The Rituals and Rhetoric of Queenship; Medieval to Early Modern is a collection of papers which originated in a conference held at Canterbury Christ Church University in August 2006.
'Suggestive’, ‘methodical’ and ‘witty’ are words rarely applied to the same book, but Steffen Patzold’s study of Carolingian ideas about bishops demonstrates all three qualities. Granted, Patzold’s tome cannot hide its origins as a Habilitationsschrift: it is a 660-page brick of a book, of a size and weight that might see it confiscated at airports alongside liquids and sharp objects.
Political biography has a relatively minor part in medieval and renaissance Venetian historiography when compared to other European states – such as England – or Italy’s other major republic in the period, Florence.
What can we know about late-medieval, pre-Reformation English parliaments? Previous to this book, only a few secondary scatterings. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485–1504, therefore, pulls this topic together, gives synthesis to such scattered references, and then thoroughly researches and documents extant bits and pieces from contemporary primary evidence.
This is an accessible and engaging book about the ranks, obligations, and image of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, written by one of the leading historians of the period. Ann Williams is the author of The English and the Norman Conquest, Kingship and Government in Pre-Conquest England c.
Stephen D. White is a well-known scholar of the medieval period whose work in the last 30 years has done much to elucidate a wide range of historical topics, from dispute processing to the Bayeux Tapestry.
The study of the unhappy reign of Stephen (1135–54) is as old as professional history in England, and indeed the problem of Stephen was one of the early concerns of William Stubbs, the midwife of the Oxford History Schools and founder of the constitutionalist approach to English history.
Medieval Italian cities have frequently been the focus of international historical research. The particular qualities of the elites that emerged here were notably stressed by Marino Berengo in his classic book on the history of European towns.(1)
Many years ago this reviewer attended a meeting of the Cambridge interdisciplinary medievalists’ group at which Terry Jones, who had recently published his debunking book on Chaucer’s knight, bravely crossed swords with Derek Brewer, then the foremost Chaucerian scholar, in front of an audience which included numbers of the university’s teachers of medieval English literature.
The late Middle Ages are a challenging period to survey and synthesise. Any attempt to summarise their complexity, chaos, and dynamism within a restricted publisher’s word limit and at the same time provide an effective textbook for undergraduates is fraught with issues of coverage, comprehensiveness, and accessibility.