Review by Choice Review
This excellent work provides introductions to the political, economic, social, religious, economic, intellectual, literary, and artistic history of medieval France. Intended primarily for students and general readers, it will prove useful for scholars seeking general orientation, bibliography, and interpretation in areas beyond their field of expertise. Coverage extends from the 5th to the late 15th century in the region where the French court emerged and flourished. Some 200 hundred scholars, many with distinguished reputations, have contributed more than 2,400 well-written articles. Shorter pieces summarize biographies, events, cities, monuments, works of art, literature, theology, and more, accompanied by basic bibliographies. Longer essays explain and often interpret major institutions, writers, works, and movements. Although the long article on pilgrimages, for example, is descriptive, that on Gothic architecture reinterprets the field. The articles are cross-referenced and accompanied by useful lists of kings, counts, and dukes with regnal dates; architectural terms with diagrams of Gothic, Romanesque, and military structures; musical terms; and abbreviations. Numerous maps and pictures illustrate the text, and page layout is pleasing. An index enhances both the cross-reference structure and the volume's cross-disciplinary focus. Highly recommended for all libraries. S. F. Roberts; Yale University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.