Middle Class Women in Medieval Times : A Day in the House of

Middle Class Women in Medieval Times : A Day in the House of

The second set of the cathedral bells chime near the break of dawn, and it is time for Guinevere Koch to rise. She and her husband sleep naked and in the same bed, but (living amidst the modest society that they do) they lie down in their underwear and remove them only after snuffing out the candlelight (Gies 44). She fetches her soft, linen undergarments from their place under her pillow. The undergarments serve the purpose of covering the woman’s entire body. A long kirtle with long sleeves made of fine linen serves her well in the way of keeping her warm (Bigelow 136). She takes her tunic and surcoat from the perch nearby and pulls them on as well. The surcoat is worn as the outermost garment, is lined with fur, and is drawn snugly at the waist with a wool belt. It is bright green and the tunic is a vibrant crimson color (Gies 37). The tunic’s sleeves cover the palms and leave only the fingers exposed. She pulls on a soft pair of leather shoes and splashes her face with cold water. She has fair skin and wears no cosmetics as they are severely rebuked. Her hair is drawn back into two long braids, and she covers it with a simple white cloth. Her husband, Richard is an accomplished blacksmith and is well-known around town as a master of his trade. He too arises early to open his shop and prepare for the day’s work. He also wears undergarments in the form of long linen pants and a loose-fitting linen shirt. He pulls on tight-fitting trousers and a tunic also of a bright red color. His surcoat is made of fine blue wool and is a fur-lined vest drawn around the waist with a belt. Richard wears thick-soled boots (called estivaux) made of leather with ankle-high tops made of soft leather (Bigelow 140). When he is dressed, he makes his way down the creaky wooden steps to the ground floor of the building. This is their home, warehouse, and shop; all three lie in one building. The second floor houses the kitchen and fireplace, as w…


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