Imagine a world without effective medicine, surgery, or anaesthetics. A world devoid of plastics or synthetic fabrics. A world in which agricultural productivity was so low that animal products were a luxury to many. This was a brutal world of entrenched social inequality, almost devoid of labour-saving devices. A world in which even dim lighting was expensive during long, cold, winter nights.
Welcome to the Middle Ages.
Robinson, Fred. C. . “Medieval: the Middle Ages.” Speculum 59, pp. 745–56. (Presidential address to the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, 1984.)