I'm currently reading Chaucer's People: Everyday Lives in Medieval England by Liza Picard.
"What did people eat, wear, read, and think in fourteenth-century England? These were turbulent times, ravaged by war, plague, and the overthrow of a king. Among the surviving records, the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer is the most vivid. Chaucer wrote about workaday lives outside the walls of the court—days spent at the pedal of a loom, or maintaining the ledgers of an estate, or on the high seas.
"In Chaucer’s People, Liza Picard puts these lives into historical context and sheds light on their mysteries. What was the Prioress, a well-mannered young nun, doing on the road to Canterbury with a band of men? How did the “gentle Knight” end up on military service in distant lands like Lithuania and Spain? Drawing on a vast range of subjects, including trade, religion, and medicine, Picard offers new insight into Chaucer’s characters and re-creates the medieval world in glorious detail."
It's a eye-opening, entertaining look at a complex Middle Age civilization. Where we could end up on the long descent.