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Books Features

New Medieval Books: From Rebels to Effigies

Five new books that medievalists will enjoy!

The Jack Cade Rebellion of 1450: A Sourcebook

Edited by Alexander L. Kaufman

Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498550291

Excerpt: The Jack Cade Rebellion of 1450 was a popular uprising of the commons of the counties of Kent, Norfolk, and Essex. The rebels, whose numbers are said to have reached at least 10,000 were led by a charismatic man who is now referred to as Jack Cade. The insurgents were frustrated and angry with King Henry VI’s ineffectiveness as a leader, the over-taxation of the working classes, the crown’s failed attempts to secure French territories and their subsequent losses on the continent, and corrupt and abusive officials. Henry, fearing for his life, escaped London. The riot culminated in a night battle on London Bridge. Many were killed, and the leaders of the insurrection were executed. It remains one of the most significant popular rebellions of the Middle Ages. For a brief period, England was on the verge of a hostile take-over of the monarchy; it was a political crisis, one of many in England’s fifteenth century.

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Norse in the North Atlantic

By Ryan Sines

Hamilton Books
ISBN: 978-0-7618-7172-9

Except: There are a surprising number of similarities between the two colonies, offering fertile grounds for research and comparison. The experiments in civilization in Iceland and Greenland present a variety of scholars – including historians, archaeologists, ecologists, and anthropologists – with raw data on how humans interact in new environments, how Europeans dealt with frontier societies and new lands, and why civilizations fail or succeed.

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Women in Tang China

By Bret Hinsch

Rowan & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781538134894

Excerpt: In spite of these many caveats regarding sources, causation, agency, and periodization, Sui and Tang women can be understood far better than those of earlier eras. Some women stood out for their achievements. Powerful figures at court, bold poets and talented calligraphers helped shape their society. But women faced many challenges as well, as seen in the hardships faced by impoverished widows, lonely merchant wives, and degraded courtesans. It is impossible to simplistically sum up the lives of Tang women as high or low, good or bad, free or constrained. Women experienced all of these qualities, and many more as well. When viewed together, their lives take on the form of a living mosaic that people today find captivating, moving, and deeply meaningful.

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Interpreting Medieval Effigies: The Evidence from Yorkshire to 1400

By Brian and Moira Gittos

Oxbow Books
ISBN: 978-1-78925-128-9

Excerpt: This book provides the opportunity to fulfil a number of objectives. First and foremost, it can bring Yorkshire’s amazing comprising not only the few who already share our passion but also the church-visiting public; those who are responsible for the churches and scholars of sculpture, medieval monuments, clothing and armour. We hope greater awareness of the monuments’ importance will increase the respect shown to them, thereby improving their protection and preservation.

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The Lombard Haggadah

By Milvia Bollati, Flore Cassen and Marc Michael Epstein

Les Enluminures
ISBN: 978-1-911300-66-3

Excerpt: This book presents to the public for the first time a truly remarkable medieval manuscript, the Lombard Haggadah. It is illustrated with seventy-five watercolor paintings created in the circle of the famous artist Giovanni de Grassi (d.1398) in Milan in the late fourteenth century. Telling the story of the flight of the Jews from Egypt based on the biblical book of Exodus, the Haggadah was – and still is – used during the Seder, the sacred and treasured ritual meal that takes place around the table in Jewish homes on the first night of Passover. The most profusely illustrated of all Hebrew manuscripts, the Haggadah has been richly interpreted by many artists in different countries for over seven hundred years.

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