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Hermits and Recluses in English Society, 950-1200
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed this book, particularly the explanations of archaic terminolgy and the bits about the ordeals through which anchorites would put themselves in order to subdue the longings of the flesh, such as the wearing of hairshirts and hauberks, and those early morning dives into thornbushes or nettle patches!!!

However, unlike the other reviewers I found that, rather than being particularly 'readable', much of the book was a touch on the dry side. At times it became something of a slog; often I had to tell myself to knuckle down, to press on through the thickets of names and Latin quotations, in the hope that I'd arrive at one of the numerous clearings where the light is allowec to penetrate and in which the book comes to life. That said, I'm neither an academic historian nor a scholar of Latin, so I'm sure that readers with a grounding in those fields would find enjoyment where I struggled!

I'll certainly read it again, and one cannot fault the level of detail, but I prefer Peter France's book Hermits for good old "readability".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2011
A great deal has been written about eastern asceticism and monasticism, much less on the subject of this excellent volume. Dr. Licence examines the place of hermits and recluses in English society, showing us that read aright, they tell us much about the society from which they were separating themselves. He shows how these people who deliberately placed themselves on the nargin of their society reflected something of the inner spirit of the Christian faith. He has some very interesting examples here, and he writes extremely well. A rarity - a scholarly book which is also very readable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2011
An excellent, informative, student friendly read! I recommend Dr Tom Licence's book for anyone studying or interested in English Medieval Religious History/Monasticism/Hermits and Recluses.
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