Charlemagne's Mustache

Overview

Charlemagne's Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age presents the reader with seven engaging studies of cultural life and thought in the Carolingian world: Why did Charlemagne have a mustache and why did hair matter? Why did the king own peacocks and other exotic animals? Why was he writing in bed and could he write at all? How did medieval kings become stars? How were secrets kept and conveyed in the early Middle Ages? Does the world age with the aged? And why did early medieval peoples believe in ...

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Overview

Charlemagne's Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age presents the reader with seven engaging studies of cultural life and thought in the Carolingian world: Why did Charlemagne have a mustache and why did hair matter? Why did the king own peacocks and other exotic animals? Why was he writing in bed and could he write at all? How did medieval kings become stars? How were secrets kept and conveyed in the early Middle Ages? Does the world age with the aged? And why did early medieval peoples believe in storm- and hailmakers? The answers, Dutton finds, are often surprising.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dutton's acute observations of small, apparently insignificant details are illuminating, and, with the confidence of a scholar who has a real command of his subject, he gives all his readers here new insights into many of the ‘obscure corners' of Charlemagne's world."—Speculum

“Applying profound erudition and an acute eye to small, seemingly insignificant details, Dutton illuminates a persistently obscure moment in European history. Dutton moves adeptly between written sources and pictures and invokes post-medieval parallels from Shakespeare to Gibbon to the Big Bang and discovers some important commonalities in unusual subjects—a pervasive anxiety about the natural world, for instance, residual paganism, and the need to structure social hierarchies. Even as he ponders the writing of history from materials as ephemeral as the etched wax tablets that are a leitmotiv in this wonderful book, he constructs a splendid new account that will be studied with profit and amusement by professional historians, students, and others interested in the formation of the Middle Ages.”—Herbert L. Kessler, Professor of the History of Art, The Johns Hopkins University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230602472
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/1/2008
  • Series: The New Middle Ages
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,356,450
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Edward Dutton is Jack and Nancy Farley University Professor of History, Department of Humanities, Simon Fraser University. He is the author of The Politics of Dreaming in the Carolingian Empire; Carolingian Civilization: A Reader; Charlemagne's Courtier: The Complete Einhard; The Autograph of Eriugena, written with Edouard Jeauneau; and The Poetry and Paintings of the First Bible of Charles the Bald, written with Herbert L. Kessler. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Table of Contents

Charlemagne's Mustache
• Charlemagne, King of Beasts
• Karolus Magnus Scriptor
• Of Carolingian Kings and their Stars
• Whispering Secrets to a Dark Age
• A World Grown Old with Poets and Kings
• Thunder and Hail over the Carolingian Countryside

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