In her exhaustively researched new book, Larissa Tracy, an associate professor of medieval literature at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, says linking “medieval” with acts of torture is a fallacy.

“Torture was not a pervasive means of medieval judicial control, despite accounts of public brutality and secular punishment …,” Tracy wrote in the introduction to “Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature,” which cites the “Getting Medieval” scene from “Pulp Fiction” as a way of explaining how our understanding of the medieval era has been misguided.