When Margery Paston announced that she wished to marry her family's land agent, Richard Calle, her mother and her brothers were appalled. They resisted the marriage so strongly that rather than let Margery follow her heart, they created a public feud which culminated in her being examined in public by the bishop of Norwich.
aÂ Â John Paston III wrote to his elder brother that Richard Calle `should never have my goodwill to make my sister sell candles and mustard at Framlingham'. True, Richard's family ran a shop: but Richard was no shop assistant. He was an intelligent, well-educated professional man, perfectly capable of keeping a wife in the manner that might have been expected of Margery's husband. So why were her family so determined to prevent the marriage? Was it really because they believed it was socially beneath them, or were there other, better hidden reasons?
aÂ Â The Paston letters are well known as an unique source of knowledge about an English family in the fifteenth century. They form the main source for this account of Richard and Margery's lives, which also draws on many other sources, including the author's first-hand knowledge of the places the Pastons knew and lived in.
aÂ Â The book is illustrated in colour throughout, with maps, family trees and many photographs of East Anglian scenes, stained glass and other details of medieval buildings.
Susan Curran has been a professional writer and publisher for more than 30 years. She is the author of two further medieval biographies, The English Friend and The Wife of Cobham, also published by the Lasse Press.
List of maps and genealogies; Introduction; 1 The heiress; 2 The golden grasshopper; 3 Boar spears and swords; 4 Candles and mustard; 5 Thrashing Elizabeth; 6 The wheat, the malt; 7 The captain of Caister; 8 A mention in the will; 9 The tapestries, the silver, the wine; 10 At the castle gates;11 Hell's den; 12 A clog on his heel; 13 The bridge over the moat;14 Constance and Constance; 15 Three hundred marks a year; 16 The wolf's head; 17 The drones, the bees; 18 Such ordinance; 19 The rood of the north door; 20 Nail his ear; 21 Your featherbeds; 22 The True Cross of Bromholm; 23 Sufficiently declared; 24 Pleasure and profit; 25 The best chooser; 26 Such good cheer; 27 The blazing star; 28 Let run the waters; 29 My own lady; 30 Bound more surely; 31 Great jeopardy; 32 The fens in winter; 33 The gentleman and his wife; Notes; Bibliography; Acknowledgements; General index; Index of illustrations