[[caption-width-right:270:[[Theatre/RichardIII Unfit for any place but hell...]]]]
Pretty much the entire Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries, though in southern Europe this overlaps with TheRenaissance. This is the period where chivalry is dying, and [[Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli Macchiavellian]] nobles are killing off kings, queens, peasants, and each other with gusto (especially if they happen to be [[BigScrewedUpFamily relatives]]), with recurrences of ThePlague generally finishing off any survivors. This is the age of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_macabre Dance of Death]], the Hundred Years War, the WarsOfTheRoses, TheSpanishInquisition, the early [[BurnTheWitch witchcraft trials]], and Hieronymus Bosch. It just got as dark and edgy as DarkAgeEurope again. Still, a common feature of fictions will be an idealistic character who looks forward to a day when society has left all this mediaeval darkness behind. [[WideEyedIdealist (This character often is killed.)]] We can blame most of these attitudes on the Renaissance, and even more on the (so called) Enlightenment when the whole 'people who came before us were really stupid' thing really started up.
The typical clothing will include [[NiceHat Nice Hats]], often of disturbingly complicated structure, and surprisingly low necklines among the women; among the men, yards and yards of cloth in the sleeves and [[DangerouslyShortSkirt disturbingly high hemlines]] (Women's hemlines won't rise up until [[TheTwentiethCentury several]] [[TheRoaringTwenties centuries]] [[TheSixties later]]). Both generously include lots of fur and velvet, at least among the nobility -- and lots of dirt, at least among the peasants. Splotches of blood are a not infrequent addition for both.
Outside certain aspects of TheRenaissance, this is generally not regarded as a happy time -- and even that period tends to be darkened by [[CorruptChurch poisoning Popes]], [[DeadlyDecadentCourt manipulating courtesans]], and murderous [[FeudingFamilies feuds among the noble clans]].
!!Tropes associated with this time period include:
* CorruptChurch: TheSpanishInquisition is often portrayed as this, even though it was controlled by the Spanish Crown.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: The reason ladies of dubious virtue like Agnes Sorel, Elizabeth Shore, and Vannozza Catanei became powers in the state.
* FeudingFamilies: For instance, the feuds between the Percys and the Nevilles, and York and Lancaster, which form much of the background of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's historical plays.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Of course. [[RichardOfGloucester Richard III]] of England and Louis XI of France are favorites.
* JokerJury / TrialOfTheMysticalJury: Both TheSpanishInquisition and the Vehmgericht vacillate between these two tropes.
* MedievalMorons: Often this occurs in the form of a proto-Renaissance inventor or philosopher being branded as a "[[BurnTheWitch witch]]" or "[[TheHeretic heretic]]" by the superstitious, close-minded [[AristocratsAreEvil aristocrats]] and/or [[TorchesAndPitchforks mob]].
* NiceHat: When the tall headdresses, including the famous steeple headdress, were in vogue.
* PimpedOutDress: One of the most popular (both back then and as a stock costume now) was a dress with tight sleeves, a v-neckline, and trimming of an extravagant fabric (usually [[PrettyInMink fur]] or velvet) on the cuffs, hem, and neckline.
!!Works set in this time period are:
[[folder: Film ]]
* Ingmar Bergman's ''TheSeventhSeal''
* Any version of the story of Joan of Arc (''e.g., The Messenger,'' ''[[ThePassionOfJoanOfArc Le passion de Jeanne d'Arc]]'', and Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's ''Saint Joan'')
[[folder: Literature ]]
* Sir Creator/WalterScott's ''Anne of Geierstein'' and ''Quentin Durward''
* Creator/VictorHugo's ''Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame''
* Justin [=McCarthy=]'s ''If I Were King''
* Henryk Sienkiewicz's ''Literature/TheKnightsOfTheCross''
* Creator/UmbertoEco's ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose''
* Connie Willis's ''Literature/DoomsdayBook''
* Holly Hoyt's ''ThePurpleWidow''.
* In ''TheRoyalDiaries'' series, ''Isabel, Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466'' is about Queen Isabel (also known as Isabella), before her famous reign during the time of Christopher Columbus.
* ''Literature/TheAccursedKings'' begins at the end of TheHighMiddleAges and ends in the beginning of HundredYearsWar, including a short time of TheLateMiddleAges before the beginning of HundredYearsWar.
[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]
* ''BlackAdder'': The first series.
[[folder: Theatre ]]
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's ''Theatre/HenryVI'' (Parts I, II, and III) and ''Theatre/RichardIII''
[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''EuropaUniversalis'' games typically begin in this timeframe.
* ''Medieval: TotalWar'' and its [[VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar remake]] deal with this period (as well as the rest of the middle ages). The late period is characterized by combat with heavily armored units, but also with gunpowder and early cannons - and prompts some factions to begin thinking of crossing the Atlantic Ocean.