The work of Mary Carruthers is well known to students of medieval culture. Her Book of Memory charted discussions of memory from antiquity to the late Middle Ages, treading in the footsteps of Frances Yates in arguing that memory was not just another concept in the minds of medieval writers, but a conceptual motor for the organisation and motivation of thought.
At first sight this looks like another of those increasingly common commodity books, some of which are intended to be global in scope, and which include studies of chocolate, sugar, cod, salt and many others (digestible or not!). As Riello points out, commodities are a good way to tell a global story since many of them have been traded throughout the world for centuries.
The period of medieval intellectual history covered by this book, primarily the 12th and 13th centuries, is one that has received considerable attention for well over a century. The main question, then, is what does Ian Wei bring to this subject that has not been done before, or how has he reshaped it? The answer is he has done much in both respects.
Socialising the child explores the role of the household and school in socialising the children of the gentry and the middle ranks of urban society between 1400 and 1600, outlining how childhood was imagined by writers and educators, and how it was presented to child and adult readers in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Emerging from the recent and widespread academic interest in cultural memory, the International Medieval Society of Paris (IMS, Paris) convened a three-day interdisciplinary symposium on Memory in Medieval France in the summer of 2007.
When you walk in to the Propaganda: Power and Persuasion Exhibition at the British Library you are told that ‘propaganda is used to fight wars and combat disease, build unity and create division’. You then walk through a guard of honour of black mannequins that offer different definitions of the word ‘propaganda’.
Ronald Witt’s new book serves as a prequel to his highly-praised volume, In the Footsteps of the Ancients: The Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni.(1) If the Footsteps volume located the genesis of humanism in the epistolary and literary compositions of late 13th-century Padua (whereby as a consequence the traditional ‘father of humanism,’ Petra
The ‘great divide’ between the medieval and the early modern is nowhere more apparent than in ‘the history of the book’ – a field of study in which it has been particularly damaging to our understanding of the processes by which books and other texts were manufactured and distributed in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Order of the Garter has enjoyed a continuous existence since King Edward III founded it in the late 1340s, and membership remains the highest honour an English sovereign can bestow.
Contemporary interest in the period of the Crusades has intensified in the last decade or so, partly because of the inflammatory invocations of holy war and jihad made immediately after the traumatic events of 9/11.