Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142129 Published September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages

Jacques Le Goff

Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages

Jacques Le Goff

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan
224 pages | 32 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142129 Published September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142501 Published June 2020 For sale in North and South America only

Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages is a history like no other: it is a history of the imagination, presented between two celebrated groups of the period. One group consists of heroes: Charlemagne, El Cid, King Arthur, Orlando, Pope Joan, Melusine, Merlin the Wizard, and also the fox and the unicorn. The other is the miraculous, represented here by three forms of power that dominated medieval society: the cathedral, the castle, and the cloister. Roaming between the boundaries of the natural and the supernatural, between earth and the heavens, the medieval universe is illustrated by a shared iconography, covering a vast geographical span. This imaginative history is also a continuing story, which presents the heroes and marvels of the Middle Ages as the times defined them: venerated, then bequeathed to future centuries where they have continued to live and transform through remembrance of the past, adaptation to the present, and openness to the future.

Contents
Preface
Introduction

Arthur
The Cathedral
Charlemagne
The Castle
Knights and Chivalry
El Cid
The Cloister
The Land of Cockaigne
The Jongleur
The Unicorn
Melusina
Merlin
Pope Joan
Reynard
Robin Hood
Roland
Tristan and Iseult
Troubadours and Trouvères
The Valkyrie

Bibliography
Review Quotes
Philip O Ceallaigh | The Irish Times
"Le Goff explores wonders and oddities that caught the imagination in the past. If you are a parent of an eight-year-old girl you are likely to meet unicorns on a daily basis. Multicolored unicorns with rainbow-hued manes and tails on T-shirts and pyjamas and drawings stuck on the fridge. Your daughter will write stories about unicorns and even have one as pet in some virtual technological world she inhabits with her friends. And when you ask what’s so great about unicorns you'll be told, 'Well, they're magic!' But you still won't get it. To begin to understand, you need to go straight to the unicorn chapter of this first English translation of Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages by the French medievalist le Goff. The existence of the unicorn has been attested since classical times, including in Pliny's De Rerum Natura, but the key text, Goff tells us, is a Gnostic treatise written in Greek in Alexandria between the second and fourth centuries AD, and soon translated into Latin, called the Physiologus."
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