Synopses & Reviews
In this engaging intellectual autobiography, Georges Duby looks back on a career that has led him to be called one of the most distinguished historians in the Western world.
Since its beginning in the 1940s, Duby's career has been rich and varied, encompassing economic history, social history, the history of mentalites, art history, microhistory, urban history, the history of women and sexuality, and, most recently, the Church's influence on feudal society. In retracing this singular career path, Duby candidly remembers his life's most formative influences, including the legendary historians Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the Annales School so closely associated with them, and the College de France.
Duby also offers insights about the proper methods of gathering and using archival data and on constructing penetrating interpretations of the documents. Indeed, his discussion of how he chose his subjects, collected his materials, developed the arguments, erected the scaffolding and constructed his theses offers the best introduction to the craft available to aspiring historians.
Candid and charming, this book is both a memoir of one of this century's great scholars and a history of the French historical school since the mid-twentieth century. It will be required reading for anyone interested in the French academic milieu, medieval history, French history, or the recording of history in general.
Georges Duby, a member of the Academie francaise, for many years held the distinguished chair in medieval history at the College de France. His numerous books include The Age of Cathedrals; The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages; and The Three Orders—all published by the University of Chicago Press.
In his autobiography, Georges Duby reflects on a career that has led him to be called one of the most distinguished historians in the Western world. Duby's work is rich and varied, encompassing economic history, social history, the history of mentalitis, art history, microhistory, urban history, the history of women and sexuality, and, most recently, the Church's influence on feudal society. This book is both a memoir of one of this century's great scholars and a history of the French historical school since the mid-twentieth century.
"(Duby's) book -- which has been well translated, annotated, and indexed for English readers -- (reveals) enough of his career, work, and intellectual style to explain to a general readership why his voice is utterly distinctive in the field of medieval history, why his writings in French and in translation have attracted such a wide following, and why the work . . . has profoundly influenced many historians". -- Stephen D. White, Bryn Mawr Reviews
"(Duby) conveys the unfailing freshness and excitement of research among the parchment books and rolls, the satisfaction that comes from restoring the dead to memory, and the importance of prodigious reading, discipline, modesty, and imagination to success in the loneliest metier". -- Virginia Quarterly
Includes bibliographical references (p. 135-142) and index.
About the Author
Arthur Goldhammer is an award-winning translator who has translated books by Georges Duby, Jacques Le Goff, and Jean Starobinski.
Table of Contents
Foreword, by John W. Baldwin
1. The Choice
2. The Patron
3. The Building Blocks
4. The Treatment
7. The Thesis
8. Matter and Spirit
11. The Collège de France
14. On Television
15. William the Marshal