Winner of the American Historical Association Marraro Prize, 1988. The Mountains and the City is a rare discussion in English of the history of a region of Europe, a genre common in other countries but undeveloped in Britain. The book deals with two mountain valleys in Tuscany from the eight to the twelfth century, with some examination of their future progress into the sixteenth. It charts their internal social and economic development and their links with the emerging world of the Italian city states. The importance of the book is in its stress on the small-scale society of the mountains; on the relation of local society to its geographical environment; and, above all, in its concern to see society from below, through the activities of local people, rather than through the interests of their masters. In its focus on local interaction, this is one of the few anthropological studies of medieval history that has yet been written.
` represents a very detailed study of two highly localized micro-societies ... As a work of essentially local history, concerned exclusively with two Appennine valleys in the ninth to twelfth centuries, this book might serve as a model for such studies in other regions. ... As a work of scholarship, this is undoubtedly a substantial and impressive book,'
English Historical Review.
'meticulous and detailed study ... tackles with prudence and energy a problematical area, and one of its major virtues is its willingness to assess its own conclusions in the light of existing research' Times Higher Education Supplement
`Wickham's book serves as a welcome reminder that Milan is too easily taken as a model for all Italy ... By resolutely keeping in view the concerns of those who actually inhabited the region, Wickham has not simply introduced Italian local history to England but has enhanced the subject in the process.' David Abulafia
Times Literary Supplement