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The Life Cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500
ISBN
9780719059162
Uitgever
Manchester Univ Pr
Druk vanaf
1e
Verschenen
01-01-2006
Taal
Engels
Bladzijden
244 pp.
Bindwijze
Paperback
Genre
Geschiedenis
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The Life Cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500

THIS IS THE FIRST STUDY to examine the entire life cycle in the Late Middle Ages. It draws on a wide range of secondary and primary material in its consideration of the timing and experiences of infancy, childhood, adolescence and youth, adulthood, old age and, finally, death. The questions under consideration include: did medieval children have time to play? what constituted a good upbringing? were adolescents caricatured as awkward and rebellious? was adulthood the 'high point' of life? what were the chances of reaching old age? It therefore discusses attitudes towards ageing, rites of passage, age stereotypes in operation, and the means by which age was used as a form of social control, compelling individuals to work, govern, marry and pay taxes. The wide scope of the study allows contrasts and comparisons to be made across gender, social status and geographical location. Moreover, it considers whether men and women experienced the ageing process in the same way, and examines the differences that can be discerned between northern and southern European societies.
The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries suffered famine, warfare, plague and population collapse. This fascinating consideration of the life cycle adds a new dimension to the debate over continuity and change in a period of social and demographic upheaval. It will appeal to those interested in the society and culture of the period, as well as the associated areas of population studies and gender.
Deborah Youngs is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Wales, Swansea
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