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Self and Society in Medieval France
In its original printing, this edition of the Autobiography was greeted in Saturday Review as 'a treasure-house of information on education, monastic life, and the beginnings of the great medieval towns ... also delightful reading with its mingling of scholarship and superstition, its stories of necromancy and devils, its other-worldliness warring with human weakness.'
Paperback, Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching #15, 260 pages
Published April 1st 1984 by University of Toronto Press
(first published 1115)
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I expected this to be more of an autobiography and an expression of individualism, but mostly it was his memoirs showing God, Mary, and all the saints in their glory and might. Some of the stories reminded me of pure gossip and superstition. One can imagine monks huddled up together speaking in hushed tones about what happened to so-and-so. The most interesting part of the work, however, was the relating of the uprising of the Laon Commune. It explained how the people gruesomely revolted against ...more
Jul 15, 2008 Iorek rated it liked it · review of another edition
Guibert's twelfth century autobiography is a beautiful contrast to comparable texts like Peter Abelard's Historia Calamitatum and the letters of Abelard and Heloise. His complicated psychology and his first hand accounts of life in 12th century France make him invaluable in understanding the mental, spiritual, political and social world of the High Middle Ages.