picard recreates the medieval world in all its glorious detail.