lamdha books -
Catalogue of books, CDs and DVDs relating to the medieval world in history, culture and the imagination

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Bernstein, David J.
The Mystery of the Bayeux Tapestry
Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London, 1986.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine titles; 272pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; spine heel scraped; light spotting to the text block edges; some small marks to the flyleaf. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. If the Bayeux Tapestry was made by Anglo-Saxons for a Norman patron, as is generally accepted, do these intricate and varied images reflect a Norman or an English point of view? To solve the mystery the author investigates the unusual circumstances in which the Tapestry was made, its distinctive style and format, and how its version of history frequently departs from accounts by contemporary authors. He also explores the implications of his discovery that the Hebrew Scriptures might be a prime source of an iconography previously deemed secular and purely contemporary. His radical solution to the puzzles surrounding the Tapestry is that the master artist was no mere craftsman carrying out a patron's orders, but an independent personality who found subtle ways of inserting his own interpretations of history.
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Bingen, Hildegard von (Sinfonye)
The Complete Hildegard von Bingen: 3 CD "Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations", "Aurora", & "O Nobilissima Viriditas"
Celestial Harmonies.
New. "The 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen, who was accorded sainthood earlier this year and a few weeks ago was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI, has been lauded as much for her theological and visionary writings as for a corpus of music that has found receptive ears among modern listeners. There have been numerous 'straight' recordings of her vocal works in recent years, but this disc is rather different. The British composer Stevie Wishart, a specialist in medieval music, has collaborated with the pop producer and songwriter Guy Sigsworth to create a sequence approximating to the rite of Vespers. It intersperses antiphons and other items by Hildegard with various 'ambient' re-imaginings that give medievalism a modern twist. There is also a setting by Wishart of words from the glossary of Hildegard's 'lingua ignota' (the secret language she sometimes adopted), together with a new version of the Magnificat. An epilogue, entitled 'ZuuenZ' (Hildegard's word for 'saint') deploys rhythmic chimes, harps, voices and electronics, and there is a specially composed cod-medieval prayer to Hildegard, the newly designated doctor. It might not be to purists' taste, but the disc evokes hypnotic atmosphere." - Geoffrey Norris in The Telegraph.
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Boase, Roger
The Troubadour Revival A Study of Social Change and Traditionalism in Late Medieval Spain
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1978.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 219pp., with 8pp. of monochrome plates. Previous owner's ink inscription on front free endpaper. Minor shelf and edge wear to dustwrapper; spine sunned. Very good otherwise. Chivalry and courtesy flourished in Europe in the late Middle Ages at a time when the relevance of such ideals to practical affairs was diminishing - as a dominant minority attempted to retreat into the past to preserve their cultural heritage, instead of adjusting to the social and economic changes of the period. The troubadour revival in Spain preached the ennobling power of love at the same time as it provided a cultural endorsement of traditional social stratification. The author applies the insights of history, sociology and economics to problems of literature and demonstrates the importance of the period to late Medieval culture.
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Boyd, Douglas
Eleanor April Queen of Aquitaine
Sutton, Stroud Gloucestershire UK, 2004.
Hardcover, octavo; black boards with gilt spine titling; 376pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear; lightly toned text block edges with a few marks on side edges. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. Mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John, Eleanor of Aquitaine was unique in being queen-consort of both France and England. In an age when women rarely travelled, she crossed Europe and Turkey on horseback to reach the Holy Land with the Second Crusade. Despite custom giving control of wives' inheritance to their husbands, she resisted both her spouses' efforts to rule her strategic duchy of Aquitaine. Refusing to be any man's chattel, she divorced King Louis of France to marry Henry of Anjou and make him Henry II of England. But this was no love-match: Eleanor knew her body was a tool of state. After bearing Henry five sons and three daughters, their final falling-out led to her uniting the adult sons against him for a full-scale war in which her betrayal by men she trusted led to fifteen bitter years as Henry's prisoner. On his death, Eleanor proclaimed herself still Queen of England and ruled it, although aged sixty-seven, until Richard arrived to claim the throne. Throughout the next decade and a half - which saw Richard's futile crusade and imprisonment in Germany, his death and the disastrous succession by John - this extraordinary queen remained a figure of power, influencing matters of state far beyond her beloved Aquitaine. No woman before or since has known such excess of wealth and poverty, power and humiliation.
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Boyle, David
The Troubadour's Song The Capture and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart
Walker & Co., New York, NY, USA, 2005.
Octavo; hardcover; 369pp., maps and 16pp. of monochrome plates. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. The story of the arrest in 1192 of Europe's most powerful king, England's Richard the Lionheart on his way back home from Jerusalem, illustrates the turbulent world of the late twelfth century, when the realities of violence and geopolitics were juxtaposed against chivalric ideals, courts of love and unparalleled tolerance. Boyle recreates the drama of the Third Crusade and the dynamic power politics and personalities of the age, as well as the full story of how Richard came to be in the hands of the Holy Roman Emperor and the effects of the ransom paid by his powerful mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, that secured his release. He also evokes the world of the troubadours, the emergence of Gothic cathedrals such as Chartres and a new culture of music, romance and chivalry through the legend of Blondel, troubadour and Richard's own minstrel, who supposedly journeyed across central Europe singing a song he knew Richard would recognise in hope of finding the king.
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Brewer, Derek
Chaucer and His World
Eyre Methuen, London, 1978.
