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Chocolate, writes Emma Robertson in the introduction to her monograph, ‘has been invested with specific cultural meanings which are in part connected to … conditions of production’ (p. 3). At the heart of this study is a challenge to existing histories:
Ever since R. I. Moore published his The Formation of a Persecuting Society in 1987, we have increasingly come to understand medieval society in terms of its treatment of its ‘others’: Jews, lepers, heretics and so forth.(1) New bureaucratic structures starting in the 11th century established themselves by persecuting these minorities.
‘There is no salvation without preaching’ declared Thomas Cartwright, at the height of the Admonition controversy (p. 32). Nehemiah Wallington agreed – and he couldn’t get enough of it. One week he managed to squeeze in 19 sermons, a remarkable achievement, though his average of 30 a month may not have been so unusual.
Midst the foe, and the stranger she seeks not renown
She courts not their smiles, and she heeds not their frowns
Could she only impart unto childhood and youth
The science of God, of religion, and truth... (p. 110)
There was a time, not so long ago, when the history of the Jewish communities of 12th- and 13th-century England was a neglected subject in English historical studies. No longer.
On Sunday 1 or Sunday 8 April 1649 – it is difficult, as the editors note, to establish the date with certainty (vol. 1, p. 28) – five people went to St. George’s Hill in the parish of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey and began digging the earth. They sowed the unfertile ground with parsnips, carrots and beans, returning the next day in increased numbers.
Wounds, Flesh, and Metaphor in Seventeenth-Century England is a wide-ranging study that examines the metaphor of woundedness within and across political, legal, religious and literary texts.
The competition between religion and recreation in the Victorian period was pointed out by Brian Harrison as long ago as 1967, and at one level this book by Dominic Erdozain, Lecturer in the History of Christianity at King’s College, London, is an exploration of how the churches came to terms with their powerful rival.
Most medievalists would be able to cite an example of the close parallels in symbolic thinking about the city and world in the Middle Ages, whether along the lines of ideas of Rome as caput mundi or Augustine’s Two cities.
Of late, the Virgin Mary has become somewhat fashionable in academic circles. This prominence reflects her long-lasting cultural influence as an international historic and spiritual figure.