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The new edition of Medieval England, 500-1500, edited by Emilie Amt and Katherine Allen Smith, spans several centuries in 102 documents that present the social and political history of England. The documents include constitutional highlights and records such as the Magna Carta and Froissart's Chronicles, as well as narrative sources describing the lived experiences of a range of historical actors. These narratives fit into thematic clusters covering topics such as the Anglo-Saxon monarchy, lay piety, later medieval commercial life, queenship, and Jewish communities. Thirty-nine new sources discuss significant events like the conquest of Wales, the Gregorian mission, and the Viking invasions. They also allow for multiple examples of particular genres, such as wills and miracle collections, to facilitate comparative analysis. Introductions and questions situate each source in the historical landscape and facilitate engagement with the text, inspiring readers to delve into the medieval past. The book also features 40 illustrations, a map, and an index of topics. Additional resources, including essay questions, web resources, and a timeline, can be found on the History Matters website (www.utphistorymatters.com).
Oxbow says: This fascinating study of how people understood and used their senses in the late medieval period draws on evidence from a range of literary texts, documents and records, as well as material culture and architectural sources.
The study represents an edition of just over 1500 medical receipts transmitted in three fourteenth-century compendia. The particular interest of these multilingual compilations lies in their date – earlier than most published receipts – and their showing the three languages of medieval England in vigorous and simultaneous use. The language of the Middle English receipts reveals distinctive features which add indispensably to our knowledge of the English language in this period. There are detailed indexes, including a survey of the medical conditions covered, and the notes provide comprehensive references to analogous receipts in other published collections, so shedding light on the processes of compilation and transmission.
The history of medieval women has been transformed in recent years through the expansion of evidence and the application of innovative and provocative methodologies. The author draws on these research results to emphasize the resilience and achievements of medieval women, whilst recognizing the misogynistic constraints embedded in the structures of medieval society.
This book offers the reader an entirely fresh view of England's Middle Ages. It argues that the long Roman occupation was an unmitigated disaster for the native population because so little was done to raise the output of farming once a sophisticated Mediterranean society was settled in its midst. The Anglo-Saxons, having cleared the land of most of their British predecessors, then set about revolutionising farming technology. This enormously increased the area available for the growing of food, and hence the size of the population. There was more land under the plough in Domesday England than in late Victorian times. The Black Death then revealed how big the population had by then become. Initially plague removed between a third and a half of the population we can trace on records. But there were many more families to feed than we can trace in records. We can tell that that was so because farm output was not much affected by the Black Death's first strike. Apparently farmers, at first, were able to recruit as many replacements for lost labour as they required. Nor did devastating plague check the waging of the French war which was very soon resumed with its customary ferocity. In the end, the Black Death succeeded in cutting the population down to size; and this had the beneficial effect of removing want, and the ill-health that want generates, from the lives of those who survived. Paradoxically this infused new life into those who survived. The wool export trade dwindled irrevocably; it was replaced by a prodigious export of dyed woollen cloth. The farmers produced so much grain in this plague-ridden period that famine, once endemic, became unusual. Indeed, general standards of living probably rose to levels not again achieved until the late nineteenth century.