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The Pastons of Norfolk Have Long Been Known to medieval scholars for their large trove of personal correspondence, which has survived for five centuries. However, until now they have remained virtually unknown to the general reading public. The light their letters shed on manners, morals, lifestyle, and attitudes of the late Middle Ages is extraordinary; but the story they tell of these three generations of the Paston family also unfolds like a compelling historical novel, full of memorable characters and events. A Medieval Family chronicles the lives of Margaret Paston, the indomitable wife and mother who fought the family's battles; her husband, John Paston I, tough, hard headed, thrice confined to fleet prison but never yielding to his enemies; daughter Margery, who scandalized family and friends by falling in love with the Paston bailiff; and cheerful John III, who against all odds succeeded in marrying for love.
Tracing the family from 1420, through the stormy War of the Roses, and finally to the 1600s, A Medieval Family, extracted from their letters and papers and told largely in their own words, is a privileged look at a side of history rarely revealed: the lives and fortunes of an ordinary, middleclass family who, like families today, had their problems, tragedies, and moments of happiness.
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