Beowulf in the Newspaper: Maybe nobody bothered to write down the happy things
This is a link to Megan Scott's story Life was Tough Back in Ye Olde Beowulf Days.
The me: The time has traditionally been known as the Dark Ages, or the early Middle Ages, because it follows the fall of the Roman Empire. The overall economy in Europe collapsed, said Michael Drout, English professor at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass."There was much less writing, much less trade, the population declined from plague," said Drout. "So there was a lower level of technology and economic activity."
More me: People also drank mead, a fermented honey drink, from hollowed out cows' horns that couldn't be set down once they were filled "so you either had to empty your horn in one drink or pass it around to others," Drout said. [W00T. I am chosen as excerpt on drinking. Insteand cred with students...]
Concluding me: "There was still a great deal of beauty and joy," Drout said. "It just seems that literature is filled with tragedy and disaster. Maybe because no one bothered to write down the happy things."