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Children's Nonfiction Medieval

Archers, Alchemists

and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed

by (author) Priscilla Galloway

illustrated by Martha Newbigging

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2003
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2003
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 6


This book allows us to explore a popular fantasy. If we could go back in time to the Middle Ages, what would we want to be? A knight in shining armor? A princess in a silken gown? Most people’s lives were far less glamorous but just as fascinating. Barbers cut off beards ... and sickly limbs; gong farmers cleaned out latrines ... and sorted through the excrement for dropped buttons or pennies. This fascinating and original guide presents 100 careers, described with historical accuracy and the author’s renowned wit! Sidebars expound on intriguing elements of medieval life, including the Bayeux Tapestry, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, medieval cosmetics, and torture techniques! The art provides the reader with further opportunities to have fun and learn.

About the authors

by Priscilla Galloway and illustrated by Normand Cousineau

Priscilla Galloway's profile page

MARTHA NEWBIGGING has illustrated for numerous magazines including TreeHouse Family, Canadian Business, Toronto Life, TV Guide, and Destinations. Her illustrations have also been featured on a line of t-shirts for the famous Canadian casual clothing retailer Marci Lipman. She lives in Toronto.

Martha Newbigging's profile page


  • Joint winner, The Year’s Best List, Resource Links
  • Commended, VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List
  • Nominated, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Joint winner, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews

“Clear, chatty language and short descriptions along with lots of white space, large type, and cartoon illustrations make this an appealing book . . . A terrific supplement to Middle Age units.”

School Library Journal

“Witty, charming, and packed with information, this enjoyable read is also a handy back-up reference for historical fiction about the Middle Ages . . . will teach readers of any age much about Medieval culture.”


“An anything-but-dull look at [the Middle Ages] . . . The book is filled with cool cartoon-style illustrations and interesting sidebars.”

Chicago Tribune

“The jaunty, cartoon-like ink drawings, brightened by color washes, heighten the informal, upbeat tone of the informative text.”


“Not only an enjoyable read but also a useful reference book with many potential applications for role-playing, creative writing, and other research projects.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This is a book to be sampled and savored, as it is absolutely brimming with information, and it will keep on providing insights on each subsequent browsing.”

Resource Links

“A terrific way to give young readers an overview of a fascinating period.”

City Parent

“Galloway delivers an extraordinary amount of juicy information in an enormously engaging way, and Newbigging's amusing illustrations provide another way to help get the ‘medicine’ down without a hiccup.”

The Globe and Mail

“Priscilla Galloway and her illustrator, Martha Newbigging, have done an exceptional job with this book. Galloway’s text combines wit with scholarship, and Newbigging’s many whimsical, colored illustrations complement the text . . . Highly Recommended.”

CM Reviews

“Witty and clever.”


“Fascinating . . . This is a fun book, filled with eye-popping surprises.”


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