Small quarto hardcover; tan boards with gilt spine titling, illustrated endpapers; 224pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Toned and faintly spotted text block edges and dustwrapper spine faded slightly. Very good to near fine. Chaucer's work is rich in comedy and pathos, and his tales have an immediate appeal which is enhanced by the romance and colour, as well as the distress, of the times in which he lived. His world - that of the second half of the fourteenth century - is rich in cultural interest. It was a time of special tensions and of strong clashes between tradition and innovation. It was a time of peasant revolt and passionate religious dissent, of new exploration and new individualism, of the emergence of the city of London as an economic and cultural force and of the ascendance of the vernacular over Latin and French. Yet through it all there was a remarkable flowering of the arts. Chaucer lived at the very centre of the action, he was in touch with many of the different currents of the age from the courtiers and scholars to the common people, from orthodoxy to dissent. He retained, however an inner detachment and, now as then, he remains something of an enigma.
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Camille, Michael
Master of Death: The Lifeless Art of Pierre Remiet, Illuminator
Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996.
Quarto hardcover; black boards with silver gilt spine titling, black endpapers; 286pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Owner's name. Minor wear; small bump to lower edge boards and faint spotting on upper text block edges. Near fine otherwise and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Michael Camille's 'little history of death' as well as exhuming the life and work of a single medieval artist whose speciality was the representation of suffering, old age, death and corporeal decay, explores the macabre obsessions that permeated late medieval culture and the more general relationship between mortality and image-making. How did the artist figure the inevitable and how was the fact of death, emblematized in the painted corpse, made to work as a social sign of cadaverous presence in the absence of life. Camille argues that the medieval world perceived death as larger than life, that death was implicit at birth and stretched beyond the end of life to the resurrection of the body at the last Judgement. Each of Camille's chapters, framed by an imagined account of the illuminator's last hours and illustrated with examples of his art follows this inexorable path of death. Camille describes the theological origins of death and its physical beginnings at birth. He shows how representations of death shaped medieval notions of the historical past. In this period, people were constantly preparing themselves for death, as shown by Remiet's striking image of the figures of Death waiting at the end of the pilgrimage of human life. Remiet's frequent depiction of the rotting corpse reveals his society's dreaded anticipation of the end of time when, reawakened in the flesh, each individual would face the threat of an eternal and terrifying second death.
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Carley, James P.
Glastonbury Abbey The Holy House at the Head of the Moors Adventurous
Guild Publishing, London, 1988.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and illustrated endpapers; 189pp., with 8pp. of full-colour plates and many monochrome illustrations. Minor spotting to text block edges. Otherwise very good in like dustwrapper, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Glastonbury is one of the magical places of England. It appeals alike to the pilgrim, the lover of history, the seeker after occult truths. Its dramatic ruins and landscape and legends continue to make an unforgettable impression on the visitor today, just as they have done for a thousand years. This is a general survey of the story of the great abbey at Glastonbury, from its mythical origins as a church founded by Christ's disciples to the execution of the last abbot at the Reformation. From obscure beginnings (it may have been a holy place even before the Saxon invasions) Glastonbury grew to be one of the greatest abbeys in England, patronised from early Saxon days by kings and magnates alike. Nonetheless, its history was a chequered one: a disastrous fire in 1184 destroyed almost all the buildings from the venerable old church itself to the sumptuous new additions just made by Henry of Blois, and after the rebuilding there were long disputes with the powerful local bishop of Bath and Wells. But it remained a house rich in relics and stories; Joseph of Arimathea and Arthur, Saint Dunstan and a host of other saints, were all associated with it. At the Dissolution, Glastonbury, although one of the last abbeys to be put down, suffered as severely as any of the English monasteries. James Carley explores the relics of Glastonbury, from the ruins of its buildings to the manuscripts from its library, to build up a picture of its intellectual inheritance, which is also reflected in the numerous illustrations.
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Cecchini, Giovanni (Elizabeth Mann Borgese, trans.)
The Palio of Siena
Monte Dei Paschi, Siena Italy, 1958.
First English translation: folio; hardcover, full vellum with gilt spine and upper board titles; 372pp, with a tipped-in colour frontispiece, one tipped-in monochrome plate and many other full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; mildly toned text block edges; light offset to the preliminaries; mild scattered foxing throughout. Scuffed dustwrapper with edge and corner wear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine in rubbed and edgeworn slip-case. Horse-races, either with or without riders, were popular even in the earliest times and in the Middle Ages they often highlighted the feast-days of Patron Saints or crowned the celebration of particularly joyous events. The winner's prize was often a banner of precious material, which was known by the Latin name of Pallium, and from the name of the prize the race itself came to be called the Palio; the participants competed for the palio, or as it was generally said when the vernacular came into common use, 'they ran the palio'. The palio thus was originally a very widespread form of public celebration but, although it had a long life also in cities other than Siena, it was usually abandoned in fairly remote times. This book details the whole evolution of the race with the combining of official and popular influence which has given to the Siena Palio the particular character which it has preserved throughout the centuries and the political vicissitudes, so infusing the popular mind that it is inconceivable to think of Siena without the Palio or of the Palio without Siena.
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D'Arras, Jean (Donald Maddox, trans.)
Melusine or, the Noble History of Lusignan
Pennsylvania State University, Philadelphia PA, 2012.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 251pp. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New.
