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Pragmatic Utopias
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  • Page extent: 298 pages
  • Size: 229 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 942.03
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: BR744 .P73 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Christian sociology--England--History
    • England--Church history

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521650601 | ISBN-10: 0521650607)

This collection of essays was presented to Barrie Dobson in celebration of his 70th birthday. It will be welcomed by all scholars of pre-modern religion and society. Spanning the artificial divide between medieval and early modern, the contributors - all acknowledged experts in their field - pursue the ways in which men and women tried to put their ideals into practice, sometimes alone, but more commonly in the shared environment of cloister, college or city. The range of topics is testimony to the breadth of Barrie Dobson's own interests, but even more striking are the continuities and shared assumptions across time, and between the dissident and the impeccably orthodox. Taking the reader from a rural anchor-hold to the London of Thomas More, and from the greenwood of Robin Hood to the central law courts, this collection builds into a richly satisfying exploration of the search for perfection in an imperfect world.

• A wide-ranging volume which addresses issues of special concern to medievalists • Contains the work of many distinguished medievalists, and dedicated to the well-known historian Barrie Dobson • Spans the bridge between the medieval and the early modern periods, pointing to continuing concerns and themes


Preface Rosemary Horrox; Richard Barrie Dobson: an appreciation John Taylor; 1. 'If heaven be on this earth, is it in cloister or in school': the monastic ideal in later medieval English literature Derek Pearsall; 2. The 'chariot of Aminadab' and the Yorkshire priory of Swine Janet Burton; 3. 'Godliness and good learning': ideals and imagination in medieval university and college foundations Robert Swanson; 4. Hugh of Balsham, bishop of Ely 1256/7–1286 Roger Lovatt; 5. A cruel necessity? Christ's and St John's, two Cambridge re-foundations Malcolm Underwood; 6. Coventry's 'Lollard' programme of 1492 and the making of Utopia P. J. P. Goldberg; 7. Thomas More's Utopia and medieval London Sarah Rees Jones; 8. Social exclusivity or justice for all? Access to justice in fourteenth-century England Anthony Musson; 9. Idealising criminality: Robin Hood in the fifteenth century A. J. Pollard; 10. Fat Christian and Old Peter: ideals and compromises among the medieval Waldensians Peter Biller; 11. Imageless devotion: what kind of an ideal? Margaret Aston; 12. An English anchorite: the making, unmaking and remaking of Christine Carpenter Miri Rubin; 13. Victorian values in fifteenth-century England: the Ewelme almshouse statutes Colin Richmond; 14. Puritanism and the poor Patrick Collinson; 15. Realising a Utopian dream: the transformation of the clergy in the diocese of York, 1500–1630 Claire Cross; Bibliography of Barrie Dobson's published works.


Review of the hardback: '… an entree to a perhaps unfamiliar but certainly a fascinating world.' Utopian Studies

Review of the hardback: '… all these quality papers contain lessons, direct or implied, for historians of southern England.' Southern History Society

Review of the hardback: 'These essays are of a high standard, and carry many important insights.' History

Review of the hardback: 'the range of themes on important subjects, and the quality of the contributions, make this book especially welcome. It also serves as a fitting tribute to Professor Dobson's distinguished career.' The Ricardian


Rosemary Horrox, John Taylor, Derek Pearsall, Janet Burton, Robert Swanson, Roger Lovatt, Malcolm Underwood, P. J. P. Goldberg, Sarah Rees Jones, Anthony Musson, A. J. Pollard, Peter Biller, Margaret Aston, Miri Rubin, Colin Richmond, Patrick Collinson, Claire Cross

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