A Day in a Medieval City

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Overview


An opportunity to experience the daily hustle and bustle of life in the late Middle Ages, A Day in a Medieval City provides a captivating dawn-to-dark account of medieval life. A visual trek through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries—with seasoned historian and expert on medieval iconography Chiara Frugoni as guide—this book offers a vast array of images and vignettes that depicts the everyday hardships and commonplace pleasures for people living in the Middle Ages.

A Day in a Medieval City breathes life into the activities of the city streets, homes, fields, schools, and places of worship. With entertaining anecdotes and gritty details, it engages the modern reader with its discoveries of the religious, economic, and institutional practices of the day. From urban planning and education to child care, hygiene, and the more leisurely pursuits of games, food, books, and superstitions, Frugoni unearths the daily routines of the private and public lives of citizens. A Day in a Medieval City is a charming portal to the Middle Ages that you'll surely want with you on your travels to Europe—or in your armchair.

“With its color illustrations of rare paintings and artifacts, this thoughtful and informative, elegantly fashioned excursion into the life of a medieval city is a veritable feast of information and visual delights. Frugoni is a marvelously experienced historical travel guide.”—Choice 

“Stunningly beautiful . . . and a good read as well. . . . It’s amazing how much wealth of detail and image Ms. Frugoni has packed into this delightful, relatively small book.”—Steve Goode, Washington Times

“Charming and insightful. . . .Written with exceptional grace and infused with a warm sense of humanity.”—Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this charming and insightful book, Frugoni (medieval studies, emerita, Univ. of Rome; Books, Banks, Buttons: And Other Inventions from the Middle Ages) takes the reader on "a ramble through the streets and into the houses and lives of the people of the Middle Ages." In its construction, the book is a bit of a ramble itself: the introduction is a redraft of two pieces written by her prematurely deceased father; there follow excursuses on the urban perception of time and on the city walls and passageways, a long chapter on life inside the city, and shorter chapters on children's lives, their education, and adult reading habits. Frugoni deploys an abundance of paintings, illuminations, statuary, tales and memoirs, and details of the construction of houses to convey the texture and feel of everyday life in a far-gone age. The result is a sensitive work of scholarship, written with exceptional grace and infused with a warm sense of humanity. Frugoni does not sugarcoat the brutality of life for most in the Middle Ages, but the overall impression is of a vibrant society. Enthusiastically recommended for all collections.-David Keymer, Modesto, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
George Holmes

"A very well-illustrated, charming, and informative picture by someone who truly knows the sources of real, everyday life in a medieval city."
Washington Times - Steve Goode

"Stunningly beautiful . . . and a good read as well. . . . It's amazing how much wealth of detail and image Ms. Frugoni has packed into this delightful, relatively small book."

Renaissance Magazine - Ken Mondschein

"Frugoni writes with both an encyclopedic knowledge of history and a native's love of Italy. For those wishing for insight into the medieval world—and who are not afraid to learn the true facts about medieval life—this lavishly illustrated volume is not to be missed."
Times Literary Supplement - Bettina Bildhauer

"Frugoni gathers together a wealth of information about everyday life: about work, shopping, games, clothes, childcare, hygiene, devotion, schooling and sleep. . . . A beautiful picture book, an enticing store of images and anecdotes."
Catholic Library - Daniel Boice

"Enjoyable in every way, this fine book is warmly recommended to all academic libraries and interested individuals. Readers will be grateful to the author for this useful book and more grateful still to be living in much more hygienic if far less devout times."
Choice

“With its color illustrations of rare paintings and artifacts, this thoughtful and informative, elegantly fashioned excursion into the life of a medieval city is a veritable feast of information and visual delights. Frugoni is a marvelously experienced historical travel guide. The translation is clear and unobtrusive, every page reflecting the author's verve and intellectual curiosity. . . . This is a gem that will appeal to general audiences as well as students and scholars.”
History Today

"A captivating dawn-to-dark account of medieval life on the city streets, in homes, fields, schools and places of worship. From urban planning and education to child care, hygiene and the more leisurely pursuits of games, food, books and superstitions, Frugoni unearths the daily routines of the private and public lives of the citizens in Italy."
Washington Times

"Stunningly beautiful . . . and a good read as well. . . . It's amazing how much wealth of detail and image Ms. Frugoni has packed into this delightful, relatively small book."

— Steve Goode

Choice

“With its color illustrations of rare paintings and artifacts, this thoughtful and informative, elegantly fashioned excursion into the life of a medieval city is a veritable feast of information and visual delights. Frugoni is a marvelously experienced historical travel guide. The translation is clear and unobtrusive, every page reflecting the author's verve and intellectual curiosity. . . . This is a gem that will appeal to general audiences as well as students and scholars.”
Renaissance Magazine

"Frugoni writes with both an encyclopedic knowledge of history and a native's love of Italy. For those wishing for insight into the medieval world—and who are not afraid to learn the true facts about medieval life—this lavishly illustrated volume is not to be missed."

— Ken Mondschein

Times Literary Supplement

"Frugoni gathers together a wealth of information about everyday life: about work, shopping, games, clothes, childcare, hygiene, devotion, schooling and sleep. . . . A beautiful picture book, an enticing store of images and anecdotes."

— Bettina Bildhauer

Blue Ridge Business Journal

"Casting ourselves, even briefly, into another time is extremely difficult, but [Frugoni's] prose and her understanding of the commonplace gives A Day in a Medieval City life. This one's a keeper."
Catholic Library

"Enjoyable in every way, this fine book is warmly recommended to all academic libraries and interested individuals. Readers will be grateful to the author for this useful book and more grateful still to be living in much more hygienic if far less devout times."

— Daniel Boice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226266350
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 928,024
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Chiara Frugoni is professor emerita of medieval studies at the University of Rome. She is the author of several books, including Books, Banks, Buttons: And Other Inventions from the Middle Ages. William McCuaig is an independent scholar and translator who has translated two previous books by Chiara Frugoni.
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Table of Contents


Author's Note
Translator's Note
Introduction by Arsenio Frugoni (1914-1970)
1. The Time of Labor, the Time of Memory
2. The Road That Leads to the City
3. Inside the City
4. The Lives of Children
5. Childhood Learning
6. Adult Reading
7. Indoors
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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