[Sca-cooks] Age and maturity in the Middle Ages

Laura C. Minnick lcm at jeffnet.org
Fri Sep 14 09:50:08 PDT 2007

At 09:31 AM 9/14/2007, you wrote:
>There's such a knowledgeable group of people here, I thought I'd 
>ask, even though it's not food related. Have there been any papers 
>on psychosocial development in the middle ages? I recall Barbara 
>Tuchman's observations about how young in age many of the rulers 
>were during the 100 Years War (leading armies as teenagers), and her 
>intimating that some of the problems of the 14th century were 
>because so many of the elites (and people in general) were immature 
>and had poor impulse control. I can see her point: I look back at 
>the asinine things I did at 16 and ask myself what the hell was I 
>thinking, and then realize that at the time, no, I was not thinking 
>at all, I just did it and didn't think about the consequences.

You might look into Barbara Hanawalt and Shulamith Shahar- both of 
them have written about childhood in the Middle Ages, including 
adolescence. Georges Duby may also have something  useful.

For what it's worth, I think that the majority of Richard II's 
problems as an adult stem directly from how he was handled as a teen, 
including the judicial murder of his mentor and tutor, Simon Burley. 
Repeatedly humiliating the young king (and queen) was not the wisest 
thing the council could have done.

(And payback's a b!tch.)

"It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than 
our abilities."  -Albus Dumbledore

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