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When this volume first appeared in German it inspired a whole generation of young scholars. Schindler recreates the lives of both the poor and excluded; the milieu of the burghers; and the rumbustuous lifestyles of the Counts von Zimmern. A true archivist, he evokes the lost worlds of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century people. He investigates popular nicknames, snowball fights, carnival rituals, even what people did at night-time before the advent of lighting. A final essay deals with an extraordinary late set of trials for witchcraft, in which over 200 people died. Translated into English for the first time, the volume contains a new Foreword by Natalie Zemon Davis and a new introductory essay setting out the key influences of Schindler's work. Norbert Schindler is the leading exponent of historical anthropology in the German-speaking world. A founding member of the German journal Historische Anthropologie, Schindler teaches at the University of Salzburg.Read more
- An excellent translation of one of the most distinguished books on early modern German culture to be published in recent years
- Offers an anti-elitist 'view from below' of German culture
- Includes substantial material on popular protest and ritual social action and behaviour
Reviews & endorsements
'Schindler enjoins his readers to look at the past with fresh eyes and to think of and savor its strangeness. His portrait of the multiple practices of the men and women of the artisanal, peasant, and poor classes in the early modern period - their expressiveness, inventiveness, economy, humor, cruelty, helpfulness, and frankness - helps us understand that strangeness in a new way.' Natalie Zemon DavisSee more reviews
'… contains ground-breaking research … In his book Schindler lists such 16th and 17th-century folk activities as the adoption of nicknames, snow fighting, carnival rites and social inversion, marriage customs, the nocturnal habits of the peasantry and the role of the wandering beggar in German witchcraft. Recommended.' The Cauldron
'… stimulating and worth reading.' Journal of Ecclesiastical History
'The series of Past and Present Publications produced by Cambridge University Press has already brought the work of some of the most innovative early modern Germanists to the English-speaking audience. This latest volume is no exception … The book succeeds on several levels … Rich in empirical detail … valuable contributions to a field that, internationally, is still dominated by Anglo- and Francophone scholars.' European Review of History
'… packed with such dense detail, such a vivid evocation of early modern German life and such a plethora of inspiring ideas that it should be read and re-read by all social and cultural historians of early modern Europe.' Journal of Continuity and Change
'… [Schindler] seeks to understand the violence of the past as much as possible on its own terms with attempts to explore the ways in which it made sense to its protagonists.' Historical Journal
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- Date Published: October 2002
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521650106
- length: 328 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 161 x 27 mm
- weight: 0.648kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: revisiting the elusive quarry: popular culture in early modern Germany
1. Habitus and lordship: the transformation of aristocratic practices of rule in the sixteenth century
2. The world of nicknames: on the logic of popular nomenclature
3. Carnival, church and the world turned upside-down: on the function of the culture of laughter in the sixteenth century
4. 'Marriage weariness' and compulsory matrimony: the popular punishments of pulling the plough and the block
5. Nocturnal disturbances: on the social history of the night in the early modern period
6. The origins of heartlessness: the culture and way of life of beggars in late seventeenth-century Salzburg.
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