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The Ties that Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Barbara A. Hanawalt
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9. Februar 1989
Barbara A. Hanawalt's richly detailed account offers an intimate view of everyday life in Medieval England that seems at once surprisingly familiar and yet at odds with what many experts have told us. She argues that the biological needs served by the family do not change and that the ways fourteenth- and fifteenth-century peasants coped with such problems as providing for the newborn and the aged, controlling premarital sex, and alleviating the harshness of their material environment in many ways correspond with our twentieth-century solutions.

Using a remarkable array of sources, including over 3,000 coroners' inquests into accidental deaths, Hanawalt emphasizes the continuity of the nuclear family from the middle ages into the modern period by exploring the reasons that families served as the basic unit of society and the economy. Providing such fascinating details as a citation of an incantation against rats, evidence of the hierarchy of bread consumption, and descriptions of the games people played, her study illustrates the flexibility of the family and its capacity to adapt to radical changes in society. She notes that even the terrible population reduction that resulted from the Black Death did not substantially alter the basic nature of the family.

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  • Taschenbuch: 360 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.; Auflage: Reprint (9. Februar 1989)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0195045645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195045642
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,7 x 14 x 2,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 254.454 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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"I've always wanted to step back into medieval society, to time-travel through England. Thanks to Hanawalt, I have!"--William Van Vugt, Calvin College

"Well-written and flows smoothly. Hanawalt uses her sources skillfully to build an intriguing portrait of the daily lives of women and their families in medieval England."--Sylvia McGrath, Stephen F. Austin State University

"[An] excellent presentation of medieval life, especially valuable for a course focussing on social history. Clear and vivid, easily comprehended yet subtly argued. Students find it rewarding and interesting."--James Rosenheim, Texas A & M University

"As stimulating for the questions it asks as for the answers it provides....[It] will serve as a corrective to those accounts that only see differences and not similarities between past and present."--The New York Times Book Review

"A vivid re-creation of the family and community life of English peasants during the later Middle Ages, as well as lively criticism of other historians who have generalized about the subject."--American Historical Review

"Meticulous, scholarly, and highly readable....Founded on voluminous and reliable evidence that is interpreted with grace, humanity, and common sense."--David Nicholas, Speculum

"An important new and timely venture....Hanawalt must be congratulated for taking up the task in such an energetic and lively fashion."--J.A. Raftis, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

"A wonderful book....[Hanawalt] brings to her reconstruction of domestic life a wealth of colorful detail....Informed, level-headed, fast-paced, fun to read, and deeply humane."--David Herlihy, Harvard University

"The first comprehensive account of peasant families in late medieval England."--Journal of Social History

"Diligent research...has enabled Hanawalt to speak authoritatively and engagingly about her subject....A significant contribution on its subject."--Choice

"This approach and its detail of everyday mediaeval life make the book of interest to a wide variety of reader. Those who are interested in the mediaeval period (or the family) should not miss it."--Open History


Using a wealth of 14th century sources, including over 3000 coroners' reports, this is both a detailed account of everyday life in the Middle Ages, and an historical study of the medieval family unit - a unit which has survived, largely unchanged, to the present day.

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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen destroys stereotypes of medieval peasants 12. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
This book does a great job of getting straight to the peasants themselves and depicting their lives as much as possible instead of lumping them together as all equally miserable, brutish, callous, etc.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Pretty decent for what it is. 27. Oktober 1998
Von Ein Kunde
While, admitedly, I don't think I'd read this book without prompting, (I'm having to read it for a class), it is actually rather fascinating. The way in which the author uses coroner's reports to support her claims is particularly interesting, in a morbid sort of way.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  9 Rezensionen
28 von 28 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Best book on medieval peasants 19. Februar 2005
Von Alex P. Kimball - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This is the kind of academic text that can be read for pleasure. Incredibly learned, with a wonderful bibliography, Hanawalt manages to make coroner's reports (the basis of her text) engaging, funny, and illuminating. Never again can you take the image of peasants mucking around in filth as an accurate view of medieval peasant life. Instead, you will find them to be hardworking, ingenious, complex people. Hanawalt explores the material life (houses, lands, etc) as well as the social and economic lives peasants had, all with a great style. Not exactly a light read, but a fun one if medieval studies is your forte. Could use a few more maps, however, so brush up on your medieval English geography. Overall the best book on peasants I've encountered. Highly recommended.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A good, solid study 17. April 2008
Von Lois Huneycutt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I have used this book for years as a text in a freshman level class on medieval and early modern Britain. Not only does it provide an in-depth look at the peasant family and community, it really shows how professional historians use sources. The conclusions are not revolutionary any more -- but the fact that this book seems so mainstream now is a testament to how good it really is.
18 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen destroys stereotypes of medieval peasants 12. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This book does a great job of getting straight to the peasants themselves and depicting their lives as much as possible instead of lumping them together as all equally miserable, brutish, callous, etc.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Lively Analysis of Medieval English Peasants 1. August 2008
Von Collin Garbarino - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
In this book, Hanawalt investigates the peasant family in medieval England, attempting to correct some misconceptions of previous scholarship on the subject. Her thesis is explicit: "the peasant family remained much the same throughout these two centuries of cataclysmic changes [fourteenth and fifteenth] and, moreover, ... the family was able to maintain its basic structure because it was a remarkably flexible institution, permitting the pursuit of a variety of options while retaining the integrity of the unit" (3). Hanawalt's book surveys all aspects of English peasant families.

In the first section of the book, Hanawalt provides an illuminating discussion on the material environment of the English peasantry, e.g., what kinds of fields they cultivated and what kinds of houses they built. The heart of Hanawalt's book comes in the second section where she defines the peasant family. She seeks to destroy what she calls "the myth of extended kinship in the Middle Ages" (83). She claims that English peasants conceived of the family as a relatively compact unit. The basic family structure was the nuclear family, which rarely exceeded five members. In the next two sections, Hanawalt looks at the economics of the family, describing how each member could contribute to the family's needs, and investigates each stage of life for the English peasant. Overall, Hanawalt posits a fairly rosy existence for medieval English peasants.

One interesting aspect of the book is Hanawalt's choice of sources. She uses manorial court rolls and other traditional sources, but she really relies on coroner's reports to flesh out her argument. These coroner's reports give her survey plenty of color, but they also make the book a bit morbid at times. The combination of her upbeat picture of peasant life with a parade of ghastly accidents as evidence gives the reader a sensation of dissonance. Nonetheless, the book is a good read.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very insightful book 20. Februar 2014
Von becky potter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
This is one of my all time favorite books! I love the histoy of this time period and this book seems to bring happenings to light that I would have never guessed went on and the difficulty of living in this time. If you love history you will love this book!
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