Medieval Sexuality: A Casebook is a fascinating collection featuring both new and established experts in the field. The volume includes 11 original essays by Ross Balzaretti, Philip Crispin, Dominic Janes, Hugh Kennedy, A. Lynn Martin, Kim M. Phillips, Samantha J. E. Riches, Joyce E. Salisbury, David Santiuste, and the volume editors, April Harper and Caroline Proctor. The authors explore a variety of sources, contributing work on a diverse range of topics including: sources for sexuality in Late Lombard Italy; the problematic reception of early medieval penitentials by modern readers; sexuality as experienced by the desert fathers and mothers; connections between saints, monsters, and sexuality in medieval art and hagiography; the relationship between food, seduction, and adultery in the fabliaux; sex, alcohol, and the late medieval stereotype of the unruly woman; sex as a medical and moral concern in medieval regimens of health; ideas of sexuality in political discourse; sex and scandal in festive drama; debates on sexual orientation in Arabic court literature; and pre-colonial descriptions of sexuality in the Far East. The volume concludes with a useful selection of further reading.
R.C. Davis provided the classic account of the European medieval world; equipping generations of undergraduate and 'A' level students with sufficient grasp of the period to debate diverse historical perspectives and reputations. His book has been important grounding for both modernists required to take a course in medieval history, and those who seek to specialise in the medieval period.
In updating this classic work to a third edition, the additional author now enables students to see history in action; the diverse viewpoints and important research that has been undertaken since Davis' second edition, and progressed historical understanding. Each of Davis original chapters now concludes with a 'new directions and developments' section by Professor RI Moore, Emeritus of Newcastle University.
A key work updated in a method that both enhances subject understanding and sets important research in its wider context. A vital resource, now up-to-date for generations of historians to come.
Merton College, Oxford, one of the oldest colleges in the University, was founded in 1264. Its library contains some 328 complete medieval manuscript books (plus several hundred fragments in, or extracted from, the bindings of early printed books), dating from the ninth to the late fifteenth century. Most of them came to the College before the Reformation, and are the remains of its medieval collection, part of which was chained in the library, part in circulation amongst the Fellowship. Together with the College's surviving medieval archive, which includes no fewer than twenty-three book-lists, this material provides an important window on intellectual life at the University of Oxford between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, and on the manufacture, acquisition and use of the books that supported it. This first catalogue of the medieval manuscripts since 1852 offers full and detailed descriptions of each item, supported by a colour frontispiece, 50 colour plates, and 107 black and white plates. Its introduction provides the first detailed history of Merton's medieval library, including an account of the building and design of the College's 'Old Library', built in the 1370s, western Europe's oldest library room still in use today; and the volume is completed with four appendices (including a comprehensive set of extracts from the College's medieval account rolls referring to its books and library) and two indexes. RODNEY M. THOMSON is Professor of History and Honorary Research Associate in the School of History and Classics, University of Tasmania.
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