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A Social History of England, 900–1200


Part of A Social History of England

Julia Crick, Elisabeth van Houts, Robin Fleming, Stephen Rippon, Oliver Rackham, Peter Claughton, Carole Rawcliffe, Bruce O'Brien, Stephen Baxter, John Hudson, David Pelteret, David Griffiths, Richard Britnell, Julia Barrow, Charles West, D. M. Hadley, Anna Abulafia, Carl Watkins, Sarah Hamilton, Paul Anthony Hayward, Tom Licence, Teresa Webber, Elaine Treharne, Nicholas Karn, Andy Orchard, Martha Bayless
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  • Date Published: April 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521713238

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About the Authors
  • The years between 900 and 1200 saw transformative social change in Europe, including the creation of extensive town-dwelling populations and the proliferation of feudalised elites and bureaucratic monarchies. In England these developments were complicated and accelerated by repeated episodes of invasion, migration and changes of regime. In this book, scholars from disciplines including history, archaeology and literature reflect on the major trends which shaped English society in these years of transition and select key themes which encapsulate the period. The authors explore the landscape of England, its mineral wealth, its towns and rural life, the health, behaviour and obligations of its inhabitants, patterns of spiritual and intellectual life and the polyglot nature of its population and culture. What emerges is an insight into the complexity, diversity and richness of this formative period of English history.

    • Will appeal to readers interested in Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman history and culture across the conventional 1066 divide
    • Sets English history within the context of broader European developments
    • Covers topics not usually discussed such as landscape, social migration and education
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is an imaginatively-conceived volume that cuts across conventional chronological divisions to offer new insights into the English medieval society and culture. No other volume offers so comprehensive an analysis of all aspects of life in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England. It should be an essential purchase for students and scholars working on England in the central Middle Ages.' Sarah Foot, Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Oxford

    'This is a ground-breaking collection that combines intellectual, political and cultural history with archaeological, literary, ecocritical and environmental scholarship in an unprecedented fashion. The result is innovative and interdisciplinary in the very best way - rich in insights, lucid, learned, and original.' Paul J. E. Kershaw, University of Virginia

    'This fresh and interesting volume has broadened the normal range of selection for a social history to include such excellent literary scholars as Andy Orchard and Elaine Treharne, matching them with archaeologists and the incomparable Oliver Rackham. It will inspire the young to pursue a speciality from one or other of the chapters and one or two readers might even ponder the volume as a whole and go on to transcend specialities and produce a great social history of the complex kind we so singularly lack.' Paul R. Hyams, Cornell University

    'This collection of thirty essays by field leaders, expertly edited by Julia Crick and Elisabeth van Houts, is … very welcome and has much to offer medieval history. Going far beyond considerations of government, and taking in change alongside continuity, it makes important contributions … excellent surveys and overviews, accessible to students and non-specialists, reinforcing and enlightening to veterans.' Alex Burghart, The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521713238
    • length: 472 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • contains: 23 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Julia Crick and Elisabeth van Houts
    Part I. Land Use and People Robin Fleming:
    1. Water and land Stephen Rippon
    2. Forest and upland Oliver Rackham
    3. Mineral resources Peter Claughton
    4. Health and disease Carole Rawcliffe
    Part II. Authority and Community Bruce O'Brien:
    5. Lordship and labour Stephen Baxter
    6. Order and justice John Hudson
    7. War and violence John Hudson
    8. Family, marriage, kinship Elisabeth van Houts
    9. Poor and powerless David Pelteret
    Part III. Towns and their Hinterlands David Griffiths:
    10. Commerce and markets Richard Britnell
    11. Urban planning Julia Barrow
    12. Urban populations and association Charles West
    Part IV. Invasion and Migration Elisabeth van Houts:
    13. Ethnicity and acculturation D. M. Hadley
    14. Intermarriage Elisabeth van Houts
    15. The Jews Anna Abulafia
    Part V. Religion and Belief Carl Watkins:
    16. Rites of passage and pastoral care Sarah Hamilton
    17. Saints and cults Paul Anthony Hayward
    18. Public spectacle Tom Licence
    19. Textual communities (Latin) Teresa Webber
    20. Textual communities (vernacular) Elaine Treharne
    Part VI. Learning and Training Julia Crick:
    21. Information and its retrieval Nicholas Karn
    22. Esoteric knowledge Andy Orchard
    23. Medical practice and theory Carole Rawcliffe
    24. Subversion Martha Bayless
    Further reading

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • British Isles in the Middle Ages
    • Gender and the State
    • History of England
    • History of the British Isles
    • Honors Seminar in Social Sciences
    • Sex Matters? U.S. Women and Politics
    • Women Gender and American Politics
    • Women in American Politics
    • Women in Politics & Gov't
    • Women, Gender and Politics
  • Editors

    Julia Crick, Department of History, University of Exeter
    Julia Crick is Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Exeter. Her research interests include property, power and gender before 1100, aspects of palaeography and the transmission of texts in the Middle Ages, monastic culture and the uses of the past. Her publications include The Uses of Script and Print, 1200–1700, edited with Alexandra Walsham (2004), and Charters of St Albans (2007).

    Elisabeth van Houts, University of Cambridge
    Elizabeth van Houts is Lecturer in Medieval History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. She has published extensively on Anglo-Norman history and the history of gender in the Middle Ages. Her recent publications include Exile in the Middle Ages (2004), with Laura Napran, and Medieval Writings on Lay Women in the Middle Ages (2011), with Patricia Skinner.


    Julia Crick, Elisabeth van Houts, Robin Fleming, Stephen Rippon, Oliver Rackham, Peter Claughton, Carole Rawcliffe, Bruce O'Brien, Stephen Baxter, John Hudson, David Pelteret, David Griffiths, Richard Britnell, Julia Barrow, Charles West, D. M. Hadley, Anna Abulafia, Carl Watkins, Sarah Hamilton, Paul Anthony Hayward, Tom Licence, Teresa Webber, Elaine Treharne, Nicholas Karn, Andy Orchard, Martha Bayless

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