In recent years I have been trying to teach at least one class every Pennsic. This year I will teach two. Since I am already researching textiles in English medieval household account books that is what I will cover.
The research process has inspired me (along with recent projects) to start a household account book for my persona and her family. I am finding that it is more than a list of what was purchased when but rather it makes me ask questions about what I would need to bring somewhere, what would be purchased in route? How one would get somewhere (a chariot for the ladies but a fine horse for my husband along with his war horse for example), how long it would take to get somewhere by horse and chariot (the medieval word for carriage) and how much would you send on food and lodging along the way? Would we need anything new for the journey and deed of arms, for example? A new pennant or new armor? And so on.
Not to mention the daily household account for food and lodging at home. Not many people think about their personas with this detail and reading household accounts is very useful for this purpose. Not to mention where might the income for my esquire be coming from and how much would that be? Since I do not have all the answers to these question I will be hosting (I hope) a roundtable so that others who are working on similar questions might come and have a little talk.
Medieval English Account Books and What They Can Tell Us About Textiles: This class will cover the use of Account Books (also called Household Books, Wardrobe Accounts and sometimes the Diet) in England from c.1250-1480 to document the purchase of and use of textiles by various noble households. These accounts often detail the type of cloth used, amount purchased, cost, and intended purpose. We will also cover some Wills that detail bequests of garments and textiles. This roundtable is an accompaniment to the “Keeping Your Own Account Book for Your Persona: A Roundtable Discussion” lecture.
Keeping Your Own Account Book for Your Persona: A Roundtable Discussion: This round table will cover how to keep your own account book (also called Household Books, Wardrobe Accounts) for your persona. What information should you include? How should it be organized? The benefits of this project are that it encourages you to think about your persona’s daily life, how it would be organized, what they would need and who might be part of their households. Anyone with similar research or projects is welcome to discuss their own efforts at this roundtable. This teacher/moderator will discuss her own work in this area. This roundtable is an accompaniment to the “Medieval English Account Books and What They Can Tell Us About Textiles” lecture.
On other random notes: the wool for the new medieval gown arrived but the silk undergown needs to be dyed from an orange to a red but that should be no problem (the color on your monitor might vary slightly from the actual color of the fabric. Doh!). I will wash, cut and sew the top gown in May so there will be only a few updates until then on this project.
I have also acquired some congress cloth for a quickly needlepoint purse in German brickstitch. I suspect that I will not get to work on it much considering the research that I need to do for my papers/classes. But my hands are getting restless and I want to embroider! Something, anything!