Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are you an Ellen or Aliena?

Last night we had a terrific meeting! About 2/3 of us had read the book and it certainly had mixed reviews. Our host treated us with gothic chants and even a medieval castle cake. I managed to snap a picture right before we dug in. Great Job Phaedra!

One of the interesting aspects of this book is the frustration that stems from the overall power and influence of the Church in every aspect of life, with no other options or choice. Your complete way to salvation and absolution was through the Church and they governed every aspect of your life. One wonders if the people of the 12th century truly believed in their convictions or did they live by the rules of the church because there really was no other way to live unless you chose a life on the outskirts of society.

We were all pretty much grateful we did not have to live during this time in history, not only were you limited to what you could be and become, but as women, you had very little say as to how your life would turn out. Sure there were women rulers here and there, but for the most part, us “average” women would have very little choice and very little respect for that matter. Here is a fun link to a terrific website about some interesting women of the Middle Ages.

Whether we loved or hated it, the one thing you definitely take away from this book is the power of the individual. A handful of men with good hearts and a great vision can accomplish the impossible and the usher changes into this world. One only has to visit a cathedral in person of this magnitude to feel the awe and reverence in the labor it would take to create such a work of art, and this book gives us a reason to identify with them, to personalize the men and women in history that made their mark on this earth by playing a part, be it small or large, in such an architectural feat as the building of a cathedral.


Welcome one and all to the launch of The Literachicks blog. Tonight we have our first meeting of the year. We are going to be discussing “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett.

This book gave us a few surprises to say the least and we should be in for a lively discussion this evening. Mainly our topic of discussion will be why we are SOOO grateful we (as women) did not have to live in the 12th century. More on our meeting tomorrow!