past is another country. and it can take a great deal of research and imaginative effort to recreate its multilayered
richness of sights, sounds, smells, textures and tastes. Visiting the
Chiltern Open Air Museum a few years ago I found myself shouting to be
heard over the
almost unbearable thunder of iron-rimmed cartwheels rolling over
had no idea carts made so much noise – and that was a single, large,
wagon pulled by a single horse. Imagine the din around the warehouses of
London Docks in the 1880s!
Many troubadours were high-born men and women, whose songs would usually be performed for them by a joglar or jongleur, a professional singer. Still, it seemed to me quite possible that my own Lord Hugo might on occasion be prevailed upon to sing his own songs – especially if he thought that doing so might help win back his wife from the dead land.