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A History of Private Life, Volume III: Passions of the Renaissance

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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

In the original sense of the term, A History of Private Life is a series of essays: attempts at a new, non-narrative kind of history. Sumptuously illustrated with pictures, maps, and photographs, the book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite details...A kaleidoscopic effect is doubtless part of the authors' purpose: to question our assumption that we understand the history of Renaissance individualism and make us realize that it is as complicated as the variety of traces left by three centuries of private life.
— Maureen Quilligan

Times Higher Education Supplement

This is a bold and seductive book...Richly illustrated, with contributions from foremost French historians, it is set fair to become the authoritative history of intimacy in the early modern West.
— Lyndal Roper

Journal of Social History

Its broad chronological scope, its remarkable effective integration of essays by different historians, and above all its ability to represent the seemingly frivolous details of private life in a challengingly theoretical matrix make this an important and exciting work for historians of Early Modern Europe.
— Lawrence Wolff

New York Times Book Review - Maureen Quilligan
In the original sense of the term, A History of Private Life is a series of essays: attempts at a new, non-narrative kind of history. Sumptuously illustrated with pictures, maps, and photographs, the book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite details...A kaleidoscopic effect is doubtless part of the authors' purpose: to question our assumption that we understand the history of Renaissance individualism and make us realize that it is as complicated as the variety of traces left by three centuries of private life.
Times Higher Education Supplement - Lyndal Roper
This is a bold and seductive book...Richly illustrated, with contributions from foremost French historians, it is set fair to become the authoritative history of intimacy in the early modern West.
Journal of Social History - Lawrence Wolff
Its broad chronological scope, its remarkable effective integration of essays by different historians, and above all its ability to represent the seemingly frivolous details of private life in a challengingly theoretical matrix make this an important and exciting work for historians of Early Modern Europe.
New York Times Book Review
In the original sense of the term, A History of Private Life is a series of essays: attempts at a new, non-narrative kind of history. Sumptuously illustrated with pictures, maps, and photographs, the book is a feast for the eye; it is fascinating, often compelling in its exquisite details...A kaleidoscopic effect is doubtless part of the authors' purpose: to question our assumption that we understand the history of Renaissance individualism and make us realize that it is as complicated as the variety of traces left by three centuries of private life.
— Maureen Quilligan
Journal of Social History
Its broad chronological scope, its remarkable effective integration of essays by different historians, and above all its ability to represent the seemingly frivolous details of private life in a challengingly theoretical matrix make this an important and exciting work for historians of Early Modern Europe.
— Lawrence Wolff
Times Higher Education Supplement
This is a bold and seductive book...Richly illustrated, with contributions from foremost French historians, it is set fair to become the authoritative history of intimacy in the early modern West.
— Lyndal Roper
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: 9780674400023
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1993
  • Series: History of Private Life Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 655
  • Sales rank: 1,306,258
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.20 (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

Introduction
by Philippe Ariès

1. Figures of Modernity
by Yves Castan, Fran&ccdeil;ois Lebrun, Roger Chartier

Introduction
by Roger Chartier

Politics and Private Life

The Two Reformations: Communal Devotion and Personal Piety

The Practical Impact of Writing

2. Forms of Privatization
by Jacques Revel, Orest Ranum, Jean-Louis Flandrin, Jacques Gélis, Madelaine Foisil, Jean Marie Goulemot

Introduction
by Roger Chartier

The Uses of Civility

The Refuges of Intimacy

Distinction through Taste

The Child: From Anonymity to Individuality

The Literature of Intimacy

Literary Practices: Publicizing the Private

3. Community, State, and Family: Trajectories and Tensions
by Nicole Castan, Maurice Aymard, Alain Collomp, Daniel Fabre, Arlette Farge

Introduction
by Roger Chartier

The Public and the Private

Friends and Neighbors

Families: Habitations and Cohabitations

Families: Privacy versus Custom

The Honor and Secrecy of Families

Epilogue
by Roger Chartier

Notes

Bibliography

Credits

Index

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