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de la Rue, Pierre; Johannes Gardano and Bernardus Ycart
Officium Tenebrarum - Gregorian Chant: CD First Nocturn of the Night Office for Holy Saturday
Celestial Harmonies.
New. A deeply moving recording of Gregorian chants. Officium Tenebrarum is the name of the musical liturgy to be sung before Easter, the First Nocturne of the Night Office for Holy Saturday, frequently celebrated during the darkness of Good Friday. The Paschal Vigil was the most important event within the early Latin liturgy. Most of the Gregorian chants recorded here are sung in their original plainsong version, dating back to the first centuries of the Christian era. In fact, these chants incorporate thematic elements derived from the Jewish synagogue. Several sections are polyphonic, a later development within Gregorian chant. Officium Tenebrarum is beautifully performed by the Students' Choir Utrecht and the Students' Chamber Choir Utrecht. The chants themselves were written, probably during the 15th and 16th centuries, by three musicians: Pierre de la Rue, Johannes Gardano and Bernardus Ycart.
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Dini, Giuletta Chelazzi, et al.
Five Centuries of Sienese Painting From Duccio to the Birth of the Baroque
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1998.
Folio hardcover, 471pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor shelf wear with faded spine and a few excoriations. Near fine in like dustwrapper. Thought to rival the painting of Florence in beauty but more conservative in nature, Sienese painting was at its height during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The first great master of Siena, Duccio and others who followed in his wake, although aware of Giotto's experiments with three-dimensional realism, often preferred to work in a more linear, decorative and elegant Byzantine-Gothic style. In informative essays the authors trace the evolution of Sienese painting and its influences through the centuries, addressing, social, historical and above all stylistic concerns. Great masters, such as Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers and their inspiration to subsequent generations of painters, among them Sassetta, Vecchietta, Signorelli, Sodoma, Pinturicchio, Beccafumi and Salimbeni are discussed.
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Dotsteth, Amanda W., Barbara C. Anderson & Mark A. Roglan
Fernando Gallego and his Workshop The Altarpiece from Ciudad Rodrigo - Painting from the Collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art
Meadows Museum SMU/Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., London, 2008.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 360pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. One of the most important art works produced in late fifteenth-century Spain is the group of twenty-six panels from the altarpiece of the cathedral of Ciudad Rodrigo, Castile. The panels rank among the most beautiful and iconographically ambitious works by two of Castile's great late medieval painters, Fernando Gallego and the virtually unknown Master Bartolome. All twenty-six panels are part of the Samuel H. Kress Collection and were given to the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tuscon in 1957. This major publication sheds new light on the altarpiece and its context, and includes essays on the physical life of the altarpiece itself; Fernando Gallego and the Hispano-Flemish tradition in Spain; Master Bartolome and millennialism in late fifteenth-century Castile; the infra-red reflectography, pigment and medium analysis of the panels; and the role of prints in the altarpiece. These essays together highlight the individual techniques and workshop practices within the context of the cosmopolitan communities of gothic Castile. Full catalogue entries for each of the panels complete the work. The project represents a groundbreaking international collaboration between institutions and scholars headed by the Meadows Museum in close collaboration with the University of Arizona Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute and the Kimbell Art Museum, whose conservation studio oversaw the technical analysis of the panels.
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Dvorakova, Vlasta; Krasa, Josef; Merhautova, Anezka; Stejskal, Karel
Gothic Mural Painting in Bohemia and Moravia 1300-1378
Oxford University Press, London, 1964.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling on a black label, with a white marker ribbon; 160pp, top edge dyed blue, with a map and 247pp. of photographic plates, mostly monochrome. Some minor offset to the preliminaries; mild toning to text block edges; boards lightly shelfworn with corners bumped, but solid and clean. Dustwrapper creased mildly; worn at the edges, with some small tears near the spine panel extremities; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Good. The story of mural painting in Bohemia of the fourteenth century is dominated by one man, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Bohemia. It is in his immensely detailed scheme for the decoration of the royal palace of Karlstejn that the whole philosophy and character of the man are displayed. This book gives a full analysis of the decoration of Karlstejn and also of the cathedral of St. Vitus and the cloisters of the monastery of Emmaus in Prague, as well as some other less important sites. The analysis covers both the subject matter and symbolism of the paintings and their execution.
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Evans, Helen C (ed.)
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557)
Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Yale University Press, New Haven, 2004.
Quarto hardcover; blue cloth boards with gilt spine-titling, blue endpapers; 658pp., colour and monochrome plates and illustrations. Minor wear only; tiny red mark on lower text block edges; mild rubbing to rear panel of dustwrapper with small superficial scratch. Near fine otherwise and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. The fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople to the Latin West in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade abruptly interrupted nearly nine hundred years of artistic and cultural traditions. In 1261, however, the Byzantine general Michael VIII Palaiologos triumphantly re-entered Constantinople and reclaimed the seat of the empire, initiating a resurgence of art and culture that would continue for nearly three hundred years, not only in the waning empire itself but also among rival Eastern Christian nations eager to assume its legacy. Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557), and the groundbreaking exhibition that it accompanies, explores the artistic and cultural flowering of the last centuries of the 'Empire of the Romans' and its enduring heritage. Conceived as the third of a trio of exhibitions dedicated to a fuller understanding of the art of the Byzantine Empire, this present concluding segment explores the exceptional artistic accomplishments of an era too often considered in terms of political decline. The exceptional works of secular and religious art produced by Late Byzantine artists were emulated and transformed by other Eastern Christian centres of power, among them Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Cilician Armenia. The Islamic world adapted motifs drawn from Byzantium's imperial past, as Christian minorities in the Muslin East continued Byzantine customs. From Italy to the Lowlands, Byzantium's artistic and intellectual practices deeply influenced the development of the Renaissance, while, in turn, Byzantium's own traditions reflected the empire's connections with the Latin West. Fine examples of these interrelationships are illustrated by important panel paintings, ceramics, and illuminated manuscripts, among other objects. In 1557 the 'Empire of the Romans,' as its citizens knew it, which had fallen to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, was renamed Byzantium by the German scholar Hieronymus Wolf. The cultural and historical interaction and mutual influence of these major cultures - the Latin West and the Christian and Islamic East - during this fascinating period are investigated in this publication by a renowned group of international scholars in seventeen major essays and catalogue discussions of more than 350 exhibited objects.
