No more "getting medieval" on the Middle Ages!

In his film Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino’s anti-heroes "get medieval" on their victims, meaning "to physically torture or injure someone by means of archaic methods," but author Stephen Cooper feels that the modern world should be careful about its use of the word "medieval." His article Positively Medieval appears on the History Today blog.

Cooper discusses the contributions of K.B. McFarlane, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford between 1927 and 1966,his pupils and their pupils, who did a great deal to rehabilitate the repution of the Middle Ages, especially the 15th century, as a more positive time.

Cooper writes:

McFarlane also showed that ‘bastard feudalism’, the invention of censorious Victorians, was little more than a clever phrase. What happened was that the relationship between lords and retainers was gradually transformed by the growth of a money economy. There was nothing ‘illegitimate’ about this. The Wars of the Roses were not a sign of decay and dissolution, but a reaction to the insanity, and inanity, of Henry VI.