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Paris in the Middle Ages

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Paris in the Middle Ages Simone Roux. Translated by Jo Ann McNamara "One feels the city in constant motion, going from funeral to carnival, wading along streets drenched with the blood of animals flayed by butchers, applauding jongleurs and their monkeys, even watching the legal trials of beasts condemned to death."--"Le Nouvel Observateur," in a review of the French editi ...more
Hardcover, 249 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published 2003)
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Oct 12, 2011 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Siria
This shows the utility and the limitations of microhistory. Roux teases out pretty much everything that twelfth- and thirteenth-century sources can say about Paris in the Middle Ages, but more often than not, has to extrapolate from records of the notable to speak about the bourgeois. Which is a shame, because what she can say -- the gender stuff especially -- is fascinating and I want more.
This is quite a readable history of Paris from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Roux begins her account with the construction of the great enceinte, or wall, constructed around Paris by Philip Augustus which demarcated urban from rural. She then discusses the alteration of the landscape by the growing population, public and private architecture, work and apprenticeships, the problems of urban life, and living space. Pitched at a level accessible to the interested lay reader or the undergra ...more
Wonderful study into the ordinary life of Parisians in the late Middle Ages. Roux leaves behind the big events and tries to decipher what everyday life was like: how the city looked, how the Parisians lived and what their houses looked like. It goes into detail how the different lifes of various classes were structured; the careers of the guild members, the miserable life of the poor, and the influence that the powerful citizens had on the government of Paris and France in general.

If at all poss
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