Well, it looks like the other Monk has been putting himself about again. He's written a two-part guest post for English Historical Fiction Authors.
The posts take a look at life in early medieval England through the eyes of one of the
artists of the period. In Part I, Dr Monk asks what men needed to wear in order to look their best, to make a statement of dapperness, you might say. It's perhaps not what you imagine and certainly not what this monk would be seen in.
In Part II, he busts a few stereotypes by looking at women as musicians and warriors' less than honourable methods of fighting. That's hair-pulling to you and me!
Back in the thirteenth century, how did you show your appreciation for a job well done? Herrings, of course!
'For the labourer is worthy of his hire'.
And who am I, blessed readers, to gainsay the Lord himself, who pronounced this maxim when urging his disciples to accept the food and drink placed before them by appreciative householders during their evangelising work (Luke 10:7).
Inspired by this Christian message, I thought it would be fascinating to see how this concept of feeding in order to show appreciation for hard work was interpreted by the monks of thirteenth-century Rochester.
So let us take a gander at the bitties, as a twenty-first century Scotsman put it to me, and explore what gourmet treats were in store for the lay servants of St Andrew's Priory.