Ellen states in the book that until the end of the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church strictly forbade usury.
Then on page 60 she has a heading "A Revisionist View of the Middle Ages." She points out that modern schoolbooks generally portray the
Middle Ages as a time of poverty, but that a nineteenth century Oxford historian by the name of Thorold Rogers stated the reverse: "a labourer could
provide all the necessities for his family for a year by working 14 weeks." She goes on to say, "Money was available for inventions and art,
supporting the Michelangelos, Rembrandts, Shakespeares, and Newtons of the period."
She states that the reason for this was "the absence of usurious lending practices." She states, "Rather than having to borrow the moneylenders'
gold, the people relied largely on interest-free tallies. Unlike gold, wooden tallies could not become scarce..."