Redheaded Neanderlady

Redheaded Neanderlady
This is a photoshopped version of something I found in National Geographic about the time I started researching

Monday, August 6, 2007

And on the medieval front. . . .

I meant to post this yesterday. It's in Elizabeth Chadwick's
Living the History
blog(which you can find on the "Links" list to your right). She does a lot of historical recreation, and belongs to Regia Anglorum --- as well as being a fine writer of historical novels set in the Middle Ages.

And what does she write about? Well her last blog was devoted to her latest research. And if you scroll down to the very last part of her blog, you will see a very nice picture of reproductions of a very common type of medieval shoe of her period. It was so common, that it was apparently worn --- if the link she provided is correct --- by all classes of people, for "everyday" use. Hardly surprising. They look, minus the decoration, like certain Birkenstock styles. No, not the clogs. Birkenstock makes other types of shoes as well.

What is even more interesting to me is, basic shoe styles have hardly chainged at all since early medieval times. Literally. If you follow Ms. Chadwick's links , you will find, for example, that boots, for example, are little different(other than the fact that women's boots tend to have raised heels or high heels) from boots made back then. And some of them seem little different from certain kinds of hiking boots I've seen. These footwear must have seen an awful lot of use, and been "tougher" than a lot of similar wear that is manufactured today. I was also rather interested in a reproduction of an early medieval lady's slipper. Again, the design is interesting, because, minus the inevitable low heel seen on such shoes today, it could almost have passed for a women's flat(or one of those shoes of similar style, popular with some young people today, the ankle strap). Be that as it may, one has to sometimes shake one's head in near disbelief. Who "woulda thunk it" that there are only so many shoe styles that last? Or maybe I should say that it just "busts" one more stereotype about the Middle Ages. Or perhaps the final word is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Anne G

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