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 The Paston family

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Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: The Paston family    Fri 26 May 2017, 22:01

I just ended last week the Helen Castor book: Blood and Roses.
From the Guardian article
"The letters, published by John Fenn of East Dereham in 1787, were a literary sensation. "I did not know there was so much as a private letter extant of that very turbulent period," wrote Horace Walpole. In more than 1,000 documents covering more than 70 years, as Fenn put it, "the family life of individuals is laid open". Though not the only English family papers from the time, nor even the oldest, they are by far the most circumstantial. With patience and insight, which the Cambridge scholar Helen Castor possesses in superabundance, the Paston letters can be made to tell a family story of depth and subtlety."
Look once inside...
From the Amazon article
"The Wars of the Roses turned England upside down. Between 1455 and 1485 four kings, including Richard III, lost their thrones, more than forty noblemen lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and thousands of the men who followed them met violent deaths. As they made their way in a disintegrating world, the Paston family in Norfolk family were writing letters - about politics, about business, about shopping, about love and about each other, including the first valentine."

I found the book a little bit longwinding...but so is the subject I have to admit...
What I find interesting and there are many quotes of letters in the book how subtle the English language already was just parting from the usual Latin and French normal language in use...
Interesting also the subtle intimate direct language between family members...it was really a detailed mirror of the time seen from point of view of the insider...and it were "real" letters...prime sources of history I would say...
Nearly the famous Pepys diaries I would say...

In the margin: I was amazed about the small size of numbers to protect for instance the family house...the hired "four"men to defend the house against the Duke of Norfolk and the held the siege for quite some days...
I thought also as about even big battles as fought with thousands of men...but even for kings were contingents of a thousand men already big stuff...???

Kind regards, Paul.
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