Margaret Paston's Piety

Overview

The Paston Letters are the best known source for private life in late medieval England, and Margaret Paston emerges as the dominant figure in the letters. Through her hundred letters and long will, we get an invaluable example of the personal and religious in daily life during the fifteenth century, including details on running a large household, confronting domestic and political crises, coping with widowhood, and difficult children and in-laws. Drawing on a close reading of these personal letters, this book ...

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Margaret Paston's Piety

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Overview

The Paston Letters are the best known source for private life in late medieval England, and Margaret Paston emerges as the dominant figure in the letters. Through her hundred letters and long will, we get an invaluable example of the personal and religious in daily life during the fifteenth century, including details on running a large household, confronting domestic and political crises, coping with widowhood, and difficult children and in-laws. Drawing on a close reading of these personal letters, this book reveals how popular religion was integrated intodaily life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging and insightful exposition . . . This volume will appeal to scholars and students alike.  Its accessible writing style and methodological musings make it an excellent tex."—The Medieval Review

"This very readable book by a master historian at the top of his game explores the famous fifteenth-century letters of the Pastons, an up-and-coming gentry family in East Anglia, to assess the nature of the piety of the family’s matriarch, Margaret Paston.  Through an innovative series of investigations, Joel Rosenthal explores the signs of her piety in the religious feast days referenced in the dates of her letters, the devotional language she employed,  the bequests in her will and those of other family members, the religious institutions she patronized, the books she possessed, and religious places and objects she saw.  The value of the investigation lies in particular in the ordinariness of Margaret’s piety, making her far more typical than the female mystics upon which scholarship so often focuses.  Students and researchers alike will find much to value in this highly readable and accessible volume, which is accompanied by very full and informative notes that add considerable scholarly heft to the lively narrative of the text."—Maryanne Kowaleski, Joseph Fitzpatrick SJ Distinguished Professor of History and Director of Medieval Studies, Fordham University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230622074
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Series: The New Middle Ages Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Rosenthal is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at SUNY-Stonybrook.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables xiii

List of Illustrations xv

Preface xvii

Abbreviations xxi

1 Reading the Religious Life of Margaret Paston 1

2 Margaret Paston's Calendar and Her Saints 13

3 Margaret Paston in Context: Things Said, Done, and Owned 45

4 Family Wills: Margaret Paston and the Rest 83

5 What Did Margaret See? 121

Notes 151

Bibliography 195

Index 215

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