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Fine Jr., John V.A.
The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey - Two Volumes "From the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century"; & "From the late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest"
University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor MI, 2009 & 2011.
Two volumes: octavo; paperback; 1,109pp. [336pp. + 683pp.], with maps. Very minor wear. Very good to near fine. Discusses the development of ethnic nationalism among Bulgars, Croatians, Serbians, and Macedonians. Also covers the formation and histories of new states in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Bosnia, through their final subjugation by the Ottomans.
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Green, David
The Hundred Years War A People's History
Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2014.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt and blind-stamped spine titles; 339pp., with maps and charts and 16pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; a small bump to the spine head. Dustwrapper lightly edgeworn. Very good to near fine. "'The crucible of war forged and reforged the English and French nations into something new,' writes the author in this illuminating history. This war, or series thereof, lasted from 1337 to 1453, with interruptions for short terms of peace, famine, civil strife in France and the Black Death. During that time, there would be changes everywhere, but the war began as a feudal and dynastic struggle, as Edward III of England laid claim to the French crown. It ended with a new sense of national identity in both countries as they sought to maintain or reclaim territory, particularly the former Angevin possessions that covered most of modern-day France. The English dominated the first half of the conflict with major victories at Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt. During the reign of Henry V in particular, the goal was to eliminate any and all support for the French king. This the English accomplished by a grande chevauchee, a calculated destruction that progressed from Bordeaux to Narbonne, depriving the French king of not only manpower, but supplies and tax income. The Hundred Years' War also significantly affected the scale of knightly ransoms, which changed ancient codes of chivalry, class divisions and feudal service. Suddenly, artillery and the longbow were more important that the cavalry, and since the archers and infantry were predominately peasants, the days of feudalism were on the wane. The war both emphasized and created differences between the two countries, which shared hundreds of years of common history. Green holistically explores aspects of the war's effects with exceptionally thorough research on subjects as diverse as the Catholic Church, women, peasants and even language." - Kirkus
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Harris, Jonathan
The End of Byzantium
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2010.
Octavo hardcover; black boards with gilt spine titling and blue endpapers; 298pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear only; spine and upper front edges of dustwrapper slightly faded. Very good to near fine otherwise. By 1400, the once-mighty Byzantine Empire stood on the verge of destruction. Most of its territories had been lost to the Ottoman Turks, and Constantinople was under close blockade. Against all odds, Byzantium lingered on for another fifty years until 1453, when the Ottomans dramatically toppled the capital's walls. During this bleak and uncertain time, ordinary Byzantines faced difficult decisions to protect their livelihoods and families against the death throes of their homeland. In this evocative and moving book, Jonathan Harris explores individual stories of diplomatic manoeuverings, covert defiance, and sheer luck against a backdrop of major historical currents and offers a new perspective on the real reasons behind the fall of this extraordinarily fascinating empire.
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Henry, Francoise (John Kennedy, illus.)
The Book of Kells Reproductions from the manuscript in Trinity College Dublin; with a Study of the Manuscript
Borzoi Books/Alfred A. Knopf Inc./Thames and Hudson Inc., New York NY, 1974.
Quarto; hardcover, full cloth with blind-stamped spine titles and a gilt upper board decoration; 230pp., all edges dyed brown, with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; slightly shaken; boards lightly fanned; spine panel sunned; boards lightly rubbed with some minor marks; some minor marks to the fore-edge. No dustwrapper as issued; lacks slipcase. Very good.
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Holt, J.C.
Robin Hood - People's Hero or Lawless Marauder?
Thames & Hudson, London, 1982.
Octavo hardcover; green boards with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia; 208pp., monochrome plates and illustrations. Mild offsetting to endpapers and toning and spotting to text block edges. Very good in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. The legend of Robin Hood began more than 600 years ago. The man, if he existed at all, lived even earlier. In this definitive work, Professor Sir James Holt, unravels pure invention from real possibility and offers the results of some thirty years of research. He assesses the evidence for the historical Robin Hood and finds that the tale originated with the yeomen and hangers-on of the households of noblemen and gentry in the later Middle Ages. Parts of the story that we now take for granted - Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Robin as robber of the rich and giver to the poor, even Sherwood Forest - played little or no part in the original tales, and were added as the centuries passed and the legends grew. The legend of Robin Hood has enthralled people from the first ballads. Holt reconstructs the historical basis of the stories but never loses sight of the human imagination that sustained them.
