Living and dying in 14th century England

Course Dates: 16/01/23 - 20/03/23
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Online
Was it a poker or prayer that killed Edward II? His great-grandson, Richard II, produced the first English cookery book and yet he was also deposed and murdered. Were his recipes that bad?
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £110.00

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Course Code: HBH50

Finished Mon, day, 16 Jan - 20 Mar '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The lives of men and women from all levels of English society.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We will start with an overview of the structure of society in England in 1300 and then spend four weeks looking at the politics of Edward II, Edward III and Richard II. Thereafter, we will focus on the social and economic lives of men and women. Each week we will look at contemporary sources that illustrate a particular aspect of daily life: topics (in no particular order) will include: marriage; health; religion; hygiene; cooking; crime; taxation; pastimes and job opportunities.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Explain why Edward III is known as ‘the perfect king’
• Critique a medieval will and what it tell us about the testator’s life
• Describe the status of women in the fourteenth century
• Identify and explore specific medieval court records for crimes such as accidental death, rape and lesser offences such as neighbourly disputes
• Examine and assess the contents of household accounts.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a good understanding of English is essential.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each week there will be a PowerPoint presentation and a seminar-style discussion of original sources (in translation) pertinent to the topic. You are invited to bring along/describe items you have read in newspapers/heard on radio/seen on TV you think may be of interest to the group. You will be encouraged to do homework reading to foster debate.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You need only bring note-taking materials. All reading materials will be provided.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HBH51 'A plague on both thy houses' the Wars of the Roses.

Vanessa King Tutor Website

Vanessa King is a lecturer in Medieval and early Modern History at Regents University, and Birkbeck College University of London. At City Lit, Vanessa offers courses and day schools on London, as well as European history from the Fall of Rome to 1800. She has published widely on the Anglo-Norman period (1066-1154), and is currently writing a book on Early English Queenship 600-1066 for Routledge. You can follow her progress via her website: Vanessa’s expertise in medieval matters means she is frequently called upon to give public lectures and speak on BBC Radio. Vanessa's philosophy of teaching is to make history come alive through informative presentations with a good sense of humour. In her spare time, she enjoys nothing better than talking history over a glass of red wine!

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.