Hello Timothy- you'll find this list at its best on highly specific (if not esoteric) questions, but for starters, good popular histories are Barbara Tuchman's *A Distant Mirror* and Eileen Power's *Medieval People*, and there's a more recent series *A History of Private Life* which has a volume on the Middle Ages which is editied by Phillipe Aries and Georges Duby.  The latter two, plus Jaques Le Goff, are all worth trying, but most have a strong French slant.  Others will doubtless innundate you with English stuff.

Happy hunting

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Timothy Ladd 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 12:18 AM
  Subject: [M-R] New Member Timothy Ladd

  Hello everyone. My medieval interests run wide and a little shallow. My main curiosities concern England in the fourteenth century, when something was in the air, guessing from of all the famous names we have from that period. I am interested in daily life and how the social and the religious intersect. I am thinking of writing an historical novel peopled with figures such as Gaunt and Chaucer. So I need to know how much they traveled and what they ate (what makes black bread black?) and whether it was more common to be drunk more than one prayed. That sort of thing.  The ethos of the times, and how religion played a part in that ethos or was shaped by it. 

  I graduated with a BA in English from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1995. I subsequently worked on a master's in English at Wayne State (Detroit) and all but completed the course-work with no distinction whatsoever (focusing on British lit.). I think it was Derrida and Steven Greenblatt that killed all the fun for me. So I am considering applying to MSU after the kids are in school (I'm a stay-at-home dad now) to work on a master's in history, concentrating on fourteenth-century England.

  Now you know everything there is to know about me.
  Timothy Ladd