6 Oct 2017

First Line Fridays #11: The Middle Ages Unlocked

That time of the week again, and I've managed to fall behind in my reading Challenge again, but I am making my way through two audiobooks and one paperback, so it's not because of laziness. Today also marks another milestone: The First Line Fridays group has a new home and we are including our posts in a new links list.  

Today is also a first for me: I'm including a non-fiction title on this site which is not Christian, for like the first time ever. Those who follow me on Goodreads will probably have seen this title on there: it's a History book that I have been reading for a while. Not because its a bad book, but just because I only read a few pages every now and again in between other titles. 

The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Life in Medieval England 1050- 1300. Well, the title is pretty self-explanatory, it's from a British Publisher, and the authors are Polish and Latvian scholars. I've always enjoyed reading about how people lived in the past, and not just about major political events, so a book that covers everything from law to clothing, building styles and the dietary habits of Medieval English men and women is ideal for me. 

What's also interesting about this book though, is that it also examines the lives of the Jewish communities of Medieval England, alongside the English, Normans and other majoritygroups. 
There were several thousand Jews in England until their forced expulsion in the late 13th century. 

Today I am including two first lines, actually the first lines of the first two paragraphs, as I think this gives a better idea of what the book is about. 

"So many people love the Middle Ages. Movies, books,  role-playing games and reenactment, these help us to enjoy - and shape how we see, the period.... The Middle Ages of our imagination of popular culture is not, however, always close the Middle Ages that historians and archeologists know." 

That's my contribution for the week: from now on instead of the little list of links at the bottom we're going to be using the button below. Happy Friday from me, and remember to comment with the first line of the book you are reading.



  1. That first line is incredibly true. Pop culture does make the Medieval Times more fun than it really was.

    I'm sharing about "Witness Protection" by Carol Kinsey on the blog today, but I'm going to share the first line from the book I'm currently reading here.

    "All of the stories have been written, including mine."
    Lu. by Beth Troy

    1. Thanks for visiting.

      I'm not sure that's entirely what the authors meant. Personally I think popular culture oversimplifies this period, and often over-emphasises the nasty aspects.

      You are as bad as me, reading more than one book at once.

  2. Wow! You've officially put me on the look-out for this book!! I love the middle ages and will need as much research as I can get if I'm ever to write my dream series. ;) This looks like a great addition to my bookshelf. ;)

    My first line from "The Colors of Christmas" (Olivia Newport) which I need to read this weekend: "They rode in silence, the murmur of Alex's expensive late-model white SUV lulling Astrid into drowsiness."

    1. Thanks for visiting. Most of the books from this Publisher are available in the USA, in paperback and Kindle. Also, I believe the Publisher do post internationally. Its a great book, and I would certainly include it on any recommended research list.

  3. This book sounds so interesting. I love historical books and learning more about British history. :) Happy Friday!

    1. Thanks for visiting. The book is well worth reading. I still have about 100 pages and 4 chapters to go, but I can still recommend.

      Happy Friday.

  4. Happy Friday!!! My first line is from Mission Undercover by Virginia Vaughan:

    "Blake Michaels pulled into the parking lot of Northshore Medical Center and cut the engine."

  5. Sounds like a book I need to check out.

    I’m sharing the first line from Lynn Austin’s new release ‘Where We Belong’ on my blog this week, so I’m going to share the first line of the book I just finished here: The Case of the Clobbered Cad by Debra E. Marvin.

    “Heather Munro gazed down Victoria Street so long, she became another gray-suited statue along the Royal Mile.”

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Do, its well worth it. I've heeard of your book, and I'd like to get hold of it sometime. Happy Saturday it is now.

  6. that sounds like an interesting read! I've always been fascinated with that era of history.

    Here's the first line of the book currently closest to me - "Someone had left the front door open." - Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

    1. Its been out a couple of years, so it might be in some libraries.

      I like mysteries, but I don't read contemporary ones. Even though I watch them. Odd person I am.

  7. Sounds intriguing! I'll have to remember this when I'm struggling to decide what to buy my mother for Christmas (I swear I inherited my love of reading, and of British history).

    I'm sharing from Where We Belong by Lynn Austen on my blog, but I'm currently reading Cardiac Event by Dr. Richard Mabry. Here's the first line:

    Dr. Cliff Hamilton watched the bright green lines of the EKG dance across the monitor screen.

    I'm finding Cardiac Event is perhaps more medical murder mystery than thriller, but there is plenty of suspense and I'm enjoying it. I'll post a full review on my website next week.


I like to hear from readers, so feel free to leave a comment!

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