The fifteenth-century Paston letters are well known and well documented, the shopping lists which they contain are less so. The exchange of letters between the female family members located in Norfolk and their male relatives living and working in London demonstrate their understanding of the capital as a centre for commercial activity: the ideal place to bag a bargain. The shopping lists contained in letters written by the Paston women show them to be shrewd shoppers. This short blog post focuses on the letters and lists of Margaret Mautby Paston (c.1420-1484), wife of John Paston (as they are particularly rich in demonstrating her savvy shopping. Margaret uses her husband and son as shopping agents to obtain the exotic imports she desires at the best possible price. Her letters provide an insight into to the diet and lifestyle of the mercantile elite in the East Anglian Middle Ages.
Original languageEnglish
TypePost for the 'Medieval Women's Literary Culture and the Medieval Canon' blog
Media of outputblog post
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019
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