- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: Benediction Books; Reprint edition (8 Dec. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849028958
- ISBN-13: 978-1849028950
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Waning of the Middle Ages (Paperback) Paperback – 8 Dec 2009
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Well, picking up this book to re-read while living in Europe turned out to be a far greater pleasure than I imagined. Huizinga offers an elegant portrait of an entire era, the Late Middle Ages, in both visual and intellectual detail. You learn about codes of honor, the different ways in which life was perceived, and the practices of love. It is beautifully written and vivid.
There are limitation to the approach, of course. It is not about economics or living standards. It does not function as a survey, and hence the reader must have solid knowledge of medieval history before starting the book. You will have to get these elsewhere. But if you come to this book with the right expectations, it is fascinating and wonderful from cover to cover.
Huizinga's book is about France and the Low Countries, but is is a book about ideas, social behaviour and all the stuff of "soft" history, and at this period the differences between England and the Contitent were less obvious than they later became. (I use the word "England" with precision - Scotland, Ireland and Wales were at this period very different).
Clearly the new translation has virtues the earlier one lacked. But Hopman's translation is well worth reading, and if that is the one that falls into your hands, give it a fair trial.
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