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The Waning of the Middle Ages Paperback – 31 May 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (31 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486404439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486404431
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,461,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 an alternate Paperback edition.


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Format: Paperback
It's clear from the other reviews that a lot of the reviewers (presumably historians) have read both translations, and their comments make me want to read the new one. This is because I read the original Hopman translation and enjoyed it immensely. Please don't let the other reviews put you off, as it is still a beautifully written, complex and subtle book which will, without pain, teach you a great deal about the way the Middle Ages evolved into the early modern world which, in England, we associate with the Tudors.

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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Format: Paperback
I first read this book 25 years ago in college. At the time, it was one of those book I just wanted to get through for a grade, but there were details of it I remembered, such as the common practice of sllicing apples into thirds to represent the Trinity.

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.

Warmly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an old friend from back in the day. I'd given my original copy away! Luckily this very good copy landed on my doorstep in plenty of time for reading the relevant chapter recommended by a course I'm on. This is a book which is easy to read and understand, but is meaty with information. Translations are included close to the page in question. There's a good Bibliography, and clear index. Welcome back old friend..this copy stays on my shelves!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a specialist book for art historians and students of the subject. I ordered it when I was doing a degree in art history because it was always quoted in the papers I was reading. It is not easy reading but is interesting for the specialist covering the 14th and 15th centuries. It covers more than art's and includes theology, poetry and statesman bringing to the close the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. It is a just a translation from the original Dutch but an adaption under the direction of J Huizinga, the author. Poetry is in the original French, which I enjoy because part of my degree was in French but may prove difficult for others who do not know the language. Because it is so specialist I gave it only 4 stars rather than 5.
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A very interesting book for anyone who aims to go beyond the barrier of "modern" history writing and the thought of Medieval Time as a "Dark Age". It is time to shed the missconception of our ancesters.
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