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The Secret Middle Ages: Discovering the Real Medieval World [Hardcover]

Malcolm Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

30 Jan 2003
Using the wealth of medieval art, much of it unseen or ignored by museums and art historians, Jones paints a compelling picture of life as imagined by the masses between 1200 and 1500. The civilization that emerges is both like and unlike our own, one teeming with the richness of life and its contradictions. In contrast to most medieval studies, Jones does not focus exclusively on religious or aristocratic art, but looks instead to the products of popular and folk art, such as jewelry, tableware, illustrations, carvings, and textiles. All evoke the vivid creative imagination and strong visual culture of the middle ages. This book offers a major reassessment of the high medieval period. Medievalists and those interested in the history of language and customs will find it to be essential reading. Richly illustrated, it provides a brilliant and evocative picture of medieval Europe by a leading authority on medieval folklore. As Jones writes, gems and precious metals may dazzle the eye, but a pewter brooch, though it may look tawdry, is of more real significance and tells us more about the middle ages than a treasure chest of royal jewels.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers Inc (30 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275979806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275979805
  • Product Dimensions: 27 x 20 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,637,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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?[T]he book is a standout and must be examined if for no other reason than the images. The work will force historians and art historians of the medieval period to look beyond traditional art collections and to open their minds to other kinds of materials they could use to better understanding of the tastes and values of, at least, the majority of urban residents in the medieval period....[f]orces a renewed examination and consideration of just what kinds of artwork were created and for which of the many levels of medieval consumers they were intended. What he tells us in this volume about the population of the island kingdom, provides teachers with new material to draw into their classes for discussion, and reveals once again the incredible inventiveness, creativity, and craftsmanship of those who created these pieces of everyday art.?-Sixteenth Century Journal

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First Sentence
One day in 1521 the Mayor of Frankfurt, Claus Stalburg, known as 'The Rich', sat down at a table in his elegant town house and drew up an inventory of all the biscuit-moulds he owned. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars You'll be immersed. 24 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Solid, beautifully illustrated book with learning leavened by humour. Remarkably high quality for Sutton Publishing.
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