Earlier this month I reblogged Christian Fantasy author Alison D. Reid‘s “Medieval Monday – The Labors of September” which, like many of her “Labors of the Months” posts, featured a timely episode of an excellent documentary series called Tales from the Green Valley, which I might never have known about if not for her blog. Thankfully, the series is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube (at least for the time being). Anyway, since September’s episode is the first of that series, this is the perfect time for any of my readers who haven’t already seen it to start watching it, so I just thought I’d say a quick word about it and what it means to me. But first, here’s a brief description from the YouTube video since it explains it more succinctly than I ever could:
In this BBC documentary series we get to follow a small group of historians and archeologists as they recreate farm life from the age of the Stuarts. They wear the clothes, eat the food and use the tools, skills and technology of the 1620’s for one year. The first episode starts in September and it’s time for ploughing the fields with oxen, baking bread in a hearth and harvest apples for winter storage.
There are twelve episodes in all, one for each month, and each one features the kind of work that had to be done on a farm of the period, as well as some of the typical meals that would be eaten and the methods of preparing and cooking them. The participants even wear period clothing as they re-enact everyday life in the distant past. So it’s really invaluable to a fantasy writer like myself and I figure it will be to others as well. It’s also just plain entertaining, especially if you’re into creative anachronism of any kind, and watching it really transports you back into a simpler time and place, which–as perilous as it often was–had so much that we lack in these modern times. My only criticism is that the episodes aren’t long enough.