The Politeness of Princes

Punctuality being the politeness of princes, this lecture examines the reality of manners and etiquette in later the Medieval period. A far cry from the popular image of appalling table manners, Medieval dining was a minefield of do’s and don’ts, many of which were recorded in courtesie books (Teach Yourself How To Be A Gentleman texts).

A rich vein of artistic evidence also survives, bearing out what is written. The lecture deals with the structure of formal banquets and the food eaten as well as how young gentlemen were trained and more everyday advice to women about hygiene and how to conduct themselves.