I do not know who David Butcher is, but I like him already on the strength of this, that he wrote in the latest Radio Times – which is published, be it noted, by the BBC. It is part of a plug for a programme to be broadcast tonight on BBC2 at 8 pm:
Having enjoyably milked all the clichés about olden times in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Jones makes up for it here. The idea is to put the record straight by presenting portraits of how real life would have been for eight medieval archetypes, starting tonight with the dirty and downtrodden figure of the peasant.
The gist is that things weren’t nearly as bad for feudal serfs as received history and Monty Python films would have you believe. For a start, they had 80 days’ holiday a year, thanks to all those church feast days. And although they were forced to work 50 or so days in a year for their feudal lord, that’s rather less than most of us today work to pay our income tax. By the end of the programme, you may be feeling almost envious.
Well that may be going too far, but I do like that bit there about income tax, measured in days per year. And I bet these guys will be pleased about this kind of talk too.