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Night in the Middle Ages

Night in the Middle Ages (Hardback)

£21.95
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Synopsis

The contemporary world is uncomfortable with night, more precisely with night it has not domesticated with electricity. What was it like in the Middle Ages when darkness was nearly unbroken from the setting to the rising of the sun?" In this text Jean Verdon offers an answer to this question. His book - filled with stories that capture events of the medieval night, from the ordinary to the fantastic - includes a cast of characters ranging from Duke Louis of Orleans and Chretien de Troyes to students, bailiffs, monks and workers. Part I of the book describes dark activities that are masked by the cloak of night. Murders, robberies, rape, betrayal, and licentious behaviour all figure prominently in this set of stories. Fantasy forces of evil such as witches, werewolves, and even Satan himself, are also discussed. In the second section, Verdon depicts how medieval society attempted to "tame" the night through architecture, improved lighting methods, armed night patrols, watchmen, and curfews. He also describes sleeping arrangements (such as beds and bedrooms) and sleeping patterns in the Middle Ages, including dreams, nightmares, and sleepwalking.

Finally Verdon turns his attention to "sublime night" when people were visibly visions and "divine light". He suggests that the medieval world was better equipped by religion than the modern world to deal with the darkness of the night.

Jean Verdon is professor emeritus of literature and humanities at Limoges University. He is the author of Les Loisirs au Moyen Age and Isabeau de Baviere.

More books by Jean Verdon

More books by George Holoch

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Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
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