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Archers, Alchemists - and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed

Archers, Alchemists

and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed

Interest Age: 8–12
Grade: 3–6
Hardcover : 9781550378115, 96 pages, September 2003 , 11.00" x 8.50"
Paperback : 9781550378108, 96 pages, September 2003 , 10.50" x 8.25"
Rights sold: Korean, simplified Chinese


This book allows us to explore a popular fantasy. If we could go back in time to the Middle Ages, what would we want to be? A knight in shining armor? A princess in a silken gown? Most people’s lives were far less glamorous but just as fascinating. Barbers cut off beards ... and sickly limbs; gong farmers cleaned out latrines ... and sorted through the excrement for dropped buttons or pennies. This fascinating and original guide presents 100 careers, described with historical accuracy and the author’s renowned wit! Sidebars expound on intriguing elements of medieval life, including the Bayeux Tapestry, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, medieval cosmetics, and torture techniques! The art provides the reader with further opportunities to have fun and learn.


  • Nominated, Red Cedar Book Award 2003
  • Joint winner, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year 2003
  • Joint winner, The Year’s Best List, Resource Links 2003
  • Commended, VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List 2003


“Galloway delivers an extraordinary amount of juicy information in an enormously engaging way, and Newbigging's amusing illustrations provide another way to help get the ‘medicine’ down without a hiccup.”

- The Globe and Mail

“This is a book to be sampled and savored, as it is absolutely brimming with information, and it will keep on providing insights on each subsequent browsing.”

- Resource Links

“Witty and clever.”

- Bookviews.

“Witty, charming, and packed with information, this enjoyable read is also a handy back-up reference for historical fiction about the Middle Ages . . . will teach readers of any age much about Medieval culture.”


“Fascinating . . . This is a fun book, filled with eye-popping surprises.”

- Wonderkorner

“Clear, chatty language and short descriptions along with lots of white space, large type, and cartoon illustrations make this an appealing book . . . A terrific supplement to Middle Age units.”

- School Library Journal

“The jaunty, cartoon-like ink drawings, brightened by color washes, heighten the informal, upbeat tone of the informative text.”

- Booklist

“An anything-but-dull look at [the Middle Ages] . . . The book is filled with cool cartoon-style illustrations and interesting sidebars.”

- Chicago Tribune

“A terrific way to give young readers an overview of a fascinating period.”

- City Parent

“Not only an enjoyable read but also a useful reference book with many potential applications for role-playing, creative writing, and other research projects.”

- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Priscilla Galloway and her illustrator, Martha Newbigging, have done an exceptional job with this book. Galloway’s text combines wit with scholarship, and Newbigging’s many whimsical, colored illustrations complement the text . . . Highly Recommended.”

- CM Reviews