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He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Thursday, April 29, 2004


Dyer, Christopher. Making a Living in the Middle Ages: The People of Britain, 850-1520. Yale.

Choice: “excellent…Especially welcome is the attention devoted to the importance of the oft-neglected two centuries prior to the Norman Conquest…Dyer’s cautious and balanced treatment does not make for an easy read. All the same, the result is quite informative for the general reader and a helpful synthesis for the specialist. This volume is a must for any library giving coverage to general European history.” English Historical Review: “A masterly survey…[Dyer] has succeeded triumphantly. This is a book which can be used with equal profit by the specialist, by the student and by the general reader. It is lively, clearly structured, very readable, and with a commendable balance of generalizations, statistics, and examples of named individuals and the economic choices they made." Atlantic Monthly: “a sweeping but often intimate portrait, full of arresting details.” History Today: “an exceptionally wide-ranging book…draws on a huge amount of detailed research in both primary and secondary sources…His mastery of his material is indeed enviable. The book abounds with a wealth of illustrative examples, which bring the discussion to life. Yet the author’s learning is always worn lightly…Offers a more convincing view of the late middle ages than Postan…If Dyer is convincing on the later middle ages, it may be that he is slightly less so on the earlier and middle periods. He certainly speaks less confidently about developments in the pre-Conquest period…This is a major book—much more than a synthesis, it provides an overall interpretation of a long and significant period.” TLS: “accessible and cogent introductions to an infinite range of . . . topics, which he knits together into an effective and fascinating patchwork quilt.” History: Review of New Books: “A must-read for any thoughtful person interested in medieval Europe or in the transition to the modern social and economic world.”


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