Lance and Guen are hanging out, and we're surprised to see (the book tells us) that they are old people, and not the hot young things that people like Tennyson made popular.
Gramarye had once been a dark place, but now things are looking up. It's now the Age of Individuals.
There are opulent palaces with exquisite decorations from all over the world made by the best craftsmen, clerks writing so much that libraries are being filled up with books, and thousands of people living their lives and flaunting their individuality, some even letting their freak flags fly (like the woman whose ears are so big she uses them as napkins).
While we might think of this period as the Dark Ages, science was actually flourishing (although scientists back then were called "magicians").
These medieval folk even knew how to get their drinks on, with some insane cocktail names like: Huffe Cap, Mad Dog, Dragon's Milke, and Stride Wide: all tasty artisanal beverages.
Things are pretty peaceful in Arthur's England, and we—looking at all of this from the future—shouldn't presume to think that we're any more enlightened than they were back then, with the wars we fight, conscription, and influenza pandemics.