`What is marriage and what sets it apart from other human relationships'? These are the key questions which Professor Brooke addresses in this important study of marriage in the medieval world. He draws on many disciplines - history, art, theology, and literature - in order to penetrate the special character of marriage. He covers the entire period from 1000 to 15000, with special emphasis on the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.Among the themes treated
in this wide-ranging study are the cult of celibacy and the relationship between marriage and architecture. Professor Brooke draws on a remarkable group of case-studies and sources, including the letters of Heloise and Abelard, the epics of Wolfram von Eschenbach, and the poetry of Chaucer. He
concludes with a chapter on the theology of marraige, and a penetrating look at The Arnolfini Marriage by Jan van Eyck.
`Using evidence from inside and outside the period, from literature, architecture and painting, Brooke traces an emerging idea of "private, personal union" in the midst of misogyny, dynastic arrangements, cynical shifts, and clerical contempt. A surprisingly engaging and personal book.`
`this is a well-researched and readable book from a scholar who can smile at himself`
`a fascinating broad-ranging study... this account deserves a place beside every nuptial couch'
`the author's ability to identify with particular people in the past gains added perspective from his own profound ruminations on human relationships... humane and sensitive... wise... Brooke makes extensive use of literary and artistic sources to amplify his picture... highly ingenious'
Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books
`Scholarly and perceptive.' Cornish Banner
`The book provides some fascinating insights.' Karen Armstrong, Daily Telegraph
`this is a delightful book: graceful, engaging, thoughtful, perceptive and intelligent ... It is also a pleasure to read.'
James A. Brundage, University of Kansas, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
`Such a study could not have been achieved without two prerequisities: a thorough knowledge of the sources and an imaginative interpretation of those selfsame sources. This is no easy task and Professor Brooke is one of few scholars adept at handling such a complexity of approaches.'
D.E. Ferme, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol.41, No.2
`a lucid and authoritative account of the development of the law and doctrine of marriage'
D.G. Raraty, University of Leeds, History, No. 246, Feb 1991
`It is a book which scholars should read reflectively while working through their own ideas about what marriage was, and was meant to be, during the Middle Ages. ...the book will surely simulate scholarly discussion about the character of medieval marriages.' John Van Engen, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies
`Brooke provides an overview of attitudes toward marraige in Europe in the period 1000 to 1500. ... this book should be recommended to anyone with an interest in medieval marriage.' Teresa Olsen, Scintilla, US
`A lucid essay based on a remarkable group of case-studies and sources.'
The Medieval World
`Brooke is to be commended for his recognition of the difficulties entailed in attempting to describe the complexities of this varied cultural institution without falling into incohesiveness ... There is much of value in this insightful, learned and elegantly written book.'
Kim Phillips, Medieval Life, Issue 4 - Spring 1996
List of illustrations ; Preface; Prologue; The inheritance, Christian and Roman; The cult of celibacy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; The correspondence of Heloise and Abelard; The marriage of Heloise and Abelard; Marriage in law and practice; The use of literary evidence for the history of marriage: Wolfram von Eschenbach; The witness of Chaucer; Love and marriage in Shakespeare; The church porch: marriage and architecture; Towards a theology