''Five million barrels of porter'' (p. 140)
Joseph P. Huffmans Family, Commerce and Religion in London and Cologne: Anglo-German Immigrants, c.1000-c.1300: (Cambridge 1998) is the most recent contribution to a burgeoning field of historical scholarship, i.e. the study of Anglo-German relations in the Middle Ages. Over the last fifteen years a number of studies have appeared on the subject.
In the middle of the period covered by this book, one of the most resonant accounts of urban life ever written was composed by the poet Dante. For all its startling vividness, however, Dante's evocation of the city in the Divine Comedy is not easy to interpret.
Caroline M. Barron’s book on London traces the history England’s largest medieval city, including its governmental structure, relations with the crown, its economy and guilds and its physical environment.
Political biography has a relatively minor part in medieval and renaissance Venetian historiography when compared to other European states – such as England – or Italy’s other major republic in the period, Florence.
Medieval Italian cities have frequently been the focus of international historical research. The particular qualities of the elites that emerged here were notably stressed by Marino Berengo in his classic book on the history of European towns.(1)
In the wake of Douglass North’s theories on institutions and economic growth, the last two decades have seen various kinds of medieval and early modern institutions increasingly regarded as factors aiding in, rather than obstructing, the transformative processes that eventually led to modern industrial capitalism in the 19th century.
When Pero Tafur visited Bruges in 1438 he had a keen eye for the material wealth of the town and the splendor in which its citizens seemed to indulge. In his famous travel diary he noted that ‘without doubt, the goddess of luxury has great power here, but it is not a place for poor men, who would be badly received here.
Hitherto, the historiography of ‘city-states’ has in general not been comparative, preferring to focus on one city, or one region, rather than taking a European perspective.
This collection of essays forms an excellent Festschrift for Professor John Hatcher, whose eclectic range of research is displayed by the volume’s division into three parts: the first explores the medieval demographic system; the second charts the changing relationship between lords and peasants; and the third highlights the fortunes of trade and industry after the Black Death.