So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Made in the Middle Ages. Christine Price

Made in the Middle Ages is a 45 year old work for teens and general audiences about Medieval craftsmen and their work. At a time when seeing the artifacts of this era meant going to a few widely-scattered and specialized museums, Christine Price used her artistic abilities and historic knowledge to create a wonderful illustrated introduction to this topic.

The book is divided into two sections: "Things Made for the Castle," and "Things Made for the Church." These are subdivided into sixteen chapers on Armor and Weapons, Cloth and Clothing, Jewels and Enamels, Sports and Pastimes, Tapestries, Tableware, Books for the Castle, Diptychs and Reliquaries, Books for the Church, Embroidery, Wood Carving, Paintings, Carvings in Alabaster, Carvings in Ivory, and Treasures of the Church. Each page is amply illustrated with pen and ink drawings of artifacts of the time that now reside in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Bodelian Library, and other places. The end papers are outline maps of Europe that show the places mentioned in the book.

Well-organized and well-presented, this little book provides much detail about life and crafts in Europe between the years 1000 and 1500. Today photographs of many of these items are on the Internet, but Price's presentation gives them an order and logic unique to this work.


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