This wide-ranging book offers fascinating insights into the nature of marriage in the Middle Ages, both in its social, political, legal, and religious aspects, and its treatment in contemporary art and literature. From such major topics as the role of the Church fathers and the Bible, and the practice and law of marriage, to the cult of celibacy and the relationship between marriage and architecture, Professor Brooke's illuminating study
offers the most complete account of medieval marriage ever published. He 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, and concludes with a penetrating look at the Arnolfini Marriage by Jan van Eyck.
'Scholarly and perspective work ... An impressive work which includes relevant illustrations from the period.'
The Cornish Banner
'In no book that I remember does the light of an author's personality dart in and out of his historical material with such crystal effect as Christopher Brooke's does in this book: a characteristic enrichment of professional academic rigour.'
G.R. Dunstan, The Tablet
'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 prerequisites: 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.'
B.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.J. Raraty, University of Leeds, History, No. 246, Feb 1991
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