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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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3,294374,017 (4.01)48
This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period. A brilliantly creative work that established the reputation of Dutch historian John Huizinga (1872-1945), the book argues that the era of diminishing chivalry reflected the spirit of an age and that its figures and events were neither a prelude to the Renaissance nor harbingers of a coming culture, but a consummation of the old.Among other topics, the author examines the violent tenor of medieval life, the idea of chivalry, the conventions of love, religious life, the vision of death, the symbolism that pervaded medieval life, and aesthetic sentiment. We view the late Middle Ages through the psychology and thought of artists, theologians, poets, court chroniclers, princes, and statesmen of the period, witnessing the splendor and simplicity of medieval life, its courtesy and cruelty, its idyllic vision of life, despair and mysticism, religious, artistic, and practical life, and much more. Long regarded as a landmark of historical scholarship, The Waning of the Middle Ages is also a remarkable work of literature. Of its author, the New York Times said, ""Professor Huizinga has dressed his imposing and variegated assemblage of facts in the colourful garments characteristic of novels, and he parades them from his first page to the last in a vivid style.""An international success following its original publication in 1919 and subsequently translated into several languages, The Waning of the Middle Ages will not only serve as an invaluable reference for students and scholars of medieval history but will also appeal to general readers and anyone fascinated by life during the Middle Ages.… (more)
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» See also 48 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (7)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
900 HUI 1/2
  luvucenanzo06 | May 11, 2024 |
900 HUI 1
  luvucenanzo06 | May 11, 2024 |
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 22 (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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This classic study of art, life, and thought in France and the Netherlands during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries ranks as one of the most perceptive analyses of the medieval period. A brilliantly creative work that established the reputation of Dutch historian John Huizinga (1872-1945), the book argues that the era of diminishing chivalry reflected the spirit of an age and that its figures and events were neither a prelude to the Renaissance nor harbingers of a coming culture, but a consummation of the old.Among other topics, the author examines the violent tenor of medieval life, the idea of chivalry, the conventions of love, religious life, the vision of death, the symbolism that pervaded medieval life, and aesthetic sentiment. We view the late Middle Ages through the psychology and thought of artists, theologians, poets, court chroniclers, princes, and statesmen of the period, witnessing the splendor and simplicity of medieval life, its courtesy and cruelty, its idyllic vision of life, despair and mysticism, religious, artistic, and practical life, and much more. Long regarded as a landmark of historical scholarship, The Waning of the Middle Ages is also a remarkable work of literature. Of its author, the New York Times said, ""Professor Huizinga has dressed his imposing and variegated assemblage of facts in the colourful garments characteristic of novels, and he parades them from his first page to the last in a vivid style.""An international success following its original publication in 1919 and subsequently translated into several languages, The Waning of the Middle Ages will not only serve as an invaluable reference for students and scholars of medieval history but will also appeal to general readers and anyone fascinated by life during the Middle Ages.

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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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