How can dirty marks in an old book help us access a medieval reader’s emotions? Why is it important that we try to establish such connections? The history of emotions is a new field but one that encourages a wider public engagement with history. Emotions are accessible: we all understand and experience anger, pity, love and hate. These feelings help us make links to those who previously expressed them and open up new pathways to understand how people in the past felt about their world. Historians search literary and documentary evidence for publicly expressed emotions, if not interior feelings.