The French Room
at the 
Crossroads Faire
March 15, 2003

This room is a slice of life from one of many cultures that will be represented at the Crossroads Faire  on March 15, 2003. We will be doing an in-persona, "high authenticity" recreation of a day at home in the life of a minor noble in the Southwest of France in the late 16th century. This is still the same world as  the Poulet Gauche, but  higher up on the social scale and transported to a rural estate in the south, instead of a busy port town in the north. The "exhibit sign" outside our room reads as follows:
In this room we see Jehan II Baron de Carolingie at home in his manor house of La Tour du Lac, in the region of the Perigord, in the province of Guyenne, in the southwest of France, on March 15, 1600. He is being visited by Master Luke Knowlton, gent., an Englishman and former companion-at-arms in the French civil wars, who has vineyards in the area and travels between London and Bordeaux for the great wine fairs. They and various members of their households, neighbors, and visitors are engaging in typical indoor activities for persons of their social class: needlework, reading aloud from books and newsheets, singing, and chatting with visitors about their acquaintances, current affairs, past glories, and the general bad behavior of young people nowadays. Feel free to talk with them about any subject of interest, or to join in their singing. 

You may wish to note the typical furnishings in a home of this time period. The trestle table, covered by a valuable Oriental rug which would never be wasted on the floor, the stools, chests, and cushions for the ladies. There are relatively few chairs. There is also a cabinet, which contains Jehan's private little treasures such as antique coins, jetons and medallions, rare shells from the Indies, a bit of Ming dynasty porcelain, and miniature family portraits. The walls are covered with panelling, cloth or tapestries. Paintings aimed at the middle classes are becoming consumer goods. Family portraits are de rigeuer among the gentility. Cheap prints are available to everyone. Lighting is normally scarce in interiors, Jehan is being quite generous with it. The floor is covered with rush matting, which has replaced strewn rushes in better homes by this time.

At one o'clock, Capt. Knowlton will give instruction in the proper handling of the pike to any likely youths who are minded to follow the warres, and to any persons desiring such instruction in this militarie arte.

At any time, the residents of this house may sing polyphonic Psalms, which you are welcome to join as a godly entertainment.