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Frances Gies, née Carney, and Joseph Gies, who both hailed from Ann Arbor, Michigan, married in the 1940s and had three children. Frances worked as a reader for the story department of 20th Century-Fox, while her husband was an editor at This Week Magazine, the Sunday magazine of the New York Herald Tribune. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army in France and Germany. After the war, they began a new career as historians and writers, collaborating on a dozen books about life in the Middle Ages, including Women in the Middle Ages, Life in a Medieval City, Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval Village, and Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel. They became the world's bestselling historians of the period. They also wrote individual works.
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