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The Waning of the Middle Ages (1919)

by Johan Huizinga

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,932333,816 (4)48
"Here is the first full translation into English of one of the 20th century's few undoubted classics of history." --Washington Post Book World The Autumn of the Middle Ages is Johan Huizinga's classic portrait of life, thought, and art in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France and the Netherlands. Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible will all other European-language translations. For Huizinga, the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century marked not the birth of a dramatically new era in history--the Renaissance--but the fullest, ripest phase of medieval life and thought. However, his work was criticized both at home and in Europe for being "old-fashioned" and "too literary" when The Waning of the Middle Ages was first published in 1919. In the 1924 translation, Fritz Hopman adapted, reduced and altered the Dutch edition--softening Huizinga's passionate arguments, dulling his nuances, and eliminating theoretical passages. He dropped many passages Huizinga had quoted in their original old French. Additionally, chapters were rearranged, all references were dropped, and mistranslations were introduced. This translation corrects such errors, recreating the second Dutch edition which represents Huizinga's thinking at its most important stage. Everything that was dropped or rearranged has been restored. Prose quotations appear in French, with translations preprinted at the bottom of the page, mistranslations have been corrected. "The advantages of the new translation are so many. . . . It is one of the greatest, as well as one of the most enthralling, historical classics of the twentieth century, and everyone will surely want to read it in the form that was obviously intended by the author." --Francis Haskell, New York Review of Books "A once pathbreaking piece of historical interpretation. . . . This new translation will no doubt bring Huizinga and his pioneering work back into the discussion of historical interpretation." --Rosamond McKitterick, New York Times Book Review… (more)
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» See also 48 mentions

English (20)  Dutch (7)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
history
  simonelibrary | Feb 23, 2022 |
It is a study of the forms of life of fifteenth-century France and Burgundy, based upon his critical reading of aesthetic and philological sources normally overlooked by the working historian. Huizinga attempted to do for the late medieval North what his acknowledged master, Jacob Burckhardt, had done for the Italian Renaissance.

In the book, Huizinga extrapolate cultural manifestations from surrounding historical data in order to draw up, more schematically than is usual in historical writing, the structure of northern European society in the fifteenth century. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Dec 15, 2021 |
This book took me 10 months to finish, which usually means it failed to pull me along, and I needed to rely on my completionism to pull me through. Yes this is a seminal wok of (art) history, and i can see why, but the views it espouses on the way are just utterly outdated. From normative and hierarchical views of artistic "progress" to Huizinga's Calvinism tainting his views of medieval catholicism there's a lot in this book that just made me(ahistorically) think what a prick.
I don't think I would recommend reading this book even to art history students (unless to quote mine it, I guess). There are better books out there making good cohesive and readable arguments about the late middle ages (and they'll likely boil down Huizinga's main point more succinctly than he ever did). ( )
  chwiggy | Oct 15, 2021 |
The Waning of the Middle Ages was groundbreaking cultural study when it was published in 1924. He drops a lot of names, assuming that readers automatically know who he is talking about. For example, he mentions Emerson, but does not identify as Ralph Waldo Emerson. He relies on texts from the period and Froissart, Denis the Carthusian, and the Chastellain are frequently referred to by Huizanga. He paints the late Middle Ages as a dark,violent, and melancholy time of contradictions. He argues that the dominant thoughts of the period that governed norms and behaviors literally ran into a dead end leading to new ideas and a new era. ( )
  gregdehler | May 4, 2020 |
There were certainly some interesting topics on chivalry and the political process, for instance, as well as Leaders being accustomed to fighting rather than throwing the peasantry into battle. While I used to be interested in medieval period, this book just did not hold my interest. I suppose I feel more relevant topics to be more useful at this point in my life. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
De twee eeuwen rond het jaar 1400 in de delen van Frankrijk en Nederland die toen Boergondië vormden, zijn het onderwerp van deze historie. Het is geen politieke geschiedenis, ook geen sociale of economische geschiedenis, maar een mentaliteitsgeschiedenis: hoe dachten en deden die late Middeleeuwen in onze buurt? Bij mijn derde lezing geef ik me gewonnen. Het gaat hier om een meesterwerk. En als ik straks tegen het monument ga schoppen, dan is dat omdat een artikel met louter lof niet prettig lezen is.
 

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Huizinga, Johanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garin, EugenioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hopman, FrederikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mammitzsch, UlrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Payton, Rodney JohnsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reutercrona, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van der Lem, AntonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webb, DianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the world when it was half a thousand years younger, the outlines of all things seemed more clearly marked than to us.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Here is the first full translation into English of one of the 20th century's few undoubted classics of history." --Washington Post Book World The Autumn of the Middle Ages is Johan Huizinga's classic portrait of life, thought, and art in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France and the Netherlands. Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible will all other European-language translations. For Huizinga, the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century marked not the birth of a dramatically new era in history--the Renaissance--but the fullest, ripest phase of medieval life and thought. However, his work was criticized both at home and in Europe for being "old-fashioned" and "too literary" when The Waning of the Middle Ages was first published in 1919. In the 1924 translation, Fritz Hopman adapted, reduced and altered the Dutch edition--softening Huizinga's passionate arguments, dulling his nuances, and eliminating theoretical passages. He dropped many passages Huizinga had quoted in their original old French. Additionally, chapters were rearranged, all references were dropped, and mistranslations were introduced. This translation corrects such errors, recreating the second Dutch edition which represents Huizinga's thinking at its most important stage. Everything that was dropped or rearranged has been restored. Prose quotations appear in French, with translations preprinted at the bottom of the page, mistranslations have been corrected. "The advantages of the new translation are so many. . . . It is one of the greatest, as well as one of the most enthralling, historical classics of the twentieth century, and everyone will surely want to read it in the form that was obviously intended by the author." --Francis Haskell, New York Review of Books "A once pathbreaking piece of historical interpretation. . . . This new translation will no doubt bring Huizinga and his pioneering work back into the discussion of historical interpretation." --Rosamond McKitterick, New York Times Book Review

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Si l'on avait demandé à Johan Huizinga quel était le sujet fondamental de son livre, affirme Jacques Le Goff, il aurait parlé d'abord de l'imbrication intime du Moyen Âge et de ce que nous appelons la Renaissance. L'Automne du Moyen Âge décrit et analyse les " saveurs ", les " idées ", les " émotions " et les " images " dans lesquelles s'exprime une société qui meurt, celle du Moyen Âge, pour donner naissance à une autre, la Renaissance". Marc Bloch et Lucien Febvre ont souligné le caractère pionnier de ce livre. Huizinga y découvre en effet les nouveaux domaines de l'histoire : le corps, les sens, les rêves et l'imaginaire.
4e de couverture de l'édition 2002
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