A History of Private Life, Volume II (Magill's Literary Annual 1989)
A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World is the second volume in a series which began with Histoire de la vie privée: De L’Empire romain á l’an mil (1985; A History of Private Life: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, 1987) and will continue through three additional volumes. This survey of the private life of past civilizations is one of the fruits of the new social history which began when the French historians Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch founded Annales: Économies, sociétés, civilisations and Fernand Braudel began his influential studies of economic history as it was defined by everyday life. This new social history has aimed at exposing the past not from the perspective of sovereigns whose names frequently have been used to identify the periods of time in which they waged war and negotiated peace but from the perspective of the masses of men and women whose lives are more difficult to reconstruct.
The first volume, which focused on the ancient world of pagan Rome and Byzantium, had geographical centers that facilitated this project. In the second volume, the time frame is larger and the geographical boundaries are defined in large part by the expertise of the editors and contributors. The focus is upon France and Italy; feudal England is given a cursory architectural survey; medieval Spain is virtually ignored. The impact of the “infidels,” the not yet fully assessed contribution of Arabic...
(The entire section is 1866 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of A History of Private Life, Volume II Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!