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Humble, Richard
Warfare in the Middle Ages
Mallard Press/BDD Promotional Book Company Inc., New York NY, 1989.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 192pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; slightly rolled. Dustwrapper mildly edgeworn. Very good. "Warfare in the Middle Ages" charts the history and development of conflict from the prolonged death throes of the late Roman Empire to the final flowering of chivalry during the Renaissance period. The great innovations in the conduct of warfare in the Middle Ages, particularly in the fields of firepower and tactics, are covered in depth. For much of the period, horsemen dominated the battlefield but, by the end of the era, infantrymen, whether English longbowmen, Swiss pikemen, or Spanish musketeers, were again emerging as a potent military force.
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Jager, Eric
Blood Royal A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris
Little Brown & Co., New York NY, 2014.
Octavo hardcover, 323pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. New, remainder. "When Louis of Orleans, brother and frequent regent of King Charles VI, was brutally murdered in a Paris street, the provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville was under pressure to solve the crime quickly. He had just overseen the execution of two murderers, whose claim to the right of 'clergy' would eventually come back to haunt him. Jager shares his extensive knowledge of medieval Paris, employing entertainingly meticulous descriptions throughout the book. The Chatelet, once a fortress, then a prison, morgue and police headquarters, was a vast building to be avoided at all costs, not unlike today's train stations. Montfaucon was a three-story gibbet capable of hanging 60 at a time, and bodies were left to putrefy and feed the crows and ravens. The author's portrayals of the perpetual stench and body parts will surely give readers shivers. De Tignonville's investigative techniques were exhaustive, and his discovery of the man behind the murder within days was spot-on. Accusing the suspect proved to be much more difficult, as he turned the accusation into a validation. Louis of Orleans was a broadly despised man, particularly by those men he had cuckolded (which were many), and he used his power as his schizophrenic brother's regent to impose impossible taxes. The murderer's justification for his dastardly deed was, as a leading scholar proclaimed, 'one of the most insolent pieces of political chicanery and theological casuistry in all history'." - Kirkus
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Landsberg, Sylvia
The Medieval Garden
British Museum Press/British Museum Company Ltd., London, 1995.
Square octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 144pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; toned text block and page edges with some mild dusting to the top edge. Dustwrapper lightly edgeworn. Very good. The medieval garden offered pleasure, repose and refreshment to the senses as well as food and medicine. From detailed manuscript descriptions and illustrations Sylvia Landsberg builds up a picture of the various styles of garden from the small enclosed herber with its plant borders, turf benches and rose-covered trellises to the vast cultivated parks of the royalty and nobility. Amongst the species she finds in a Fifteenth Century plant inventory are the familiar violet, lily and columbine, sage, basil and sorrel, and pear apple and vine, all still available to the present-day gardener.
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Little, Charles T. (ed.)
Set in Stone The Face in Medieval Sculpture
Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2007.
Quarto hardcover; dustwrapper; 222pp. Colour and black and white plates. New. Remainder. Faces in Medieval sculpture are explorations of human identity, marked not only by evolving nuances of style but also by the ongoing drama of European history. Created from materials as diverse as marble, limestone, polychromed wood, and silver gilt, the eighty-one sculpted heads featured in this beautifully illustrated volume date from the third century A.D. through the early 1500s and represent French, German, Italian, Spanish, Byzantine, English, and other medieval sculptural traditions. Each sculpture bears eloquent witness to its own history, whether it was removed from its original context for ideological reasons or because of changing tastes. As a work of art, the sculpted head is a particularly moving and vivid fragment it often seems to retain some part of its past, becoming not unlike a living remnant of an age. In antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages it was generally believed that the soul resided in the head, as articulated by Plato in the Timaeus. The head was thus understood to be a centre of power, the core of individual identity, and the primary vehicle for human expression, emotion, and character. Many medieval sculpted heads became separated from their settings often churches or other ecclesiastical monuments by the seemingly endless destruction and displacement of art works in Europe during and after the Middle Ages. In many cases the artistic or aesthetic merits of a given fragment are all that remain of the original work's context, meaning, and significance.
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Lubke, Wilhelm (L.A. Wheatley, trans.)
Ecclesiastical Art in Germany During the Middle Ages Translated from the Fifth German Edition with Appendix
Thomas C. Jack, Edinburgh, Scotland UK, 1885.
Octavo; hardcover, blind-ruled cloth with gilt spine titles; 311pp. [i-xiipp. + 299pp.], with a steel-engraved frontispiece and 19 plates likewise, along with many other engraved illustrations. Somewhat shaken; text block edges dusted and toned; boards shelfworn, especially at the spine extremities. Good. Dr Lubke's vast research into ecclesiastical art has resulted in a work that abounds with a "multiplicity of minute notices of church buildings and their several localities, as well as their structural details, ornaments, furniture, etc."
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Meiss, Millard
French Painting in the Time of Jean de Berry - Two Volumes The Limbourgs and their Contemporaries
Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1974.
