This comprehensive study makes a unique source accessible to historians of the later medieval nobility. Household accounts contain invaluable evidence on daily life, diet, hospitality, etiquette, travel, the arts, politics, as well as on medieval finance generally. In Part 1, Dr Woolgar's detailed introduction discusses these documents as a coherent body of records, and places them in the context of the administrative systems for which they
were created. Their diplomatic forms and development are analysed and compared with those on the Continent, and an extensive glossary is provided to assist scholars in the study of these sources. Dr Woolgar has also carefully selected and edited the accounts of 28 households,
to illustrate the full variety of texts that have survived. Diet accounts of 14 households are printed in Part 1, ranging from those of knights and earls to those of the higher clergy. Part 2 will contain texts from 14 more households - diet accounts (ii), cash, corn and stock accounts, wardrobe accounts - and a complete catalogue of extant medieval English household accounts.
'the clarity of presentation and high editorial standard ... maintained throughout means that students beginning research on original documents will find here an immensely useful guide and model to follow, just as teachers are assured a rich vein of source material ... it is a pleasure to conclude by noting that this one achieves the same level of proficiency as the rest of the two volumes .. . It is not only impeccable, with full and intelligently
organised subject categories, but also immensely informative, suggesting any number of unexpected lines of enquiry.'
Carole Rawcliffe, Ricardian, 6/94
'These two splendid volumes deserve the highest praise. He has written the history of household accounting from its beginning in the twelfth century to 1500. He has compiled a list of all the known medieval household accounts, so that it is now possible to establish instantly whether anything survives from any particular household. He has also edited, with great skill and care, a representative collection of twenty-nine household accounts. This is a timely
publication. Interest in the records of medieval households has been growing in recent years as a result of the converging interest of economic, social and political historians in patterns of marketing, standards of living, and the working of administrative structures. These topics, and many others, can
be richly explored with the help of these admirable volumes.'
R.H. Britnell, Archives, April 1994
'This is a comprehensive glossary of the many unusual words, and a detailed index serves as an invaluable finding aid to the diverse range of information contained in these documents. All in all, this is a remarkable and welcome feat of patient scholarship.'
Bruce M.S. Campbell, The Queen's University, Belfast, Economic History Review, XLVII, 3 (1994)
'a magnificent edition of the accounts of twenty-eight noble households ... There are documents from Yorkshire and Cumbria, a catalogue of extant household accounts, and a most valuable word list and glossary (useful for research in several fields). A model.'
'... for the first time a substantial collection of some of the best examples is now available in print. These two meticulously edited and scholarly volumes represent the fruit of over fifteen years' research, and demonstrably repay all the time and effort which have gone into their production.'
Derek Keene The ricardian June '94
`a bravura display of scholarly expertise which deserves to be loudly praised and widely utilized ... To have mapped out such a long process of change and to have classified its products is a considerable intellectual achievement, which rests on the inspection of a far wider range of accounts than those either printed or listed, as Dr Woolgar's footnotes make clear ... it is hard to think that this work as a whole could have been better done.'
J.R. Maddicott, Exeter College, Oxford, EHR, Epr. '96
`These meticulously compiled volumes are the results of over a decade's worth of research. ...These volumes contain material of great interest far beyond the activities which went on in grand medieval households. ...For agrarian historians household accounts are rich sources for all kinds of topics.'
Agricultural History Review
Series: Records of Social and Economic History (New Series) : Book 1
Number Of Pages: 446
Published: 29th October 1992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.4 x 16.3
Weight (kg): 0.83
Edition Number: 197