Famous People of the Middle Ages


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Index
ISBN 0-7787-1388-1
DDC j920'.009'02




Reviewed by Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell is a reference librarian in the Science and Technology Library at the University of Alberta.


Five books of these latest six volumes in The Medieval World series look
at specific aspects of medieval life, and one contains a variety of
hands-on projects ranging from simple weaving to making a medieval
dinner. While the projects use modern materials, they attempt to be
historically authentic. For example, the dinner includes a “gilded”
dish, common to the time, and medieval gingerbread, made with
breadcrumbs rather than flour.

All the books are very high quality, illustrated mainly with copies of
medieval artworks. Younger children may find some of the images
gruesome, particularly those in Medieval Law and Punishment and Medieval
Medicine and the Plague.

The volumes contain a lot of information. Medieval Law and Punishment
focuses on commercial, municipal, and church law and courts. Medieval
Myths, Legends, and Songs covers standard works such as the Arthurian
legends, as well as some ancient stories, including Roman myth and The
Eddas, that were written down in medieval times. Famous People of the
Middle Ages is a catalogue of 45 prominent medieval personalities,
ranging from Hildegard of Bingen to William Tell and Genghis Khan.

Throughout the series are passing references to medieval times outside
of Europe. For example, Manners and Customs in the Middle Ages, which
deals with seasonal and life-event celebrations as practised in Europe,
contains paragraphs on the Samurai and on the modesty of medieval Muslim

This excellent and insightful reference collection should be included
in all public and elementary school libraries. Highly recommended.


Trembinski, Donna., “Famous People of the Middle Ages,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29737.