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The Autumn of the Middle Ages [Hardcover]

Johan Huizinga
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 April 1996
"Herfsttij der Middeluwen", or "The Autumn of the Middle Ages" - the original title - is a portrait of life thought, and art in 14th and 15th century France and the Netherlands. For Huizinga, this period marked not the birth of a dramatically new era in history, the Renaissance, but the fullest, ripest phase of medieval life and thought. Now, for the first time ever, the original version of this classic work has been translated into English. In the 1924 translation, Fritz Hopman adapted, reduced, and altered the Dutch edition - softening Huizinga's often passionate arguments, dulling his nuances, and eliminating passages. He also rearranged and redivided chapters, dropped references, and introduced mistranslations. This edition is free of such errors, recreating the second Dutch edition - which represents Huizinga's thinking at its most important stage - as closely as possible. Everything has been restored. Prose quotations appear in French, with translations printed at the bottom of the page. Mistranslations have been corrected. Payton and Mammitzsch also have added helpful material, including Huizinga's preface to the first and the second Dutch editions (1919 and 1921) and the one to the 1924 German translation. Several notes clarify Huizinga's references to things which would be common knowledge only to Dutch readers, Huizinga frequently refers to paintings, sculptures, and carvings, some little known; this edition also includes full range of illustrations.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1st Edition edition (17 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226359921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226359922
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Johan Huizinga is one of the most imporatant historians of the twentieth century. He was Professor of General History at the University of Leyden. While he is best-known for this book, his biography, ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM, is unsurpassed. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rich Tapestry of Late Medieval Life 22 July 1998
By A Customer
Huizinga's quintessential work of medieval history was, in effect, reborn with this new translation. Ideas long thought outmoded were given new color, in subtler shades, by this word-for-word translation from the original Dutch. Huizinga's true thesis is now made available to the English speaking public, which had heretofore only had access to the truncated, and much simplified, prior English edition. But the rich anecdotal details remain, the poetry, art, and prayer still ring true. And the dirty ripeness of the later middle ages is laid before your eyes with each chapter.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Translations 9 Mar 2008
By R John
The reviews for the newer translation, named 'The Autumn of the Middle Ages', and the older one, 'The Waning...' seem to have been mixed up here.

I cannot stress enough how much better R. J. Paton and U. Mammitzch's more recent translation of this great work, released as 'The Autumn of the Middle Ages', is than the incomplete, inaccurate and distorted earlier version.

Stay well clear of 'The Waning'.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic of medieval historiography 20 Aug 2008
Written originally in Dutch in 1919 (the first english translation appeared in 1924), this is a classic of medieval historiography. Huizinga's main thesis goes something like this: the black death of the late 1340s, which decimated European population, brought as a result a morbid sensibility to European culture. It meant also a return to religion, as the cult and veneration of saints grew enormously during the last half of the 13th century and throughout the 14th century. This would bring in excesses of its own, and would lead the way for the reformation of the 15th century to counter it. But the book is more than just the lay out of this thesis, as Huizinga show us the daily life and thoughts of the late middle ages (based mostly from french and flemish sources) in a very vivid way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This new translation will knock your socks off!!! I couldn't believe what we had been missing from the original text. I never knew what I had been missing! This new translation is a page turner - I couldn't put it down!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The historian's eye..a different world 9 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Undoubtably, this translation will convince those of us that were unable to read Huizinga in the original, that he is one of this century's greatest historians. His eye for detail and the ability to unfold latent meanings in art and literature parallels only to that of S. Liberman in his work on Hellenism. A must read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book: Middle Ages 7 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A highly recommended book on the subject. He is undoubtedly a brilliant scholar. The book contains many French quotes, but, thankfully, all are translated into English. The work requires slow digestion, but good food for the intellect. The translators did an outstanding job here. A masterpiece indeed!
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