These racy poems shed light on the lives of regular people in medieval times. "This shows the common people being as down and dirty as you can get. It will change people ideas about the Middle Ages as dark and church-bound and unknowable," says Mr. Bloch. "The fabliaux are similar in many ways to soaps," says Mr. Dubin. "They deal with issues and problems on people's minds, and focus on the infidelities and lies and trickeries that people commit on one another to reflect changing mores."