In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

REVIEWS erativeRevival[Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1977]). In fact, Bennett's specification of such families as the Booths of Dunham Massey, the Irelands of Hale, and the Chethams ofNuthurst limns out just the kind of milieu posited by Turville-Petre. The individual reader can decide whether to take the additional step of considering Richard II the likely patron of the movement; I remain unconvinced that the accepted dating of the alliterative revival need be pushed back a decade to accommodate this thesis.Nevertheless, a strength ofthis study taken as a whole is that it presents evidence ofsocial organiza­ tion in a way that permits us to draw our own conclusions about the likely sponsorship and milieu ofalliterative works. PAULSTROHM Indiana University ROBERT L. BENSON and GILES CONSTABLE, eds., with CAROL D. LANHAM, Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. Pp. xxx, 781. $50.00. "Pygmies are pygmies still, though percht on Alps," Edward Young wrote, threatening the self-assured modesty of Bernard of Chartres's image of medieval intellectuals standing on the shoulders of Classical giants, and so able to see further. Bernard's image, coined in the twelfth century, has had wide currency in the twen­ tieth, since Charles Homer Haskins's pioneering work The Renais­ sance of the Twelfth Century (1927) gave that earlier period an interest and an immediacy it lacked before and showed that pyg­ mies, properly placed, are giants in their turn. In 1977, just half a century after Haskins, Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles convened a conference to mark the anni­ versary, and here, expanded and annotated, are the papers.Renais­ sance andRenewalin the Twelfth Century (hereafterRenaissance) is a book that, like its illustrious ancestor, invites rethinking and 173 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER reinvestigation and offers insight, not a final word. No medievalist can ignore it. For readers of this journal the book has two main uses: it provides a chance to examine the intellectual roots of late-medieval liter­ ature, art, and social and cultural history, and it offers an introduc­ tion to the nature of medieval culture itself. Some would regard the second of these undertakings (nowhere explicitly stated but every­ where present) as dubious. E. H. Gombrich's Deneke Lecture of 1967, "In Search of Cultural History" (reprinted in Ideals and Idols, 1979), took exception to a view of history that saw all periods as movements, as embodiments of a single spirit, which reduced men to "Man" and "Man" to history. Gombrich's humane reaction to the facile views of culture he saw about him-which he believed had their roots in Hegel-was that movements were very much the product of individuals and were really unrelated to periods (or related in so complex a way that no causal relationship could be ascertained). For him the best way to search for cultural history was to fix attention on "the individual human being." But a view of the past that sees either movements or individuals as strictly autono­ mous is, to the cultural historian, unsatisfactory. The tensions between the individual and history are at the heart of much human­ istic scholarship, and one methodological contribution of Renais­ sance is to provide a bridge between the larger cultural constructs of the period and the individual accomplishments. This it does by organizing the chapters into seven groups: religion; education; society and the individual; law, politics, and history; philosophy and science; literature; and the arts. The chapters within the group­ ings are more specialized, but the larger headings are themselves extremely significant, since they define (in my view perceptively) the intellectual currents moving in the century. Although it is not clear how far these groupings were imposed by the editors and how far they merely reflect the preoccupations of the contributors, they differ markedly from the more idiosyncratic, though perhaps more original, organization of Haskins's study. At any rate, they form a reasonable construct from which to address Western culture. They are also markedly Hegelian, though shorn of Hegel's metaphysics. In Lectures on the Philosophy ofHistory Hegel sought to discover 174 REVIEWS the individual spirit of a people (ein besonderer...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 173-177
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.