The Routledge Handbook of Medieval Rural Life brings together the latest research on peasantry in medieval Europe.

The aim is to place peasants – as small-scale agricultural producers – firmly at the centre of this volume, as people with agency, immense skill and resilience to shape their environments, cultures and societies. This volume examines the changes and evolutions within village societies across the medieval period, over a broad chronology and across a wide geography. Rural structures, families and hierarchies are examined alongside tool use and trade, as well as the impact of external factors such as famine and the Black Death. The contributions offer insights into multidisciplinary research, incorporating archaeological as well as landscape studies alongside traditional historical documentary approaches across widely differing local and regional contexts across medieval Europe.

This book will be an essential reference for scholars and students of medieval history, as well those interested in rural, cultural and social history.

chapter |10 pages

Introduction 1

part 1|86 pages

Social relationships, communities and hierarchies

part 2|78 pages

Dealing with conflicts and adversity

chapter 7|14 pages

The monks and the masses at Saint-Leu d'Esserent

Rural politics in northern France before the Jacquerie 1

chapter 8|25 pages

Access versus influence

Peasants in court in the late medieval Low Countries

chapter 9|15 pages

Famine in medieval England

chapter 10|22 pages

Climate, pathogens and mammals

England in the age of emerging diseases, c. 1275–1362

part 3|125 pages

Work and making a living

chapter 14|16 pages

Tenure and the land market in northeastern England

A comparative perspective

chapter 15|22 pages

Aspects of farm labour in medieval Iceland

Gender and childhood c. 1100–1400