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Handbook of Medieval Sexuality [Paperback]

Vern L. Bullough , James Brundage
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £30.99
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Book Description

17 Feb 2000

Like specialists in other fields in humanities and social sciences, medievalists have begun to investigate and write about sex and related topics such as courtship, concubinage, divorce, marriage, prostitution, and child rearing. The scholarship in this significant volume asserts that sexual conduct formed a crucial role in the lives, thoughts, hopes and fears both of individuals and of the institutions that they created in the middle ages.
The absorbing subject of sexuality in the Middle Ages is examined in 19 original articles written specifically for this "Handbook" by the major authorities in their scholarly specialties. The study of medieval sexuality poses problems for the researcher: indices in standard sources rarely refer to sexual topics, and standard secondary sources often ignore the material or say little about it. Yet a vast amount of research is available, and the information is accessible to the student who knows where to look and what to look for. This volume is a valuable guide to the material and an indicator of what subjects are likely to yield fresh scholarly rewards.

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Handbook of Medieval Sexuality + Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others
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Product details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (17 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815336624
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815336624
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 947,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


..."the layout is pleasing and the organization of bibliographies helpful. This is a useful Handbook, full of fascinating material, in which every reader is bound to find something of interest."
"Bullough and Brundage and their sixteen co-authors give wonderful up-to-date coverage, both chronological and geographical, of a wide variety of subjects and fields: law, medicine, theology, abstention, homosexuality, prostitution, contraception, eunuchism; Jewish, Muslim and Eastern Orthodox as well as Latin Christian traditions; literary treatments in French, Norse and English. It's a handbook that really deserves to be kept at hand."
-H.A. Kelly, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA
"Bullough and Brundage are the masters of the field of medieval sexuality. In this handbook they have marshaled a rich collection of essays by leading scholars in the second generation. Read it and learn."
-JoAnn McNamara, Hunter College
"[A] highly informative and essential reference work for those interested in medieval society and in human sexuality, past or present."
-"Canadian Folklore
"A solidly instructive, introductory guide to the study of medieval sexuality, its sources and literature...carefully written and rigorously documented."
-"The Medieval Review
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Confession is one of the most intimate of human relationships that was institutionalized in the Christian Church. Read the first page
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating collection 8 Dec 2003
This collection of essays covers an impressively wide variety of medieval sexual attitudes and practices, including canon law, castration, lesbianism and cross-dressing. The essay on medieval English literature leaves something to be desired, as it all but ignores Old English prose, thereby dismissing a vast amount of useful material on gender roles and religious sexuality. Furthermore, some of authors seem to suffer somewhat from a need to apply modern categories and moralities to the medieval situation, and the reader must bear this in mind in order to get the most out of the collection. Nonetheless, a thoughtful, interesting and well-ordered book which provides a much-needed insight into medieval sexuality.
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