The Work of Work: Servitude, Slavery and Labor in Medieval England

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9781873448038: The Work of Work: Servitude, Slavery and Labor in Medieval England
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These essays deal with physical labour - exhausting, demeaning, demanding - in the middle ages, viewed against the background of the familiar division of medieval society into those who ruled, those who prayed, and those who worked. The work of work is shown, in varied ways, to have been directed to one end - to maintaining the status quo. Subjects investigated include the opus Dei of monastic life and the sense of `vocation' in religious work; litigation against servants in the fifteenth century; links between slavery and women's status; and the effect of the Church on slavery as an institution. A multitude of Anglo-Saxon terms denoting labour and servitude is also revealed. Throughout the volume there is a conscious sense of the literary constructs underlying the portrayal of labour, and the origins of the attitudes that produced them. Contributors: ALLEN J. FRANTZEN, RUTH MAZO KARRAS, ELIZABETH STEVENS GIRSCH, JOHN RUFFING, GEORGE OVITT, JR, ROSS SAMSON, NIALL BRADY, DOUGLAS MOFFAT, DAVID AERS, LOUISE M. BISHOP, MADONNA J. HETTINGER

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Stimulating and provocative book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

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ISBN 10: 1873448031 ISBN 13: 9781873448038
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