Two volumes quarto; hardcover, with gilt upper board decorations and spine titles on green labels; 901pp. [543pp. + 358pp.] with 35 colour plates. Vol. 1 (Text): slightly shaken; upper text block edges spotted. Dustwrapper rubbed with minor shelfwear. Vol. 2 (Plates): upper text block edges spotted; mild scattered foxing to the preliminaries. Dustwrapper slightly rubbed. Very good. Wrappers now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film, During the years 1400-25 the great patron and book collector Jean, Duc de Berry, was one of the principal figures in the development of French art. It was for him that the Limbourg brothers created Les Belles Heures du Duc de Berry and Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - two supreme masterpieces of one of the greatest ages of manuscript illumination. Professor Meiss identifies the characteristics of French painting of this time, concentrating on the literary, intellectual and religious context in which the Limbourgs and their contemporaries worked. He also shows how all these artists fused the principles of Italian trecento painting with a Northern love of light and texture. The final section contains catalogues of the few extant panels of the principal illuminated manuscripts and of the major workshops of the period. The illustrations include all the miniatures from Les Tres Riches Heures and all their work in an earlier Bible.
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Milton, Giles
The Riddle and the Knight In Search of Sir John Mandeville
Allison & Busby Ltd., London, 1996.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 230pp., with monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; some spotting to text block edges. Edgewear to the dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Giles Milton's first book, "The Riddle and the Knight", is a fascinating account of the legend of Sir John Mandeville, a long-forgotten knight who was once the most famous writer in medieval Europe. Mandeville wrote a book about his voyage around the world that became a beacon that lit the way for the great expeditions of the Renaissance, and his exploits and adventures provided inspiration for writers such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Keats. By the nineteenth century however, his claims were largely discredited by academics. Giles Milton set off in the footsteps of Mandeville, in order to test his amazing claims, and to restore Mandeville to his rightful place in the literature of exploration.
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Moss, H.St.L.B.; Geoffrey Barraclough; R.W. Southern; John H. Mundy; J. Huizinga
The Story of the Middle Ages - Folio Society edition, five volumes The Birth of the Middle Ages; The Crucible of the Middle Ages; The Making of the Middle Ages; The High Middle Ages; The Waning of the Middle Ages
The Folio Society, London, 1998.
Five hardcover volumes, octavo; hardcover with gilt-decorated spines and upper boards, and decorated endpapers; 1605pp. [321pp. + 216pp. + 284pp. + 443pp. + 341pp.], 5 full-colour frontispieces and 80pp. of colour plates and monochrome maps. Mild wear; boards a bit rubbed; spine heads pulled on most volumes (but not split); a bump to the fore-edge of the second volume. No dustwrappers as issued. Slipcase is heavily scuffed and rubbed with a sticker ghost to the top panel. Very good.
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Palol, Pedro de & Max Hirmer (photos. Max Hirmer & trans. Alisa Jaffa)
Early Medieval Art in Spain
Thames and Hudson, London, 1967.
Large quarto hardcover; turquoise cloth boards with gilt spine titling and centre board gilt publisher's insignia; 500pp., 54 tipped in colour plates, 256 monochrome plates and 158 text figures, maps and tables. Minor wear; discolouration where a bookplate has been removed from front pastedown; offsetting to endpapers, scattered spotting to half-title page; toned text block edges with black mark on lower edges; creasing and two small tears to side page edges of last page. Illustrated green dustwrapper with a few tiny chips at corners. Very good otherwise and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. In Spanish art, as in Spanish history, there is no peace. Produced under pressures more extensive than those which have affected almost any other nation, it possessed from earliest times those qualities that have characterized it ever since: violence, single-mindedness and a sense of intense religious devotion - the values of a people fighting for its survival in a never-ending crusade. Yet, paradoxically, it was from Islam that many of the finest features of the emergent art of Spain were derived. The evolution of early medieval Spanish art was complex. The first phase was represented by the Visigoths, of whose work little survives but that little of absorbing interest, notably the jewelled crowns found at Guarrazar. Then came the Moors, swallowing the whole of the peninsula except the tiny northern kingdom of Asturias, where an amazingly developed culture flourished, reaching its climax in the tenth century. Meanwhile, in 'occupied' Spain, the Christian communities evolved perhaps the strangest style in medieval art: the Mozarabic, a fusion of the Visigothic and Muslim styles. Its masterpiece is the illuminated Commentary on the Apocalypse, by Beatus, illustrated here in six colour plates and others in black and white. In the ninth century the nation took its place in the mainstream of European culture, and the great pilgrimage church of Santiago de Compostela became one of the most venerated shrines in Christendom. During the twelfth century, to a far greater extent than is widely assumed, Spain occupied one of the most prominent and independent places in the pattern of European art. And Catalan Romanesque art is fully comparable with French Romanesque; a large number of examples remain, not only buildings but frescoes and manuscripts. This definitive survey of early medieval Spanish art is profusely illustrated with plans and diagrams. The magnificent series of plates covers a vast range of architecture, frescoes, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, ivory carving and gold and silver work. There are detailed notes on the plates, and genealogical tables and maps. As a reference, this book is indispensable; as a collection of superb illustrations, irresistible.
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Parkes, M.B.
The Medieval Manuscripts of Keble College Oxford A descriptive catalogue, with summary descriptions of the Greek and Oriental Manuscripts
Scolar Press, 1979.
Hardcover, quarto, in slipcase, xxii + 365pp, 17 colour, 183 monochrome illustrations. Boards show very minor wear; dustwrapper slightly creased at edges, slight fraying at corners, but bright and intact (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film); card slipcase shows moderate wear. Else fine. This important collection of 71 Western, 5 Greek and 13 Oriental medieval manuscripts, mostly comes from the rich trove of one of the most discriminating bibliophiles of the late nineteenth centuries, Sir Thomas Brooke. Comprising of mostly liturgical books, or books of Hours, lavishly decorated and illustrated, the catalogue descriptions are supported by nearly 200 reproductions, seventeen of which are in full colour.
