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A Social History of England, 900-1200 Paperback – 21 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (21 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521713234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521713238
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'This is an imaginatively-conceived volume that cuts across conventional chronological divisions to offer new insights into the English medieval society and culture. No other volume offers so comprehensive an analysis of all aspects of life in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England. It should be an essential purchase for students and scholars working on England in the central Middle Ages.' Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Oxford

'This is a ground-breaking collection that combines intellectual, political and cultural history with archaeological, literary, ecocritical and environmental scholarship in an unprecedented fashion. The result is innovative and interdisciplinary in the very best way - rich in insights, lucid, learned, and original.' Paul J. E. Kershaw, University of Virginia

'This fresh and interesting volume has broadened the normal range of selection for a social history to include such excellent literary scholars as Andy Orchard and Elaine Treharne, matching them with archaeologists and the incomparable Oliver Rackham. It will inspire the young to pursue a speciality from one or other of the chapters and one or two readers might even ponder the volume as a whole and go on to transcend specialities and produce a great social history of the complex kind we so singularly lack.' Paul R. Hyams, Cornell University

'This collection of thirty essays by field leaders, expertly edited by Julia Crick and Elisabeth van Houts, is … very welcome and has much to offer medieval history. Going far beyond considerations of government, and taking in change alongside continuity, it makes important contributions … excellent surveys and overviews, accessible to students and non-specialists, reinforcing and enlightening to veterans.' Alex Burghart, The Times Literary Supplement

Book Description

This book offers fresh views of the most traumatic period of English history when England was conquered twice in fifty years by Danish and Norman kings and when the influx of foreigners caused major ethnic tension in all areas of life: family, town and countryside, court and church.

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This examination of tenth-through-twelfth century England could hardly be any wider in scope and remain as focused in places. From the most exact and matter-of-fact evaluations of natural resources, to a review of Esoteric literary landscapes in Andy Orchard's typical gliding style with everything in between.The topics include social history (slavery, family, kin), urban development (Julia Barrow, her vast knowledge dependable as ever) and urban life (practical considerations), the significant overview of Anglo-Saxon Christianity (wherein the practical considerations are not ignored), and the often sidelined but significant nod to the modes of the transfer of knowledge in various disciplines and the abstract considerations of said transfer are also included.
The styles of the authors are accessible and communicative to a larger audience of interested parties. Furthter reading is supplied, but not necessary for the reader to be able to follow.
What struck me most of all was Elaine Treharne's examination of written landscapes presented as vernacular literate communities. It resounded with a part of her larger opus on the longevity of Old English in use much later (what we may loosely term the period of Middle English development). This brings me to my one disappointment. I have long felt that the strict delineation between "Anglo-Saxon" OE society and Norman society is perhaps a tad too rigid. Cut's reign, and Danelaw for that matter protrude into the period before 1066 and the use of Old English as well as authority of West Saxon literature protrudes far into the other realm, after 1066, and the title of the book had me hoping that this almost arbitrary division is going to be actively broken.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stargazer on 21 April 2012
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I will admit to not being an historian but someone with a great interest in the subject. I am about three parts of the way through at the moment and am enjoying reading it. Each of the contributors have written in a very clear, engaging and interesting way. The period has many problems for the historian and these are explained to the reader and not covered up. If you wish to take the study further then this and its companion volume are excellent points of entry providing a firm basis for more advanced enquiry.
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