Bloch, Marc - Feudal Society - ( Item 129118 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. The text contains both volumes of the original work in a single volume. Bound in buckram. Blocked with a design by Adam McCaulay. 648 pages. Frontispiece and 32 pages of colour plates. Book size: 10" × 6¾". Set in Dante. In this seminal history, Marc Bloch reveals the bonds of loyalty that held medieval society together. Jacques Le Goff introduces. 'I will love what thou lovest; I will hate what thou hatest.' In his classic history, Marc Bloch quotes this oath as an example of the bond between lord and vassal known today as feudalism. The medieval world was held together by ties of loyalty between individuals, which formed a chain stretching from the highest to the lowest ranks. First published in English in 1961, this is a ground-breaking history of the people and institutions of medieval Europe up to the 13th century. Feudalism developed towards the end of the first millennium AD, ‘in the fiery crucible of the German invasions’. Few kings had the resources to marshal an army, hence the growth of smaller armies of knights. In the absence of law and order, peasants gifted their lands to a lord, in return for protection and sustenance. Bloch analyses every aspect of feudalism and its contexts, from religion, economy, kinship and the judiciary to the subtler ways in which it moulded the medieval mind. There were terrible penalties for disloyalty; one knight was sent to a monastery for the rest of his life having killed his lord in battle – his sentence had been commuted from that of having his hands cut off. Chivalry and Christianity also informed the feudal relationship, and vice versa. One of the foremost French historians of the 20th century, Marc Bloch was a founding member of the Annales school of history, which emphasised the deep forces of social history rather than focusing on wars and politics. He was a professor of economic history at the Sorbonne until the outbreak of the Second World War, when he joined the French Resistance. Bloch was killed by the Gestapo in June 1944.
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