The Kindness of Strangers - the Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance / Edition 2

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$21.37
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $2.99   
  • New (7) from $20.03   
  • Used (18) from $2.99   

Overview


In The Kindness of Strangers, John Boswell argues persuasively that child abandonment was a common and morally acceptable practice from antiquity until the Renaissance. Using a wide variety of sources, including drama and mythological-literary texts as well as demographics, Boswell examines the evidence that parents of all classes gave up unwanted children, "exposing" them in public places, donating them to the church, or delivering them in later centuries to foundling hospitals. The Kindness of Strangers presents a startling history of the abandoned child that helps to illustrate the changing meaning of family.

A pioneering inquiry into an unexplored corner of the Western past - the widespread abandonment of children throughout the Middle Ages.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books - Bernard Knox

"Highly original, learned, and skillfully written. . . . A mine of fascinating and surprising information about every aspect of the history of family limitation in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance Europe."
New Yorker - George Steiner

"A formidably learned, ingenious, at times eloquent investigation. Professor Boswell is a young historian of rare force and originality."
New York Times Book Review - Mary Martin McLaughlin

"Bold, original and, very likely, controversial. . . . This is a pioneering work of large importance, the first to map out and explore a tangled, mysterious region of human experience."
Library Journal
The author of the widely acclaimed Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (LJ 6/1/80) has now given us this original and fascinating work on abandoned children. It should be made available to every student of medieval and early modern Europe. And at a time when abortion, child abuse, and abandonment are much in the news, the book should have broad general interest. Abandonment of children--by leaving them, selling them, or consigning them to someone else--was practiced from Greek antiquity to early modern times by parents of all social classes, because of poverty, incest, shame, self-interest, inheritance, or to improve the child's future. Most children were rescued and survived due to ``the kindness of strangers.'' Based on a careful exploration of ancient and medieval sources, this book will deservedly win a wide audience.-- Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.
Mary McLoughlin
This is a poineering work of large importance, the first to map out and explore a tangled, myterious region of human experience...Beswell sets a standard of excellence.
New York Times Book Review
From Barnes & Noble
A pioneering inquiry into an unexplored corner of Western history: the widespread abandonment of children throughout classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. "A learned and lively book, which is...likely to prove controversial..."-- Boston Globe.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226067124
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 506
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents


Abbreviations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I: Ancient Patterns
1. Rome: The Historical Skeleton
2. Rome: Literary Flesh and Blood
3. Fathers of the Church and Parents of Children
Pt. II: The Early Middle Ages
4. Variations on Familiar Patterns
5. A Christian Innovation: Oblation
6. Demographic Overview
Pt. III: The High Middle Ages
7. New Demographics: 1000-1200
8. Oblation at Its Zenith
9. The Thirteenth Century: Abandonment Resumes
10. Literary Witnesses
Pt. IV: The Later Middle Ages
11. Continuities and Unintended Tragedy
12. Conclusions
Appendix of Translations
Frequently Cited Works
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 11, 2011

    very satisfied

    thank you

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)