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Suffering Souls

Marina Warner: Ghosts in the middle ages., 18 June 1998

Ghosts in the Middle Ages: The Living and the Dead in Medieval Society 
by Jean-Claude Schmitt, translated by Theresa LavenderFagan.
Chicago, 290 pp., £26.50, May 1998, 0 226 73887 6
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... A young priest called Walchelin, returning home one clear night in Normandy around a thousand years ago, heard a great clash and din of an army approaching; he assumed it was the soldiers who followed a local warlord, and hid himself in fear behind some medlar trees. But what he saw, instead, was a ghostly troop: first the lay folk, on foot, weighed down by terrible burdens; then the clergy, bishops as well as monks, all black-cowled and weeping; another black-robed, fiery army of knights then rode by, on black chargers ...

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