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!DOWNLOAD EPUB ♲ A Fool and His Money: Life in a Partitioned Town in Fourteenth-Century France ♸ Ann Wroe brings to life a rich and perplexing culture of a city physically divided as so many communities are today by political factions in this skillful re creation of fourteenth century Rodez Notes, bibliography The town was Rodez the river was the Aveyron The year was 1369 or 1370, though nobody can say for sure Who owned the pot of gold found in a drain in Rodez, France, in either 1369 or 1370 Was it the man who claimed it, or was it his father in law The story was already set, had become news Ann Wroe unearthed a court case related to this gold and while the outcome of the court case is not known, Ms Wroe s research has provided a wealth of information about life in Rodez Consider a fortifi The town was Rodez the river was the Aveyron The year was 1369 or 1370, though nobody can say for sure Who owned the pot of gold found in a drain in Rodez, France, in either 1369 or 1370 Was it the man who claimed it, or was it his father in law The story was already set, had become news Ann Wroe unearthed a court case related to this gold and while the outcome of the court case is not known, Ms Wroe s research has provided a wealth of information about life in Rodez Consider a fortified city internally partitioned into two communities theelegant and ecclesiastical City subject to the English, and the commercial Bourg subject to the French At this time, during the Hundred Years War, bandits roamed the countryside, as did French and English troops and mercenaries.And what was life like for people in this fourteenth century community The City paid taxes to the Black Prince and the Bourg paid tax when it couldn t be helped to the Count of Armagnac Some individuals managed to avoid tax completely by being unfindable in either place With separate municipal governments, and considerable rivalry between the two it is easy to see how the ownership of the gold could be disputed and how, unfortunately, the outcome of the court case is unknown.Ms Wroe s research has resulted in an interesting and readable account of everyday life in a city divided bythan a wall Somehow, by the end of the book, knowing who owned the gold was less important than appreciating the everyday lives of those in the city where it was found In dissecting this complicated case, Ms Wroe has put context around the lives and actions of those involved brought the town of Rodez to life Who needs fiction when fact is so interesting Jennifer Cameron Smith No offence to the author, but for me this book equaled a snooze fest and I had to struggle to get through the entire story Once started, I just wanted to get to the end to find out what happened so I could move on to a different book.The general concept was fascinating it was based on court records from a small French town in 1369 1370 A pot of gold is found in a drain and the idea is to figure out who it belonged to the forgetful shop owner, Peyre who probably had Alzheimer s or his quick No offence to the author, but for me this book equaled a snooze fest and I had to struggle to get through the entire story Once started, I just wanted to get to the end to find out what happened so I could move on to a different book.The general concept was fascinating it was based on court records from a small French town in 1369 1370 A pot of gold is found in a drain and the idea is to figure out who it belonged to the forgetful shop owner, Peyre who probably had Alzheimer s or his quick thinking son in law, Gerald, who took possession and immediately hid the money in his own home Gerald s primary concern was not with good natured Peyre, but whether the gold would be taxed heavily to help pay for the ongoing war with England.In the telling of the story, the author introduced too many characters, each with a unique story meant to describe the personality of the town and it reportedly did have a fascinating split personality type of existence the two halves of this small town had their own money, laws, taxes, and so forth While I appreciated the intent to slowly reveal the entire story, the reality was that it made itmuddy than interesting and felt like filler Not only that, but the outcome was altogether unsatisfactory If you want to know about everyday life in a partitioned town in medieval France, this is the book for you If you re looking for a story, tho, it s not Fascinating minutiae, just not a lick of anything cohesive. 4 1 2 starsThis book reads like a novel, but it is the ultimate in detective stories, in its own way The key incident in this book occurs in a French village in 1370 It has been ferreted out from an amazing apparently archive stash attic full of old documents going back, in exquisite detail, at least 400 years Ann Wroe, an impressive historian sleuth and a very capable writer, pieces together a very interesting story, and in the process paints a facinating picture of a France very different 4 1 2 starsThis book reads like a novel, but it is the ultimate in detective stories, in its own way The key incident in this book occurs in a French village in 1370 It has been ferreted out from an amazing apparently archive stash attic full of old documents going back, in exquisite detail, at least 400 years Ann Wroe, an impressive historian sleuth and a very capable writer, pieces together a very interesting story, and in the process paints a facinating picture of a France very different from today.PS It s a rare treat to be the first to both rate and review a book here on Goodreads The basic premise is fascinating using a legal drama to describe an era In this case, Wroe selected to describe 14th Century Rodez, a town in Southern France that endured conflicting loyalties between the English and French during the Hundred Years War The loyalties werethan personal, the town was governed in part by a bishop, and in part by a count The townsfolk were caught in the middle The tale is told through the ups and downs of Peyre Marques and his family.The model strongly res The basic premise is fascinating using a legal drama to describe an era In this case, Wroe selected to describe 14th Century Rodez, a town in Southern France that endured conflicting loyalties between the English and French during the Hundred Years War The loyalties werethan personal, the town was governed in part by a bishop, and in part by a count The townsfolk were caught in the middle The tale is told through the ups and downs of Peyre Marques and his family.The model strongly resembles Barbara Tuchman s Distant Mirror through the eyes of Sire de Coucy It is unfair to compare Wore to Tuchman However, if Wroe expanded her book, it would be easier for readers As it stands, there is so much detail and deviation from Marques, that the reader is quickly overwhelmed and confused Different taxes, measurements, and responsibilities fall on citizens who lived and operated in different parts of the town and the town s jurisdiction The fact that people moved in between these boundaries makes her book evendifficult to follow Even visualizing the town is difficult as there are no illustrations, photographs, or visuals Even a crude drawing of the town, as simple as a Tolkien map, would have helped considerably A diagram of the political scene with some of the key characters would have helped too.True, this book could have been turned into a fascinating novel but it too would have been painfully detailed Even if only half of the characters were involved, a novel would be confusing Wroe did an admirable job trying to speak to a non academic audience The result is a lay book that is too complex and a scholarly book that is too vague and simple Readable, facinating history of life in the 14th century. One of the best windows into the medieval period I ve ever had the pleasure to read Stellar research Only problem with this book is that it is far too short. Engaging micro history using a 14th century court case to examine the everyday workings of a town divided between the Black Prince and the Count of Armagnac, the mental decline of an elderly merchant who forgot he buried gold under the floor, his son in law, who claimed the gold, and the neighbors who were evading taxes and responsibility by exploiting the legal and political divisions of the physical location These are very human people, brought to life by careful archival work and reconstruct Engaging micro history using a 14th century court case to examine the everyday workings of a town divided between the Black Prince and the Count of Armagnac, the mental decline of an elderly merchant who forgot he buried gold under the floor, his son in law, who claimed the gold, and the neighbors who were evading taxes and responsibility by exploiting the legal and political divisions of the physical location These are very human people, brought to life by careful archival work and reconstruction of a late medieval business