Cover: Medieval Households, from Harvard University PressCover: Medieval Households in PAPERBACK

Medieval Households

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$39.00 • £33.95 • €35.95

ISBN 9780674563766

Publication Date: 01/01/1985


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 line illustrations, 3 halftones, 9 tables


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Immensely stimulating…[this book] contains a vast amount of original scholarship. Herlihy has a rare talent for incorporating lively narrative evidence into the context suggested by quantifiable data and writing about it with grace and verve… This book will provide the analytical framework against which all subsequent regional studies will be tested.—David Nicholas, American Historical Review

Herlihy’s work will undoubtedly form a centerpoint for subsequent debate on the development of the medieval household. There is much to ponder here… Provocative…unearthing a rich vein of narrative and other material, it commands the attention of all historians interested in the early European family.Continuity and Change

Here is a happy marriage: a preeminent historian tackling the thorniest of problems, household and family in medieval Europe. The result is altogether felicitous, a rich, detailed, well-written, and fascinating book of extraordinary range, one designed for students and general readers that will also be invaluable to specialists.—Robert S. Gottfried, Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies

Herlihy’s excellent work makes accessible persuasive counterarguments against the theory that affection for children developed only recently. Herlihy…demonstrates how modern society moved toward its definition of ‘family’ and shows its emergence in the medieval period. He uses scattered and diverse source material to trace the development of the family from Roman times to the medieval development of common expectations of family life applicable to all classes. The sources, ranging from well-known classical and medieval writers such as Aristotle, Tacitus, Aquinas, and Augustine to monastic archives, sermons, lives of saints, and civil archives, provide models and reflections of family life, including the church’s use of scripture to establish marital and family standards applicable to ruler and serf alike… Herlihy helps overcome the negative stereotype of the medieval family by showing how present-day standards for family life emerged in that earlier time. This book will become the standard source for family history in cultural context. In spite of its erudition, it is accessible to undergraduates… [A] fascinating, readable, and scholarly work.Choice

Written in a clear and vigorous prose, Herlihy’s history of the European family and his compelling explanation for the emergence of our very concept of the family should become starting points for any further discussions of this much discussed topic.—Anthony Molho, Brown University

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