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Why were books considered valuable in the Middle Ages? This study focuses on medieval testaments and donation records from England before 1450 to investigate this question. The primary sources and datable records from before and after the Norman Conquest show that contemporary attitudes can be examined surprisingly closely. Semantic fields as indicators of value help us to discover the material and immaterial values associated with books in the manuscript period, and to trace changes and developments in book ownership and book production. This systematic and statistical analysis of the records shows the varied and multi-facetted nature of medieval books as gifts as seen by givers and recipients.
|Publisher:||Peter Lang Pub Inc|
|Series:||Muensteraner Monographien zur englischen Literatur / Muenster Monographs on English Literature Series , #36|
|Product dimensions:||5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.04(d)|
About the Author
Janika Bischof studied English Philology in Münster (Germany) and St Andrews (UK). She worked as research assistant at the collaborative research centre Symbolische Kommunikation und gesellschaftliche Wertesysteme in the project Das Buchgeschenk in England im Spätmittelalter at the University of Münster. She is currently research assistant at a specialist library.
Table of Contents
Contents: Theory of Gifts – Material and Immaterial Values – Donations and Testaments as Records of Book Gifts – Semantic Fields as Indicators of Value – The Values of Medieval Books.