Five Medieval Jobs to Get the Heart Racing (and One That Probably Won’t)
by Elisabeth Hobbes, author of The Blacksmith’s Wife
Part of the fun of historical romance is imagining experiencing life and love in a different time. Of course, not everyone could marry a king or duke, and just like now, most people had to work to pay the bills and put (gritty) bread on the table. Here are five career choices that might help a would-be hero catch the heart of his lady.
- With no mass production available, the Blacksmith was a respected figure carrying out highly skilled work. As Joanna, my heroine in The Blacksmith’s Wife, discovered, there are obvious benefits to a man who spends his days building up a sweat hammering bars of iron. He’s a much better catch than someone who gets his workout down at the gym and you’d end up with a useful sword thrown in for good measure.
- As well as being a warrior who could fight for your honour, like Sir Hugh in Falling for Her Captor, the Knight was the sports personality of the day. Taking part in jousting and other tournament sports in front of cheering crowds was a way to win fame and fortune, and a horse would be much nicer to pet than a racing car.
- A soulful singer and musician captivating his audience with tales of valor and romance, the Minstrel was the Middle Ages version of a rock star. With an excellent memory a necessary part of the job, he’d have no excuses for forgetting your birthday (or name).
- With water being unsafe to drink, the staple beverage was ale or beer, and producing it fell to the Brewer. How medieval beer might compare to today’s artisan ales would be interesting to discover, and being married to the man with the barrels would be a cheap way of finding out.
- If power floats your boat then consider the Steward. The closest thing to the CEO of a large business, the steward was in charge of the affairs and smooth running of a noble household. Like my hero, Will, in A Wager for the Widow, a man could rise through the ranks to achieve power and wealth. He’d always ensure you had the best bedroom when you visited.
- And finally, someone you wouldn’t want to cosy up to. With sanitation not worth mentioning, spare a thought for the Gong Firmer whose job it was to shovel away the inevitable by-products of daily life. Eye watering rather than pulse quickening!
Which medieval man would catch your eye? I’d love to know.
About The Blacksmith’s Wife:
Rejected by her favored knight, Joanna Sollers knows she will never love again. Especially when the man she’s now forced to marry is none other than her beloved’s half brother!
For blacksmith Hal Danby, marrying Joanna makes his lifelong dream of entering the Smiths’ Guild possible, even if the secrets in his past mean he’ll forever keep his distance. But everything changes with one stolen night, and in the arms of his new bride, Hal wonders if this loveless arrangement could transform into something real…