A History of Private Life, Volume II: Revelations of the Medieval World / Edition 1

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Overview

All the mystery, earthiness and romance of the Middle Ages are captured in this panorama of everyday life. The evolving concepts of intimacy are explored--from the semi-obscure eleventh century through the first stirrings of the Renaissance world in the fifteenth century. Color and black-and-white illustrations.

The final volume in the award-winning series charts the remarkable inner history of our times from the tumult of World War I to the present day, when personal identity was released from its moorings in gender, family, social class, religion, politics, and nationality. "A fascinating glimpse into the distant and exotic past."--Los Angeles Times. 230 halftones, 2 tables.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

Fourteen different French historians trace this triumph [of individualism] in richly illustrated chapters surveying the terrain of privacy by a variety of procedures...The book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite detail.
— Maureen Quilligan

The Nation

Profusely and intelligently illustrated, generously margined, and wisely and clearly written...[this volume] invites a profound reconsideration of our notions about much of the past and suggests new ways of looking at it...We ought to be inspired to think about our own notion and practice of private life.
— Edward Peters

Bloomsbury Review

The material in this second anthology...is personally involving and profoundly informative...This immense work of imaginative history lifts us out of our own constructed walls. It reveals to us not only the shapes and colors of another time, but of our own.
— Paul Kafka

New York Review of Books

This volume offers a very full, richly variegated picture of the life, in different places and at different periods, of the Middle Ages. The lavish and well-chosen illustrations match the text.
— Maurice Keen

Boston Globe

Like its predecessor in the same series, [this book] makes full use of the whole range of evidence and, most strikingly, the visual...This thoughtful, handsome book would be a fine addition to any library.
— David Herlihy

New York Times Book Review - Maureen Quilligan
Fourteen different French historians trace this triumph [of individualism] in richly illustrated chapters surveying the terrain of privacy by a variety of procedures...The book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite detail.
The Nation - Edward Peters
Profusely and intelligently illustrated, generously margined, and wisely and clearly written...[this volume] invites a profound reconsideration of our notions about much of the past and suggests new ways of looking at it...We ought to be inspired to think about our own notion and practice of private life.
Bloomsbury Review - Paul Kafka
The material in this second anthology...is personally involving and profoundly informative...This immense work of imaginative history lifts us out of our own constructed walls. It reveals to us not only the shapes and colors of another time, but of our own.
New York Review of Books - Maurice Keen
This volume offers a very full, richly variegated picture of the life, in different places and at different periods, of the Middle Ages. The lavish and well-chosen illustrations match the text.
Boston Globe - David Herlihy
Like its predecessor in the same series, [this book] makes full use of the whole range of evidence and, most strikingly, the visual...This thoughtful, handsome book would be a fine addition to any library.
Bloomsbury Review
The material in this second anthology...is personally involving and profoundly informative...This immense work of imaginative history lifts us out of our own constructed walls. It reveals to us not only the shapes and colors of another time, but of our own.
— Paul Kafka
The Nation
Profusely and intelligently illustrated, generously margined, and wisely and clearly written...[this volume] invites a profound reconsideration of our notions about much of the past and suggests new ways of looking at it...We ought to be inspired to think about our own notion and practice of private life.
— Edward Peters
Boston Globe
Like its predecessor in the same series, [this book] makes full use of the whole range of evidence and, most strikingly, the visual...This thoughtful, handsome book would be a fine addition to any library.
— David Herlihy
New York Times Book Review
Fourteen different French historians trace this triumph [of individualism] in richly illustrated chapters surveying the terrain of privacy by a variety of procedures...The book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite detail.
— Maureen Quilligan
New York Review of Books
This volume offers a very full, richly variegated picture of the life, in different places and at different periods, of the Middle Ages. The lavish and well-chosen illustrations match the text.
— Maurice Keen
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
People of the Middle Ages were suspicious of solitude. Feudal dwellings were promiscuously crowded, monastery layouts reflected a fear of isolation. Yet, the idea of privacy, linked to an inner life, stubbornly took root. Intimacy found expression in peasant hearths, in orchards where lovers embraced, in noble households with their areas for retreat, in towers and fortresses that gave ordinary people a refuge from the havoc of war. The private sphere spilled out into the neighborhood. Moving from the anonymous 11th century to the stirrings of Renaissance individualism, this second volume of essays in a projected five-volume opus is a marvelous re-creation of history as it was actually lived, an archeological excavation of daily life few historians have attempted. Hundreds of apt illustrations complement discussions of bedroom design, table manners, discovery of the body, customs. The growing importance of the individual is traced through fables, romances, poems and a new realism in painting. The contributors are French scholars; Duby is a professor at the College de France. History Book Club alternate. (March)
Library Journal
These volumes, edited by Philippe Aries and Georges Duby, are aimed at both the scholar and layperson who wonder how people lived and behaved from ancient times to the present: "their thoughts, their feelings, their bodies, their attitudes, their habits and habitations, their codes, their marks, and their signs." The focus is on western European life, primarily French. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Spanning the period from the 11th century to the Renaissance and focusing on France and Tuscan Italy, this continues the projected five-volume history of private life from the Roman world to the present. ``Private'' is here defined as what medieval people considered intimate, familial, domestic. The five chapters, three of them written all or in part by distinguished French scholar Duby, display an astounding knowledge and use of sources and offer rich detail about everything from affection and sex to domestic arrangements and latrines. The many illustrations strongly support the text. Essential for both research and general collections.Bennett D. Hill, St. Anselm's Abbey, Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674400016
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Series: History of Private Life Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 688
  • Sales rank: 1,260,804
  • Product dimensions: 6.93 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Georges Duby, a member of the Académie Française, is Professor of Medieval History at the Collège de France.

Arthur Goldhammer received the French-American Translation Prize in 1990 for his translation of A Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution.

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Table of Contents

Preface
by Georges Duby

1. Introduction
by Georges Duby

Private Power, Public Power

2. Portraits
by Georges Duby, Dominique Barthélemy, Charles de La Roncière

The Aristocratic Households of Feudal France

Communal Living

Kinship

Tuscan Notables on the Eve of the Renaissance

3. Imagining the Self
by Danielle Régnier-Bohler

Exploring Literature

4. The Use of Private Space
by Dominique Barthélemy, Philippe Contamine

Civilizing the Fortress: Eleventh to Thirteenth Century

Peasant Hearth to Papal Palace: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

5. The Emergence of the Individual
by Georges Duby, Philippe Braunstein

Solitude: Eleventh to Thirteenth Century

Toward Intimacy: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Bibliography

Credits

Index

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