12th century English peasants, enjoying one of their many holidays and/or 170 days of yearly vacation.
Per the Telegraph (UK), work life in the dark ages apparently wasn't all that grim, back-breaking 365 day, subsistence farming that we've been led to believe. (I have my own conspiracy about that in a minute). When asked about what the modern world could learn from 12th century Britons, the study authors concluded:
Debt-free living; a lot of holidays and parties and a lack of work ethic; the idea of a 'just price' for goods; some aspects of the medieval guilds and the importance of craftsmanship; and a more spiritual response to money."
A small farmer in the 1100s would be able to make enough money to live off while taking up to 170 days off a year, but since then work has gradually become more dominant in our lives, he said.
He estimated that a similar person in 1495 would need to work for 15 weeks of the year to earn a sufficient amount to live, while in 1564 the figure was 40 weeks and today most British households need two people on full-time incomes to maintain a home and family.
19th Century Briton...
Is it any coincidence, whatsoever, that the decline in free time, and the decreasing value of wages for labor are sneakily tied to the rise of the capitalist and labor classes? I don't think so, and if you've watched your paycheck shrink over the last few years, then you've felt the pinch and pain of it as well...