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Response to Review no. 275

All I can do is express gratitude to Larry Poos for the feat he has performed here, when dealing with a long and complex book. The precision and penetration of his reading of it, and the deftness of his description and analysis of it are all that an author could want.

Perhaps a frivolous addendum? Larry Poos’s review is written in a generous spirit, devoid of the nit-picking which characterises some reviews. If only my own copy of Measure of Multitude: Population in Medieval Thought were available to reviewers, its annotations could be used to supply this gap. Here are some examples. The margin of p. 246 carries the laconic ‘Think Vegetius’. The last word on p. 213, ‘sou’, is crossed out, and ‘suo’ substituted, and my feelings about missing this screaming Latin typo can be inferred from my additional informal comment to myself, not transcribed here. More sober in tone are the pencilled words beside note 1 at the beginning of chapter 2, ‘Marriage and the Church’s Marriage-Texts’ (p. 19). ‘Should have made this a brief introductory and general note, saying “fundamental is Gabriel Le Bras’s 1927 article in the Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, and exemplary among modern work is the 1981 article on marriage sermons by D. d’Avray and M. Tausche”‘. The tone is irritation – how could I have forgotten?

In the previous paragraph I am not only trying to live up to one adjective used in the review to describe my style, but also advertising the fact that I intend to emend such things, if ever reprinting or a second edition allows this. Dream on.