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Phillips, Jonathan
The Second Crusade Extending the Frontiers of Christendom
Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2007.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 364pp., with maps and 8pp. of monochrome plates. Very minor wear; previous owner's bookplate to the front pastedown. Dustwrapper. Near fine. "The vast military expedition that left Europe for the Holy Land in the summer of 1147 has been the Cinderella among crusades, historiographically speaking. The first crusade, 50 years earlier, stormed dramatically into Muslim-held Jerusalem and, against towering odds, established a Christian kingdom there. The third crusade, almost 50 years later, became famous for Richard the Lionheart's struggle with Saladin for control of the holy city. And the fourth crusade, which followed after only a decade, achieved lasting infamy when its goal of recapturing Jerusalem was summarily discarded in favour of the sacking of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine empire and the greatest Christian city in the world. By contrast, the second crusade - two years in the making, and led by the two greatest kings of western Europe - was a damp squib, glossed over by embarrassed contemporaries, and largely ignored by historians ever since. But of course the participants themselves had no idea that their extraordinary efforts would end in humiliating retreat. And this mismatch between expectation and achievement forms a compelling theme of Jonathan Phillips's absorbing book, the first detailed account of this 'forgotten' crusade to be published since the 19th century. The campaign of 1145-49 was conceived in explicit relation to the spectacular and unprecedented success of the first crusade a generation earlier. The crusaders - thousands of soldiers and pilgrims from France, Germany, Flanders, England and Italy - set out to march in their fathers' footsteps, to win glory in this world and salvation in the next just as their predecessors had done. Crucially, however, they did so with a sense of anticipation and entitlement quite unlike the self-consciously pioneering expedition of 1096-99. The confidence that God was with them, engendered by that improbable triumph half a century earlier, helped to bring together a remarkably ambitious campaign, aiming not only to recapture the city of Edessa (the fall of which, in December 1144, triggered the call to crusade), but, as Phillips emphasises, to 'extend the frontiers of Christendom'. .....Phillips's book is beautifully produced - it's a rare pleasure these days to handle such satisfyingly substantial pages - and, unsurprisingly for a university press, it's also a heavyweight in academic terms. It will be required reading for anyone with more than a passing interest in crusading history, for the breadth and depth of its analysis and its reassessment not only of key moments of military and political decision-making, but of the contribution of Pope Eugenius III to the preaching of the crusade (alongside the well-recognised charisma of Bernard of Clairvaux). Phillips also, he says, has more general readers in mind - although that won't, perhaps, be immediately apparent to anyone unfamiliar with his sprawling cast of kings, nobles, churchmen and historians, or whose Latin isn't quite up to dealing with untranslated snippets from contemporary sources. But, if the early chapters demand sustained concentration, the central narrative of the crusade itself is gripping. Phillips conveys a powerful sense of the massive investment of time, money, belief and, ultimately, lives which the expedition demanded; of the less than glorious leadership of Conrad and Louis (the latter more monk than man, according to his formidable wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, who accompanied him on the campaign); of the profound tensions between the rival Christian powers of western Europe, the Byzantine empire and the Latin kingdoms of the east; and of the abruptness of the crusade's collapse after the failure at Damascus. The book is thought-provoking about questions of identity and the fraught interaction between religious and political imperatives. There are no easy parallels between present and past, and Phillips is too fine a historian to suggest them; but one of the achievements of this subtle book is that, in learning about a lost world, we think harder about our own." - Helen Castor
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Ruhmer, E.
Cosimo Tura Paintings and Drawings, Complete Edition
Phaidon Press Ltd., London, 1958.
Hardcover quarto, 184pp., 85 monochrome plates. Foxed preliminaries, spotted text block edges; boards a little rubbed at edges, some sunning, but clean and solid; dustwrapper shows significant fraying at edges, discolouration. Otherwise good/very good in good dustwrapper. Professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Cosimo Tura was the leading master of the Ferrarese school in the fifteenth century and works by him are to be found in the National Galleries of London and Washington, and in the museums of Paris, Berlin, Vienna and New York. His artistic ideal is closely related to that of the Expressionists. Although Tura's pictures can be seen in so many important galleries, he has remained virtually unknown to the public at large. This edition contains 118 reproductions of all Tura's paintings, drawings and other works as well as a detailed introduction; chronological list of works and notes on the plates.
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Scheja, Georg (Robert Erich Wolf, trans.; Bert Koch, illus.)
The Isenheim Masterpiece
Harry N. Abrams Inc. Publishers, New York, NY, 1969.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titling; 80pp., with many tipped-in colour plates and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; slight offset to the preliminaries with some scattered spotting, throughout; toned and spotted text block and page edges. Dustwrapper well-rubbed and edgeworn; rear panel toned with one or two minor marks; a long tear along the lower hinge with associated creasing; spine panel head chipped; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Good to very good. The Isenheim Altarpiece has a spellbinding fascination unique in European painting, and for this reason it occupies a special place in every history of art. In scholarly circles, its creator Matthias Grunewald, is a problem of the solitary individual. Almost nothing of his life is known; even his name is uncertain. The Isenheim Altarpiece itself is a riddle. The author of this book, Georg Scheja, who, as one of the greatest living experts on Grunewald, has devoted many years of research to his subject, is the first to have succeeded in putting forward a convincing interpretation of the inner meaning of the work. By so doing, he is able finally to clarify and explain the whole great spiritual force that lies behind this principle work of an outstanding visionary artist.
