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The Perfect Age of Man's Life


  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521129824

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About the Authors
  • Originally published in 1986, this is an investigation of one particular aspect of what is usually called the Ages of Man. Human beings seem always to have divided up their lives into separate stages: this book argues that the medieval understanding of the age in the middle of man's life was very different from contemporary ideas. Middle age in the Middle Ages did not have dim and negative associations. Instead, it was typically perceived as a 'perfect' age, an age of fulfilment which reached its consummation in the redemption brought about by Christ in his perfect age. The implications of this for medieval understanding of the series of the ages are discussed here for the first time.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521129824
    • length: 192 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Middle Age of Man's Life:
    1. In the middle of the way
    2. Numbering ages and naming the middle age
    3. The ages of woman's life
    4. 'Maturity, full of ripenesse'
    5. 'Secrete diminution'
    Part II. The Perfect Age of Man's Life:
    6. The perfect age and the ages of the soul
    7. The perfect age and the perfect man
    8. The perfect age and the ages of the world
    9. The perfect age and the image of the wheel
    10. The perfect age and the De Lisle Psalter
    Part III. The Perfect Age in Ricardian Poetry:
    11. 'Myddel age' in Piers Plowman
    12. 'Hy time' in Piers Plowman
    13. 'Myhty youthe' in Confessio Amantis
    14. 'Hyghe eldee' in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    15. The 'ryght yong' man and Lady Perfect Age in the Book of the Duchess

  • Author

    Mary Dove

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