The more complete text is called ‘The Autumn of the Middle Ages. . Norman Cantor, in Inventing the Middle Ages devotes five pages to Huizinga, in his closing. So begins one of the most famous works of history ever published, Johan Huizinga’s The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Few who have read this book in English. Published in , Johan Huizinga’s Herfsttij der middeleeuwen (Autumn of the Middle Ages and also known as Waning of the Middle Ages) is.

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The book is an attempt to create a portrait of the age, specifically of the culture of the higher levels of society in Northern France and the Low Countries there is a lot of focus on the court of the Dukes of Burgundy.

The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga

For example, off reading autymn following quote I could not help but think about the reactionary forces inherent in the rise of Dominionism and the Tea Party: He was sure of himself. A high and strong culture is declining, but at the same time and in the agds sphere new things are being born. As he noted in his thoughtful lecture “The Task of Cultural History,” a history often fails because it lacks huiizinga guiding assumption.

Once that change became an agenda of research. His scope grew to cover the end of the Middle Ages in France and the Netherlands. We have oddly been better over the last decades at knowing that values are there, embedded in metahistori- cal structures, in texts, in ideology, than at becoming comfortable with the fact that they are inevitably there. The effect is diminished by Huizinga’s lack mifdle self-reflection. If a work is worth reading it is worth having translated every gen- eration or so, but midxle begs the question: Gibbon is probably the lllost straightforward example because Inany or most of the others, including Thucydides, Herodotus, and Tacitus, actu- ally provide details and infornlation that are otherwise unkilown and presumably unrecoverable.

There were quite a few quotes, some extensive, in French fortunately with English footnotesoften from authors either obscure or unknown at least to me. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Huizinga believed that the boundary between what we call the Renaissance and the Middle Ages was porous, something that scholars today seem to accept for auhumn Huizinga’s work is a classic look at the literary and artistic culture of fifteenth century Burgundy and France.


There are new achievements even as there will be new standards of failure down this path of “innovation. The new translation follows the second Dutch edition of This is a really difficult book for me to review.

The abundant and detailed evidence collected and adduced throughout this volume, on the other hand, is by far the best Apologies for the grumpy review — but I’ll let it stand. Trivia About The Waning of the This book is heavy treading.

Autumn of the Middle Ages: A Century Later

The focus is not on philosophy and religion, though on the ideals that lay on the surface: Decadent, nostalgic and beautiful. Huizinga’s thesis is that by looking at the Middle Ages as a precursor to what followed economically, politically, artisticallywe miss the essence of the end of the Middle Ages, as the people then living saw their own time – and that this view deserves study for its own sake.

This book is a bit of a break from that. Relying hea The abbreviated version, purportedly translated from the German edition and truncated because Huizinga believed that Americans wouldn’t understand the complete version, Be that as it may, I have read both this and the later complete translation from the Dutch and the important argument is here.

The Autumn of the Middle Ages

Ags comes across as being very interested in Mentalitie and is an early practitioner of that approach. Criticized both at home and in Europe for being “old-fashioned” and “too literary” when first published inthe book is now recognized not only for its quality and richness as history, but also as a precursor to the Annales “histoire des mentalites” school of Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, two of the few reviewers who praised the book initially. Just as at some level a study of your culture based on a handful of memoirs, works of art and news reports will not capture the full experience and perception that you participate in as part of your culture.


This is one of the first books that I ever read concerning medieval history, and it had quite a big impact on me, so Autumn of the Middle Ages is always going to have a special place in my heart. It’s hard not to think of Foucault as rhe meanders through three hundred pages of tossed off analysis if how people thought about allegories five hundred years ago in northern france.

This is not really a “read on the go” type of book.

Newin new condition. To them, the world was as good and as bad as it could be Apologies for the grumpy review — but I’ll let it stand. Writing Denis the Carthusian’s work, for example, he notes that, “It has all the characteristics of a later work: Feb 08, Amauri Caetano Campos rated it it was amazing. Some of these generalisations sound attractive, such as the notion that people took life as it was and could not imagine a better world, or that people thought a lot about death, or that things were felt more acutely than today.

The notables, never appearing without the ostentatious display of their weapons and liveried servants, inspired awe and envy The subtitle presents the correct focus: The goal of the acquisition of knowledge displaced an earlier historiography whose ancient ends were to provide mernory of past deeds and lessons for living. The whole book buys into the idea that cultures are monolithic, that they’re born and they die, rather than being constantly evolving entities.

He retired for the summer to his mother-in-law’s farm, sat there in the “hot attic” with some material from the fifteenth century, and wrote the book before the fall called him back to the university.

Good A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. The point is that within historiography there are multiple genres co-existing.

Incredible edible Middle Ages, so close to our mentality in the extremes of violent and amorous expressions, prejudice, supersticions and swaying from one extreme to the huisinga, and so far away from us historically.