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Stanford, Peter
The She-Pope A Quest for the Truth behind the Mystery of Pope Joan
William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1998.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 205pp., with 8pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; text block and page edges lightly toned. Dustwrapper rubbed and lightly sunned. Very good. The legend of Pope Joan - the English woman who, dressed as a man, headed the Catholic church in the middle of the ninth century has long been a subject of irreverent speculation but rarely the subject of serious research. Peter Stanford reveals what can and cannot be proved about this extraordinary story, and about the remarkable woman behind it. In this wide-ranging investigative account reaching from secret histories to conspiracy theories, medieval carvings to tarot cards, transvestite saints to a pope giving birth in the street, he delivers a major piece of historical detective work.
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Stokstad, Marilyn, & Jerry Stannard
Gardens of the Middle Ages
Spencer Museum of Art /University of Kansas, Lawrence KS, 1983.
Quarto; paperback; 224pp., colour and b&w illustrations. Mild edge and corner wear; faint spotting to text block edges; one or two spots on rear panel of cover and old sticker, faint creasing to spine panel. Very good. " 'Gardens of the Middle Ages', the title of this exhibition, implies a sweeping review of gardens in many different places over a period of more than a thousand years. But such extensive coverage of the gardener's art is neither possible nor - considering the present state of research - desirable. Limited by the exhibition to a study of gardens represented in the works of art, we have chosen to concentrate on garden images in the Latin west, especially those north of the Alps and Pyrenees. In the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, Roman and Muslim influences remained strong, and in Italy the emergence of the Renaissance irrevocably changed patrons' ideals. In France and England abundant evidence for gardens in the 14th and 15th Centuries suggest chronological as well as geographical boundaries. Thus, while documentary evidence survives for gardens in the Carolingian period (8th and 9th centuries), the visual evidence for gardens is drawn primarily from the later centuries, the Gothic and Late Gothic periods. Even so, the limitation of the exhibition to works of art in American collections presents the inclusion of many of the best-known images of the Medieval garden. Illustrations of some of these provide comparative material and a broader content in the introductory essays." - from the Introduction.
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Sumner, McK. Crosby
The Apostle Bas-Relief at Saint Denis
Yale University Press, Princeton NJ, USA, 1972.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt upper board decoration and spine-titling; 134pp. [i-xvipp. + 1-118pp.], with a folding monochrome photographic frontispiece and 85pp. of monochrome line drawings and photographic plates, 1 folding. Minor offset; lightly spotted and toned text block edges. Dustwrapper is well-rubbed with some minor chips and creasing; lightly sunned along the spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The discovery of a previously unknown early twelfth century bas-relief of the Twelve Apostles at the royal abbey of Saint Denis in 1946, led to the Gothic style being considered in a new light. After summarizing the importance of Abbot Suger's Saint-Denis to the history of medieval art, the author discusses the general details of the relief, its proportions, and the paleography of the inscriptions. This important study is accompanied by over 100 photographs and detailed drawings.
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Vlasto, A.P.
The Entry of the Slavs into Christendom An Introduction to the Medieval History of the Slavs
Cambridge University Press, London, 1970.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and rules on a red label; 435pp., top edges dyed blue, with a folding map at the rear. Minor wear; mild softening to the spine heel. Price-clipped dustwrapper now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Dr Vlasto reviews the early history of the various Slav peoples (from about AD 500 onwards) and traces their gradual emergence as Christian states within the framework of either West or East European culture.
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Williamson, J.A. (ed.)
The Cabot Voyages and Bristol Discovery Under Henry VII With the Cartography of the Voyages.
Hakluyt Society, Cambridge UK, 1962.
Second series. Hardcover, octavo, 332pp, monochrome illustrations and pull-out maps. Text block edges foxed. Blue card dustwrapper with edge and corner wear, spine and edges browned; some minor chipping; professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. One of the Hakluyt Society's scholarly editions of primary records of voyages, it includes documents from English, Portuguese, and Spanish archives, transcribed or in translation, and from printed sources, relating to the Atlantic voyages out of Bristol; including the voyages of John and Sebastian Cabot.
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Wood, Margaret (Preface by Sir Mortimer Wheeler)
The English Mediaeval House
Ferndale Editions, London, 1981.
Royal octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 448pp., with a monochrome frontispiece, many monochrome diagrams maps and illustrations and 92pp., of plates likewise. Mild wear; a little shaken; spine extremities lightly softened; text block edges mildly toned. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This is the first major work on mediaeval domestic architecture for over a hundred years (that is, since J.H. Parker's "Domestic Architecture of the Middle Ages", 1852-9). It is a volume substantial in content as in appearance, massively and finely illustrated, in every sense worthy of its great subject. The period covered is from the Norman Conquest to 1540. It is only in the last decade that mediaeval archaeology, so long confined to ecclesiastical buildings, has come into its own. After an introductory summary of the recent work on excavation and recording, and a chapter on the main types of mediaeval house, the author devotes a separate chapter to each architectural feature - "The Kitchen", "The Central Hearth", "Windows", and so on. The many examples cited are listed in references at the end of the chapters with their dates. A glossary, bibliography and index are included. This book has established itself as the definitive work on the subject for many years to come.
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