Examines the impact of an ancient and prestigious text on medieval culture.
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Oxbow says: This fascinating study of how people understood and used their senses in the late medieval period draws on evidence from a range of literary texts, documents and records, as well as material culture and architectural sources.
The new edition of Medieval England, 500-1500, edited by Emilie Amt and Katherine Allen Smith, spans several centuries in 102 documents that present the social and political history of England. The documents include constitutional highlights and records such as the Magna Carta and Froissart's Chronicles, as well as narrative sources describing the lived experiences of a range of historical actors. These narratives fit into thematic clusters covering topics such as the Anglo-Saxon monarchy, lay piety, later medieval commercial life, queenship, and Jewish communities. Thirty-nine new sources discuss significant events like the conquest of Wales, the Gregorian mission, and the Viking invasions. They also allow for multiple examples of particular genres, such as wills and miracle collections, to facilitate comparative analysis. Introductions and questions situate each source in the historical landscape and facilitate engagement with the text, inspiring readers to delve into the medieval past. The book also features 40 illustrations, a map, and an index of topics. Additional resources, including essay questions, web resources, and a timeline, can be found on the History Matters website (www.utphistorymatters.com).
This book offers the reader an entirely fresh view of England's Middle Ages. It argues that the long Roman occupation was an unmitigated disaster for the native population because so little was done to raise the output of farming once a sophisticated Mediterranean society was settled in its midst. The Anglo-Saxons, having cleared the land of most of their British predecessors, then set about revolutionising farming technology. This enormously increased the area available for the growing of food, and hence the size of the population. There was more land under the plough in Domesday England than in late Victorian times. The Black Death then revealed how big the population had by then become. Initially plague removed between a third and a half of the population we can trace on records. But there were many more families to feed than we can trace in records. We can tell that that was so because farm output was not much affected by the Black Death's first strike. Apparently farmers, at first, were able to recruit as many replacements for lost labour as they required. Nor did devastating plague check the waging of the French war which was very soon resumed with its customary ferocity. In the end, the Black Death succeeded in cutting the population down to size; and this had the beneficial effect of removing want, and the ill-health that want generates, from the lives of those who survived. Paradoxically this infused new life into those who survived. The wool export trade dwindled irrevocably; it was replaced by a prodigious export of dyed woollen cloth. The farmers produced so much grain in this plague-ridden period that famine, once endemic, became unusual. Indeed, general standards of living probably rose to levels not again achieved until the late nineteenth century.
An important set of historical essays on England and Normandy from the tenth to the thirteenth century.
Pulp fictions of medieval England comprises ten essays on individual popular romances; with a focus on romances that, while enormously popular in the Middle Ages, have been neglected by modern scholarship. Each essay provides valuable introductory material, and there is a sustained argument across the contributions that the romances invite innovative, exacting and theoretically charged analysis. However, the essays do not support a single, homogenous reading of popular romance: the authors work with assumptions and come to conclusions about issues as fundamental as the genre's aesthetic codes, its political and cultural ideologies, and its historical consciousness that are different and sometimes opposed. Nicola McDonald's collection and the romances it investigates, are crucial to our understanding of the aesthetics of medieval narrative and to the ideologies of gender and sexuality, race, religion, political formations, social class, ethics, morality and national identity with which those narratives engage.
This anthology brings together medieval documents and narratives illustrative of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of England during the Middle Ages. Authors and subjects included are both secular and clerical, male and female, mighty and low. Along with classic texts, such as the Domesday Book and Magna Carta, the collection also contains materials on less frequently addressed topics, such as the persecution of Jews, and the writings of a number of women, such as Margery of Kempe and Queen Isabella of Angoulême.
Medieval England's history starts with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century.
A fresh approach to the implications of obtaining, preparing, and consuming food, concentrating on the little-investigated routines of everyday life.