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Books Features

New Medieval Books: From the Early Middle Ages to the Black Death

Five new books about the Middle Ages, dealing with topics such as clothing and poisoned wells.

Viking Warrior versus Frankish Warrior: Francia 799-911

By Noah Tetzner

Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781472848857

Excerpt: One of the most intriguing aspects of the struggle between the Franks and the Vikings in the 9th and early 10th centuries is the wide gulf between the two side’s objectives. While the Vikings were interested in trading and the acquisition of plunder and slaves and did not wish to pursue a war of conquest, the Franks were determined to eject the raiders and protect that is cities, religious houses and farms of Francia.

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A Handbook of Women’s Clothing: Northern Europe 1360-1415

By Peter Ahlqvist and Maria Neijman

ChronoCopia Publishing
ISBN: 978-91-981056-8-1

Excerpt: This book is mainly focused on the clothing of craftsmen, wealthy farmers and merchants, but includes information about how to adapt clothes to suit the nobility and peasants. The choice of fabrics and dress details makes most of the difference between the clothing of the social classes. The pattern pieces found in this book are illustrations and are not intended for use as full-scale patterns, but are rather meant to give you an idea of the construction of the various items of clothing used at the time.

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The Death of Tidericus the Organist: Plague and Conspiracy Theory in Hanseatic Visby

By Richard Cole

Viking Society for Northern Research
ISBN: 978-0-903521-99-4

Excerpt: The burning of Tidericus is quite exceptional in Scandinavian history, being the only anti-Jewish panic in the region during the Middle Ages, and also one of the very few known instances of burning at the stake in pre-Reformation Scandinavia. But it was concomitant with a larger wave of violence taking place on the continent. Elsewhere Jews were being massacred for their alleged responsibility for the plague. The accusations of the Gotlandic Hansards also held the Jews responsible, putting the Visby burnings in the strange position of being the only one in a series of antisemitic persecutions we’re not a single actual Jew was harmed and all parties involved were Christians. How then ought we to describe the attitude towards Jews exhibited by the Visbeyers?

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Poisoned Wells: Accusations, Persecution, and Minorities in Medieval Europe, 1321-1422

By Tzafrir Barzilay

University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812253610

Excerpt: A new fear fuelled suspicions of minority groups in late medieval Europe, as the belief took hold that lepers, Jews, and others were conspiring to poison drinking wells in order to cause widespread illness and mortality. These minority groups allegedly organized this plot to eliminate the elite and subvert the social order. The response to them was persecution. This book tracks how these ideas emerged and developed over time, explains how they gained popularity, and shows how they ultimately triggered violence.

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Global Perspectives on Early Medieval England

Edited by Karen Louise Jolly and Britton Elliot Brooks

The Boydell Press
ISBN: 978 1 78327 686 8

Excerpt: Britain, as Bede notes, maybe an island in an ocean, but its diverse inhabitants in the early medieval period were neither insular nor isolated. Global perspectives on Early Medieval England examines some of the ways in which the emergence of an English cultural identity and polity within a culturally contested island was fundamentally joined to and interpenetrated by other parts of the world. Ideally, a global perspective can work to undermine anthropogenic borders, combat nationalistic ideologies, and reveal connections and commonalities. Less ideally, globalization as a universalizing or totalizing perspective has been adopted as a tool of power colonizing other peoples and their histories. This volume focuses on the complex interdependencies that developed through human mobility in zones of contact, while remaining cautious about the limits and abuses of global and comparative methodologies

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