Carole explains that Europe was very fragmented after the fall of the Roman Empire and that the feudal system of kings, lords, knights, and serfs took the place of the vast empire headed by a single emperor. Men like the father of the family she describes were called on to support their lord when he needed soldiers and were rewarded with land and sometimes even a noble title. Life expectancy was not very long, the example given of a man already on his third wife or a woman remarrying after being widowed would be very common. The importance of the church is shown by how many cathedrals were being constructed, how many times a day people were expected to pray, and the way that families sent their children to become nuns or priests and serve in the church. Young readers will probably be shocked by the details of medical practices such as bloodletting.
At the back of the book there is a section which gives brief descriptions of famous people such as William the Conqueror, Joan of Arc, Saladin, and Charlemagne. And there is a glossary of terms to help out readers who may not have encountered terms like almonry, blanchette, or crenelate.
A nice introduction to young readers who are curious about the past and important time periods and people. This series gives a broad overview of each period and location, and enough specifics to answer basic questions while also giving facts that can lead to further research.
Check out the video trailer for the series!
I received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.