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The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England

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The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The history of great men and events is familiar to every schoolchild but the facts of everyday life in bygone eras remain a tantalizing mystery. Now Barbara Hanawalt has lifted the curtain on "the dark ages" and has provided an intimate view that seems surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. For the thesis of this book is that the biological needs served by the family have never changed and the way fourteenth-century peasants coped with such problems as providing for both the newborn and the aged, controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their material environment was not altogether unlike our twentieth-century solutions.

Using a variety of medieval sources, notably over 3,000 coroners' inquests into accidental deaths, the author emphasizes the continuity of the nuclear family from the middle ages into the modern period and explores the reasons for such families being the basic unit of society and the economy. the book abounds in fascinating detail, here citing an incantation against rats, there noting the hierarchy of bread consumption ("our modern supermarket bread could be seen as the ultimate fulfillment of the peasants' dream of white bread"), or the games people played. The book makes abundantly clear that what we popularly think of as the dark ages are really filled with sunlight as well as shadows and with the doings of ordinary people who must get on with the business of living and find some joy in it.

About the Author -

Barbara A. Hanawalt is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University and author of Crime and Conflict in English Communities, 1300-1348.

Synopsis:

Barbara A. Hanawalt's richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in Medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. She argues that the biological needs served by the family do not change and that the ways fourteenth- and fifteenth-century peasants coped with such problems as providing for the newborn and the aged, controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their material environment in many ways correspond with our twentieth-century solutions.

Using a remarkable array of sources, including over 3,000 coroners' inquests into accidental deaths, Hanawalt emphasizes the continuity of the nuclear family from the middle ages into the modern period by exploring the reasons that families served as the basic unit of society and the economy. Providing such fascinating details as a citation of an incantation against rats, evidence of the hierarchy of bread consumption, and descriptions of the games people played, her study illustrates the flexibility of the family and its capacity to adapt to radical changes in society. She notes that even the terrible population reduction that resulted from the Black Death did not substantially alter the basic nature of the family.

Synopsis:

This richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us.

About the Author

Barbara A. Hanawalt is Professor of History at the Ohio State University and author of Crime and Conflict in English Communities, 1300-1348 and editor of Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195045642
Author:
Hanawalt, Barbara A.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Barbara A.
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
Social conditions
Subject:
History, World | British | Medieval
Subject:
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 320-333.
Series Volume:
2092-2094
Publication Date:
19890231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 illus.
Pages:
364
Dimensions:
5.3 x 7.9 x 0.8 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Pre Tudor
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Medieval
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England New Trade Paper
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$26.95 In Stock
Product details 364 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195045642 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Barbara A. Hanawalt's richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in Medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. She argues that the biological needs served by the family do not change and that the ways fourteenth- and fifteenth-century peasants coped with such problems as providing for the newborn and the aged, controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their material environment in many ways correspond with our twentieth-century solutions.

Using a remarkable array of sources, including over 3,000 coroners' inquests into accidental deaths, Hanawalt emphasizes the continuity of the nuclear family from the middle ages into the modern period by exploring the reasons that families served as the basic unit of society and the economy. Providing such fascinating details as a citation of an incantation against rats, evidence of the hierarchy of bread consumption, and descriptions of the games people played, her study illustrates the flexibility of the family and its capacity to adapt to radical changes in society. She notes that even the terrible population reduction that resulted from the Black Death did not substantially alter the basic nature of the family.

"Synopsis" by , This richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us.

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