Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers, 1240-1570
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Marking the Hours: English People and Their Prayers, 1240-1570

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In this richly illustrated book, religious historian Eamon Duffy discusses the Book of Hours, unquestionably the most intimate and most widely used book of the later Middle Ages. He examines surviving copies of the personal prayer books which were used for private, domestic devotions, and in which people commonly left traces of their lives. Manuscript prayers, biographical...more
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published January 3rd 2007 by Yale University Press
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Adam
This is an excellant study of late medieval Book of Hours from England (both manuscript and print). Building on his argument in the Stripping of the Altars, Duffy demonstrates that late medieval piety was not marked by individualism or a trend toward "Protestantism" but that late medieval Christians (whether Richard III or Thomas More) interiorized a communal often conventional devotional life firmly established a liturgical context. He is able to demonstate the very slow acceptance of Reformed...more
Margaret Sankey
While Eamon Duffy researched _The Stripping of the Altars_, he noticed that personal Books of Hours were often annotated, defaced, customized and censored. Coming back to these manuscripts, he analyzes the marginalia--tracking how they were inherited within families and recorded births and marriages (sometimes with chains of dead husbands and children to be prayed for), customized with the addition of favorite saints or collected prayers for specific events (lost keys, fevers, to prevent childre...more
John Osman
Duffy explores not just late-medieval English prayer books but, more importantly, the markings made by the users of the prayer books.

Duffy reiterates that it was not the text but the illuminations which attracted people to these books. As such, these prayer-books stand between the age of stain glass windows and the age of the printed text.

And what is fascinating about these books is how they were customized during production AND during usage, from the inclusion of the users name in the prayer te...more
Drew Darby
Picking up a certain avenue of investigation that arose in his Stripping of the Altars, Eamon Duffy once again did a great job of drawing me in to the world of Pre-Reformation English Christianity.

The two strongest points of the book were Duffy's insightful considerations of the personal prayer books he examined, as well as the annotations of the owners which they bore, as well as the abundance of illustrations the book has.

Perhaps my expectations were too high (based on The Stripping of the Alt...more
Tom
Aug 02, 2011 Tom marked it as to-read
Good review in America: http://www.americamagazine.org/conten...

Sounds like strong mix of writing and art. Might have to break my current ban on buying new books for this one.
Kara

The kind of satisfyingly choc-full-of-cool-stuff history book you just want to chew on and savor as Duffy teases out an entire lost world, brought to life from literally (heh!) the margins.
Brackman1066
Don't agree with all his arguments, but very readable.
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Eamon Duffy is an Irish Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge, and former President of Magdalene College.

He describes himself as a "cradle Catholic" and specializes in 15th to 17th century religious history of Britain. His work has done much to overturn the popular image of late-medieval Catholicism in England as moribund, and instead presents it as a vibrant cult...more
More about Eamon Duffy...
The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580 The Voices of Morebath: Reformation and Rebellion in an English Village Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes Fires of Faith: Catholic England Under Mary Tudor Ten Popes Who Shook the World

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