BN.com Gift Guide

Life in a Medieval Abbey

( 1 )

Overview

For nearly a thousand years, monasteries dominated the landscape of England and the lives of English people. Throughout the Middle Ages, a fascinating variety of people joined the monasteries, from saints and statesmen to rogues and runaways. Life within the Abbey centered on the church, where, following the teachings of the Italian monk, St. Benedict, the nuns and monks spent most of the day praising God. At the same time, however, these nuns and monks made a distinct and valuable contribution to the cultural ...

See more details below
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

For nearly a thousand years, monasteries dominated the landscape of England and the lives of English people. Throughout the Middle Ages, a fascinating variety of people joined the monasteries, from saints and statesmen to rogues and runaways. Life within the Abbey centered on the church, where, following the teachings of the Italian monk, St. Benedict, the nuns and monks spent most of the day praising God. At the same time, however, these nuns and monks made a distinct and valuable contribution to the cultural life of England. The medieval monasteries were beacons of scholarship and artistic endeavor, producing works of great beauty and intellectual breadth. This world of medieval monasticism was swept away during the 16th-century Reformation under Henry VIII.

The four main sections of this book (daily life, the origins of monastic life, monasteries in the medieval world, decline and fall) not only open a window on to a day in the life of a monk, but also tell a fascinating story of cultural flowering and decay.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This intriguing book is the next best thing to a time machine for seeing what life was really like in medieval abbeys. As the author tells about the people who lived in medieval abbeys and monasteries and their place in the wider world, he chooses lively quotations from medieval documents to show how those people really thought, felt, and acted. Many of the book's illustrations taken from medieval sources add authentic visual information. Photos and current artists' impressions, along with maps, also complement the text. Mr. McAleavy begins by explaining who's who in a monastery, including descriptions of each person's role written in the 11th century by Lanfranc, the archbishop of Canterbury. He discusses some of the medieval controversies. For instance, were some orders spending too much time in prayer and should they use such expensively decorated vestments and chalices in their services? He covers the origins of monasticism in Britain and describes the characteristics of the various orders. Then he looks at the crucial role monasteries played in the economic, political, and cultural life of the country. Finally, he examines the dissolution of the monasteries and the monastic heritage that continues to live on. He provides an excellent illustrated description of abbeys that remain to be seen. An index and bibliography are included in this book in the "English Heritage" series. Mr. McAleavy, author of many books about history, is an editor of history materials for Cambridge University Press. 2003 (orig. 1998), Enchanted Lion Books, Ages 10 to Adult.
— Janet Crane Barley
VOYA
Written for a British audience, with a focus on England, Life in a Medieval Castle and Life in a Medieval Abbey provide excellent overviews of the Middle Ages. Well-chosen color photographs of medieval artwork, modern illustrations, and maps appear on every page, complementing the authoritative text, which is intended for strong readers. Passages from medieval texts, woven into McAleavy's prose, are equally well chosen. Each book begins with an overview and a who's-who page that introduces the people and official positions involved in an abbey or a castle. Fascinating details of daily life follow. The books explain the history of their subjects from beginnings to the last days, including the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. The Castle volume discusses structures throughout the British Isles and describes their construction as well as their place within the political landscape of medieval England. A chapter on "The Castle in War and Peace" reminds readers of the military purposes underlying these fortified buildings. In Abbey, readers learn about the varieties of monasticism, how monks and nuns fit into the medieval social and political structure, and how English institutions were connected with continental ones. Much of the material in the Abbey volume will be new to American readers, who might know little about monasticism, and not only students but also teachers of The Canterbury Tales and other medieval literature and history could learn a great deal from this distinguished book. Although many books about castles are available, McAleavy's stands out for its impressive presentation of fascinating, accurate information. (English Heritage).. VOYA Codes5Q 2P J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Enchanted Lion/Peter Bedrick, 64p.; Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Ages 12 to 18.
—Rebecca Barnhouse
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592700066
  • Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
  • Publication date: 3/1/2003
  • Series: English Heritage Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 10 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony McAleavy is the author of many books in the field of history. Currently, he edits history materials for Cambridge University Press. He also is actively involved in education in Britain as a school inspector.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for 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)