History of Private Life

The widely celebrated and sumptuously illustrated History of Private Life series traces how society moved from an entirely-public to an almost entirely-private way of life. The five volume collection shows how people’s perceptions of themselves, their homes, their families, and their possessions changed, and how their ways of celebrating life events changed.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
1.Cover: A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium

A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium

Veyne, Paul
Goldhammer, Arthur
Ariès, Phillippe
Duby, Georges

First of the widely celebrated and sumptuously illustrated series, this book reveals in intimate detail what life was really like in the ancient world.

2.Cover: A History of Private Life, Volume II: Revelations of the Medieval World

A History of Private Life, Volume II: Revelations of the Medieval World

Duby, Georges
Goldhammer, Arthur
Ariès, Phillippe
Duby, Georges

The second volume of A History of Private Life is a treasure-trove of rich and colorful detail culled from an astounding variety of sources. This absorbing “secret epic” constructs a vivid picture of peasant and patrician life in the eleventh to fifteenth centuries.

3.Cover: A History of Private Life, Volume III: Passions of the Renaissance

A History of Private Life, Volume III: Passions of the Renaissance

Chartier, Roger
Goldhammer, Arthur
Ariès, Phillippe
Duby, Georges

Readers will relish this large-scale yet intimately detailed examination of the blossoming of the ordinary and extraordinary people of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. This third in the popular five-volume series celebrates the emergence of individualism and the manifestations of a burgeoning self-consciousness over three centuries.

4.Cover: A History of Private Life, Volume IV: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War

A History of Private Life, Volume IV: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War

Perrot, Michelle
Goldhammer, Arthur
Ariès, Phillippe
Duby, Georges

Volume IV of this award-winning series chronicles this development from the tumult of the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War I—a century and a quarter of rapid, ungovernable change culminating in a conflict that, at a stroke, altered life in the Western world.

5.Cover: A History of Private Life, Volume V: Riddles of Identity in Modern Times

A History of Private Life, Volume V: Riddles of Identity in Modern Times

Prost, Antoine
Vincent, Gérard
Goldhammer, Arthur
Ariès, Phillippe
Duby, Georges

Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »

Back to top

The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics, by Stephen Breyer, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

logo of the MacArthur Foundation

Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez Awarded MacArthur Fellowships

Harvard University Press congratulates its authors Nicole Fleetwood and Monica Muñoz Martinez for being named to the 2021 class of 25 MacArthur Fellows. The prestigious no-strings-attached $625,000 awards are given to individuals “who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”