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The Medieval Era The Medieval era is indeed readily generalized into the 3 orders of people who struggle, those who work, and people who pray, or even simply divided into the privileged and unprivileged. All these distinctions are important, for the capability of the church and manor to influence a peasant's activities and to take a peasant's earnings was obviously a central part of a peasant's life. But when peasants comprised such a sizable majority of the inhabitants (over 90 percent), it's also very important to recognize that the distinctions among them. Some peasants were free and some were serfs. Some peasants were well off and some were barely subsisting. Some peasants held manorial offices and a few didn't. Some peasant girls lost their identity behind a husband and others claimed it by never marrying. In this sense, Judith M. Bennett's portrayal of peasant life in A Medieval Life: Cecilia Penifader of Brigstock, c. 1295-1344 is a nuanced perspective. She not only analyzes the affect of the powerful institutions of church and manor on peasants, but she also recognizes that they were affected differently based on their position within peasant society. Through her use of court records from the manor of Brigstock, Bennett attempts to help readers "understand the lives of medieval peasants - their families, work, communities, superstitions, fears, and hopes." Cecilia Penifader and other Brigstock tenants were obligated to attend court every 3 weeks, in which they settled community enterprise. These court rolls are only clues into the lives of the individuals of Brigstock, and they require some amount of historical interpretation. .