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Butcher, Baker, Wafer-Maker

Miri Rubin: A Medieval Mrs Beeton, 8 April 2010

The Good Wife’s Guide: A Medieval Household Book 
translated by Gina Greco and Christine Rose.
Cornell, 366 pp., £16.95, March 2009, 978 0 8014 7474 3
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... My dear, because you were only 15 years old the week we were married, you asked that I be indulgent about your youth and inexperience until you had seen and learned more. You expressly promised to listen carefully and to apply yourself wholeheartedly to preserving my contentment and love for you (as you so prudently said following advice from, I do believe, someone more wise than yourself), beseeching me humbly in our bed, as I recall, that for the love of God I not rebuke you harshly in front of either strangers or our household, but that I admonish you each night, or on a daily basis, in our bedroom, and that I remind you of your errors or foolishness of the day or days past and that I chastise you, if I should want to ...

What did her neighbours say when Gabriel had gone?

Hilary Mantel: The Virgin and I, 9 April 2009

Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary 
by Miri Rubin.
Allen Lane, 533 pp., £30, February 2009, 978 0 7139 9818 4
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... of May processions in the Virgin’s honour, there would be exhibitions of Cossack dancing. Miri Rubin’s excellent and learned book explores how the meaning of Mary was constructed and directed, how its possibilities blossomed out through two millennia and were negotiated between clergy and faithful, between one culture and another, between ...

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