New this month Factual error: The main plot of 'The War Lord' is based on a total fallacy. Chrysagon, a nobleman in eleventh century Normandy, falls in love with Bronwyn. She is betrothed to Marc, a villager on Chrysagon's estate. When Bronwyn and Marc marry Chrysagon claims 'Droit Du Seigneur', a law that a lord is allowed to sleep with a lesser man's wife on their wedding night. It is often asserted, even by some medieval historians, that 'Droit Du Seigneur' was legally enforced in the middle ages, but no reference to the practice has ever been found in any surviving medieval law code, legal text book, or historical source. It is first mentioned in the sixteenth century, and then as a discontinued practice from a barbarous past (like human sacrifice or cannibalism) but the earliest accounts of the custom do not provide any verifiable sources, suggesting that it originated in over-active minds of writers of popular romances.
Add timeRob Halliday
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