Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error / Edition 30by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
Pub. Date: 10/29/2008
Publisher: Braziller, George Inc.
"Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie has had a success which few historians experience and which is usually reserved for the winner of the Prix Goncourt...Montaillou, which is the reconstruction of the social life of a medieval village, has been acclaimed by the experts as a masterpiece of ethnographic history and by the public as a sensational revelation of the thoughts,
"Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie has had a success which few historians experience and which is usually reserved for the winner of the Prix Goncourt...Montaillou, which is the reconstruction of the social life of a medieval village, has been acclaimed by the experts as a masterpiece of ethnographic history and by the public as a sensational revelation of the thoughts, feelings, and activities of the ordinary people of the past."Times Literary Supplement.
With a new introduction by author Le Roy Ladurie, this special edition offers a fascinating history of a fourteenth-century village, Montaillou, in the mountainous region of southern France, almost destroyed by internal feuds and religious heterodoxy. Ladurie's portrait is based on a detailed register of Jacques Fournier, Bishop of Pamiers and future Pope Benedict XII, who conducted rigorous inquisition into heresy within his diocese. Fournier was a consummate inquisitor, an acute psychologist who was able to elicit from the accused the innermost secrets of their thoughts and actions. He was pitiless in the pursuit of error, and meticulous in recording that pursuit.
LeRoy Ladurie analyzes the behavior, demography, social mentality, and cosmology of the community of peasants and shepherds, and vividly evokes the daily life of the village and mountain pastures. His portrait of Montaillou is dominated by the personal histories of two men: the curé Pierre Clergue, a brutal and powerful man who placed his enemies in the hands of the inquisitor; and the shepherd Pierre Maury, a friend of the Albigensian perfecti and a fatalist who returned from Spain to disappear in the inquisitor's prison in his own country. Montaillou, which has received even more praise than LeRoy Ladurie's earlier work, provides a portrait of a fascinating place with a dark, intriguing history.
- Braziller, George Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 8.96(w) x 5.94(h) x 0.97(d)
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This is the ONLY book that I have ever found that contains peasants talking about themselves and their lives. They are talking because they are standing before the Catholic inquisition. They are Cathars, a late form of gnostic dualism, and they are defending their lives. Their testimonies survive because of the zealous record keeping of the evidence presented before the holy inquisition. Amazingly, these people talk without fear, telling all about their lives, their beliefs, their families, their activities, their hopes, and their desires. They reveal all the gossip and secrets that are endemic of any small town. But they also reveal a beautiful people who love God, revere the spiritual Jesus, and love to talk about religion and philosophy before the family hearths. If you always thought medieval peasants were ignorant oafs then you MUST read this book. Their sophistication and bravery will astound you and, in the end, make you cry. If you want a real education into the 14th century read this book along with Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror". You will gain a real insight into the three estates of medieval Europe...